Class of 2018 College Planning

Last week the guidance department hosted it’s annual College Planning Night for Juniors.  The purpose of this event is to provide valuable information to Lowell Catholic’s current juniors and their parents about what they should be thinking about now and as they head into summer regarding the college application process.

We understand that applying to college can be an overwhelming experience, or even just thinking about it can be.  Our goal is to try and alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that can be associated with the college application process.  With that being our focus, we use the Junior College Planning night (and the Senior College Planning night in the fall) to break it down and keep the focus on information that is currently useful.

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So what should a Lowell Catholic junior be doing right now to prepare for the college application process?

  1. Decide if you want to take the SAT or ACT (and SAT Subject Tests) and sign up to take one in the spring.
    • We recommend taking one of these tests at least twice.  Use free practice tests to determine which one you are more comfortable with, or take one of each and take the one you prefer a second time in the fall.
  2. Begin the college search.  Ask yourself these simple questions to help determine what you are looking for in a college:
    • Academic program – You want to make sure it has your major or programs you are interested in!
    • Location – How far away from home do you want to be?  Do you prefer a city?
    • Size – How many students?  How far are you willing to walk to class?
    • Cost – How will you afford it?
    • Sports/clubs – How will you be involved and keep busy?
    • Support services – Do you want access to free tutoring?
  3. College visits – This is where you will be spending the next four years.  The best way to know if a college is the right fit is to tour the campus!
  4. Begin to narrow down a list of schools that you are strongly interested in.
    • Create a list of target, safety, and reach schools.  Have a balance of all 3 types with a list of about 5-7 schools.
  5. Request letters of recommendation.  You should ask two teachers.  Try to choose one from junior year.  Also, think about the program you want to go into and ask a teacher related to it.  For example, if you want engineering, you should have a math or science teacher write a letter.  Requesting is a two step process.
    • Ask in person
    • Submit a request on Naviance.
  6. Complete your resume on Naviance.  This is important for letters of recommendation!

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Please be sure to meet with your counselor if you have any questions about the process and what should be done right now!  We are here to help you!

2016 PSAT Results

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Last month, sophomores and juniors received hard copies of their PSAT scores along with original test booklets.  They have been able to access scores online since December, but the score report gives the counselors the opportunity to explain the scores to them.  The scores are pretty easy to understand, but below you will find a couple of helpful resources.

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We strongly encourage students to log on to their College Board accounts because along with seeing scores, thee is an abundance of free resources they can access.  One of the resources we are always talking about is Khan Academy.  When a student links his or her College Board account with Khan Academy, a personalized practice test is created!  The video below provides a quick explanation on how to do it!

Juniors should be preparing to to take the SAT this spring in either May or June.  Click here to view the calendar.  Also, using the PSAT results and free online resources is a great way work on areas of weakness.  They can take a practice test or download an app to answer a question a day.  Sophomores, it is never too early start preparing!

One final note – The Guidance Department is hosting it’s College Planning Night for juniors and their parents on Thursday, March 2nd.  It will be at 6:30 in the auditorium.  This is a great opportunity for juniors to hear about what they should be doing now and into the summer to prepare for the college application process.  We hope to see you all there!

 

 

6th Annual LC College Fair

October 19th marked Lowell Catholic’s 6th and largest college fair!  53 colleges and universities were on hand to answer questions from our eager students.

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Seniors, juniors, and even some sophomores spoke to admissions reps from schools such as Providence College, University of New England, Catholic University of America, and Sacred Heart University.

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The college fair is a unique opportunity for our students because they are able to get some one on one time with the representatives.  Wentworth Institute of Technology, Lasell  College, Emmanuel College, and Bryant University spoke to the students about different programs, what to expect on campus, and how to apply.

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The goal of this college fair is to give our students time to think ahead regarding college plans, learn about a school or program they may have not been familiar with, or to connect one more time with a school they are interested in.  We have found that the growth of the college fair over the past six years demonstrates the success of this day.  We look forward to seeing how it will grow for our 7th year!