College Counseling

January College Counseling

 

Upcoming College-Related Events (see below for additional information):

Junior College Night               February 15    St. Mary’s Academy                        6:45-9:00 p.m.

College Bus Trip                        April 3             St. Mary’s Academy                        7:30-3:30 p.m.

Sophomore College Night     April 25           St. Mary’s Academy                        7:00-8:30 p.m.

PNACAC College Fair             April 30           University of Portland                   Noon-3:00 p.m.

Case Studies/College Fair    May 1              Central Catholic HS                           6:15-8:30 p.m.

SENIORS

Seniors are finishing their applications and beginning to hear from their colleges about admission decisions. In the coming months they will get the rest of their decisions and financial aid awards so that they can make the most informed decision by May 1. We are happy to help students and parents sort through and compare their options, weighing academic, social, and financial fit.

In early February, our office will send seventh semester transcripts to each college on a student’s list. To be sure we send documents to the correct schools, students must complete the Seventh Semester Transcript Request in the “About Me” section of Naviance. If your daughter has not done so, please encourage her to complete this request right away.

If you desire to be considered for financial aid, you must submit the FAFSA, and if required, the College Board’s CSS Profile, as well to your daughter’s colleges as soon as possible and certainly before their financial aid deadline. The FAFSA is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The sooner you complete the FAFSA and any other form the college requires, the more quickly your daughter will hear back from financial aid offices. Carefully research the financial aid deadlines and policies at each of your daughter’s schools; these deadlines are rarely flexible. Please contact us if you have questions.

Students applying for outside scholarships that require letters of recommendation and/or transcripts should complete the SMA Materials Request (pink) Form available in our office. This form helps us meet deadlines and confirm which documents are required. Materials Request Forms should be submitted at least two weeks before any given deadline in order to expedite all submissions (paper or electronic) efficiently.

JUNIORS

We are excited to begin our work with juniors! The first step is for each junior to complete the Junior College Counseling Questionnaire and then schedule an appointment with her college counselor. The Junior College Counseling Questionnaire in their Naviance/Family Connection account under the “About Me” tab. This questionnaire helps students start thinking about and planning for their college choices and applications. From the responses we will develop an initial college list in Naviance. This list is not meant to be a list of schools your daughter should apply to, but suggests a variety of schools to consider when beginning her serious research. We also ask that parents fill out a parent questionnaire in their separate Naviance/Family Connection accounts. For help accessing the questionnaire, please get in touch with Meg Bowman, meg.bowman@smapdx.org.

Tuesday, February 15, is Spring Junior College Night. This evening program is designed to give juniors and parents insight into several aspects of the college planning process. The program will consist of three separate 40 minute sessions; parents and students often divide and conquer. Guest speakers from several local colleges and universities and the college counselors will present on the following topics:

  • Researching and Selecting a College
  • Understanding the College Admissions Process: How Colleges Choose?
  • Making Sense of Financial Aid
  • Transitioning to College
  • Writing the College Essay
  • Ways Naviance Can Help

We would like all juniors to take either the SAT or the ACT by June of this year. We recommend taking the optional writing section on either test. We can help your daughter consider her testing requirements and options during our first meeting, but please check the test registration deadlines and register for the date(s) that work best for your daughter and your family. It is possible to register “late” for a given testing date, but space is limited and the fees increase substantially. Please also note that the May and June dates for the SAT conflict with OSAA State Choir Concert and SMA graduation respectively. Marians will need to plan their testing carefully.

SAT and ACT Testing Dates

ACT Testing Date         Registration Deadline               SAT Testing Date         Registration Deadline

April 8                          March 3, 2017                                  March 11                     February 10, 2017

June 10                        May 5, 2017                                      May 6                          April 7, 2017

June 3                          May 9, 2017

Spring break is often a good time for juniors to begin visiting colleges that they are interested in (including local ones) and that meet their college objectives and interests. For hints about planning a college visit and what to think about while touring a campus, please consider the information on College Visits and Interviews in the SMA College Counseling Handbook (available in the documents library section of Naviance Family Connection).

Additional Details about Upcoming Events:

Monday, April 3: College Bus Visit. We will be taking 40-50 juniors and sophomores to visit Oregon State University and Willamette University. This trip is intended to give students an opportunity to get acquainted with a large state university and a smaller private liberal arts college and to hear from an admissions officer. Registration forms will become available in February; priority will be given to juniors. There will be a charge to cover the cost of transportation and lunch. Scholarships are available.

Thursday, April 25: Sophomore College Night is an essential introduction for parents and students to college counseling and the college search and application process at St. Mary’s. Families are introduced to Naviance, our web-based college information system, and provided a general outline of how we support students throughout the college application process. Sophomores and their parents should attend.

Sunday, April 30: The PNACAC Spring College Fair offers an opportunity for students to meet with admissions officers from a wide variety of colleges, ask questions and register to receive information.

Monday, May 1: Case Studies and Mini College Fair. St. Mary’s Academy and Central Catholic High School host an evening with college representatives from around the country at which the representatives consider mock applications with juniors and parents. This evening offers a great introduction to better understand how college admissions officers make decisions. Watch for registration information.

Regards,

Kimberly, Carolyn, Karlen, and Meg