It’s Your Turn, Juniors!

On Thursday, 2/25, the guidance department held it’s annual Junior College Information Night.  Recognizing that the whole college application process can be overwhelming, we try to simplify it the best we can while at the same time provide thorough, necessary information.

A timeline of what juniors should be doing or thinking about was provided, which included the following:

  • Register to take the SAT and/or ACT exam
  • Schedule a meeting with guidance to discuss college plans and courses for next year
  • College Visits
  • Think about who to ask for recommendation letters
  • Work on a resume

Another important piece that was covered is beginning the college search.  Naviance is a great tool to narrow down your search by location, major, activities, etc.  Students can access this on their Family Connection page.

In addition to this information, we went into detail about the many changes occurring for the junior class.  Of course, the big one would be the new SAT program.  We did a brief overview of the content of the exam, but for more information, you can go here.

The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success is a free new tool rolling out this year for high school students.  This information was presented during the college information night to make families aware of it should they come across it while researching colleges.  The coalition allows students, beginning in grade 9, to create a profile and fill their “lockers.”  The locker is where a student can save essays, art work, projects, awards, etc., that could be helpful to them when it is time to apply to college.  Finally, there is an application piece to it.  Students can apply to member colleges through this application.  The read more about the coalition and it’s values and beliefs, click here.

What’s new with the Common Application this year?  Students can now create an account before August and it will roll over into senior year.  This puts students at an advantage because they are able to ease any anxiety or worry about the application.  Students can look through it to get an understanding of what is involved.  They are also able to see next year’s essay prompts, which will enable them to start thinking of what they want to write about.

Finally, we touched on financial aid a little bit.  Financial aid can always be overwhelming, so we spoke about the new changes coming to the FAFSA.  These changes include an new filing date of October 1st and the ability to use prior-prior year’s taxes.  Click here for more details about these changes and more.

This sums up the information provided during the Junior College Information Night.  As the senior class receives college decisions and think about where to register for the fall, the guidance department is excited to begin the college discussion with the junior class!!!

2016’s College Planning 101

2016 marks year 3 the guidance department will be hosting the series College Planning 101 to juniors.  To recap, College Planning 101 is a monthly after-school seminar with a specific theme geared towards college planning.  Juniors can choose which one they would like to attend based on the topic’s relevance.  We began these workshops because it gives the opportunity for students to express concerns or ask questions that they may not ask at another time and to also realize that they are not alone in this process.  They have the same worries or anxieties as the rest of their peers.

got-questions

The first College Planning 101 seminar will be held on Tuesday, February 9th (2:30 in the media center).  This particular one will be an open discussion format.  It is a great way for students to ask general questions, talk about any concerns, and for guidance to get a sense of where they are in the college process.

March’s College Planning 101 seminar is going to focus on standardized testing.  The SAT and ACT will be explained and will include topics such as the content of the tests, the differences between the two, how to register, and how to send scores.

act_sat_l[1]

For April, we hope to have a panel of seniors available to answer any questions juniors have about the college application/planning process.  What better way to get advice than from those who just experienced it!

In May, we will be looking at the Common Application.  In prior years, if a student created an account before August of his or her senior year, the Common App would delete it.  That has changed, allowing juniors to create accounts early that can roll over into senior year.  This seminar will be an opportunity for students to create an account and start filling out information.  We will be available to answer any questions they have about it.

common app pic

We hope the juniors take advantage and join us each month!  To sign up for the one in February, click here!  And stay tuned for the March, April, and May dates!