February 6, 2017
Dear Junior Parents and Guardians,
Last week the Guidance Department held our first Spring Junior Seminar, where we met with Juniors to discuss the college and post-secondary planning process. Below are the key points that were discussed during the seminar in-depth. As your child’s counselor, we would like to invite you into the process through sharing this information. Additionally, we will be meeting with your child individually to break down this process even more. Please let us know if you would like to attend a scheduled meeting with your child to go over this process. We also invite you to our Junior College & Financial Aid Night that will take place Thursday, March 23 from 6:30-8 in the UHS Auditorium.
SAT and ACT Tests
We strongly recommend students take at least one of the college placement tests by the end of Junior year. Since college placement tests are slightly different and some students perform better on one over the other, we are encouraging students to take the SAT and the ACT at least once. Whichever test they perform better on, they should take that test a second time to obtain a super score. A super score is where colleges take the best scores from two tests of the same version and combine them to get higher scores.
To register for the SAT go to: https://www.collegeboard.org/ and select, “register for the SAT”.
To register for the ACT, go to: http://www.act.org/ and select, “Register, View Scores, and More”.
SAT & Subject Tests
(subject test are not offered on this date)
SAT Subject Tests
Ivy league colleges and many elite colleges require students to submit 1-2 SAT subject tests. These tests are typically taken at the end of a student’s junior year. The student can select her best subject out of a list of 20 subjects tests. To register for these tests go to: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat-subject-tests.
When students register for the SATs, they will need to create a College Board account. This account will be used for students to register for an SAT test, send scores to schools they are applying to, and to be used for SAT prep. We highly recommend the use of Khan Academy which is a free online test prep site that links with your child’s College Board account.
Naviance is an online based program where students will create a list of schools they are interested in, are able to perform in-depth research on those schools, as well as communicate to their counselor during the application process. Students have an account already set up for this purpose. As we get into your son or daughter’s senior year, Naviance will be used to electronically sent students’ transcripts, letters of recommendation and any other school documents to the schools they are applying to.
Parents also are able to have a Naviance account if they choose. Please contact your child’s counselor for access.
To access Naviance, go to:
Creating a College List
Guidance staff will be meeting with your son or daughter individually to begin creating their college list. This list will be based on grades, PSAT scores, majors, location, finances, and other criteria discussed in the meeting. Students are expected to make this list their own by researching colleges, exploring similar colleges through Naviance and other college search tools. If parents feel a college may be a good match for their son or daughter, they may also add to this list through their own Naviance account. By the beginning of senior year, each student should have a list of colleges that include 1-3 reach colleges, 3-4 match colleges, and 2-3 safety colleges. We recommend students apply to 6 -10 colleges.
Visiting Colleges Tours
Visiting college campuses can help determine which campus environment is a good fit for your son or daughter. Throughout high school, your son or daughter is allowed up to 3 excused days per school year to visit a college campus. We highly recommend visiting campuses throughout this year, in the summer, and throughout senior year. When visiting a college, it is a good idea to attend a campus tour and speak to other college students on the campus. You can book a tour through each college’s website, typically under the admissions page.
Letters of Recommendations
Students will be asking for letters of recommendation from 2 academic teachers and will receive a letter of recommendation from their counselor. Students have been advised to ask teachers as soon as possible for those letters. A request will go in to Naviance where an alert will be sent to teacher that allows them to upload the letter of recommendations once it has been finished. The two helpful documents we ask that students complete are the “Senior Information Sheet” and the “Parent Brag Sheet”. These documents will assist both the teachers and the counselor with valuable information that can be highlighted into the letters. Once these documents are completed, they must be handed to their guidance counselor as soon as possible.
The Common Application is an online application where students can use 1 application to apply to almost 700 colleges and universities. Accounts were recently created so that students can begin entering information in the application now. All of the information added now will be rolled over once their application goes “live” on August 1. Students should check to see whether or not schools they are interested in use the common app. If the school does not, then they will most likely apply using the specific school’s online application.
The summer between junior and senior year is a good time for your son or daughter to get experience in an area they are interested in. Some colleges offer summer opportunities where rising seniors can live on campus for a few weeks and participate in a class or program of interest to them. Other opportunities may be volunteering time at a local event or company, or working at a camp over the summer. We are recommending that your son or daughter get involved. If you have questions about potential opportunities, please contact your son or daughter’s guidance counselor.
Junior College/Financial Aid Night
We encourage each of you to attend this important night on Thursday, March 23 6:30-8 to go over this process with you and answer any questions you may have.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s counselor by phone or email.
Amber Hampton Chris Barry
Junior Class: A-L Junior Class: M-Z
508-278-8633 x.7113 508-278-8633 x.7115
Thank you for your time. We look forward to working with you and helping to make this a positive and easy experience for you and your child.
Chris Barry and Amber Hampton