How do I make an appointment with my guidance counselor?
Email is the best way to contact a guidance counselor for an appointment
How can I stay in better contact with the school and my child's academic progress?
Ren Web is the best resource for you to be up-to-date on your child’s academic progress. If you ever have any concerns always contact the teacher first. After that the guidance office will be happy to assist you.
Do you have any TIPS for ensuring student success in high school?
Yes, here are a few:
- College applications may be a long way off or right around the corner…but it is crucial to start a strong foundation in 9th grade.
- Develop good study habits
- Set age appropriate parameters (use of technology is a big TIME robber)
- Be a fan of “choices and consequences”
- Let your child be responsible for their classes but “Be the parent” and intervene when necessary (make sure to check facts with teacher, RenWeb, etc.)
- Monitor social media (ie. Instagram, twitter, vine, etc.) because a poor teenage decision can have lasting effects on college applications
What are colleges looking for?
- Core high school grades-Low grades from 9th and 10th are hard to pull up in 11th and 12th!
- SAT/ACT scores
- Rigor of coursework (Honors, Dual, AP’s -balance is important, choose to take rigorous coursework in subjects you enjoy the most)
- Counselor evaluation/Teacher evaluation
- Co-Curricular Activities (clubs, athletics, fine arts, church youth group; committed & dedicated in a few activities is usually better that a little involvement in numerous activities)
- Community Service/Volunteer Work
- Essays, resume/portfolio
What is the SAT and ACT?
The SAT and ACT are standardized tests used by colleges in the admissions process. Most colleges nationwide accept either one. The biggest difference between the ACT and the SAT is that the ACT has a Science section. The ACT also has sections for Math, English, and Reading. The ACT is scored differently as well. The maximum score for the SAT is 2400 (for all 3 sections) or 1600 (for math and critical reading only), the maximum score for the ACT is a 36.
When should I take the SAT or ACT exams?
It is our goal to have every student take the SAT or ACT at least one time by the end of their junior year. These tests are offered about 7 times a year, so if a student takes it their junior year, they can take it one more time in the Fall of their Senior year to improve their score. Of course students can take these tests earlier in high school, and they can be taken as many times as a student wishes.
How do I sign up for the SAT or ACT exam?
The best way to sign up for the SAT is to register online via The College Board at www.collegeboard.org and for the ACT at www.actstudent.org. You will need a valid credit card, and you will need to upload a picture for security purposes. Be aware of registration deadlines that are clearly stated on the website. Our school code is 110119. You will need to input this number for our school to receive scores. You can also just put in Bogart, GA, and 2 schools will come up with one being Prince for you to click on.
How often should I take the SAT and ACT?
Every college bound student should plan to take the SAT or ACT at least twice. Most colleges will look at the best scores of each section, so it is advantageous to take it a second time to improve the first score. Research shows that students' scores improve with more experience with the exam format, which is why students should take the PSAT’s and the PLAN test which are practice tests when they are offered. When you register for the SAT, be sure you are signing up for the correct test. If you are taking the general SAT and not the subject tests, make sure you are signing up for the SAT Reasoning Test!
What about the SAT Subject Tests?
The SAT Subject Tests are tests required by some of the more selective schools in addition to the standard SAT exam. The subject tests are one hour long each, and you can take up to three in a test session. You cannot take an SAT Reasoning Test and an SAT Subject test on the same day.
How do I apply for scholarships?
You can get leads for scholarships from many different sources. This will require some work on your part. Check with employers, college financial aid offices, etc. for unique scholarships offered solely by them. Make sure to check in frequently to the Guidance Department's Scholarship Page for scholarship leads that come into our office.
When should I start applying to colleges?
By the fall of their senior year, students should have a good idea where they want to apply and should begin their applications online. Some colleges offer Early Action Admission which means applications are due around Oct. 15th. They will review an application submitted early and will give the applicant an admissions decision by mid-December. These early programs are also more competitive, and many schools won't let a rejected early applicant enter the regular applicant pool. Regular admissions deadlines vary from college to college; be sure to check their websites for specifics.
How many colleges should I apply to?
This is a matter of personal choice. It's not so much the quantity of schools applied to, it's the selection of schools that is most important. Every student should apply to at least one school that the student and counselor feel is a "safe" school, meaning that the chances of acceptance are very high. Students should also consider a "reach" school, a college a student would love to attend if they got in, even if they are not sure if they can get in. The other schools should be reasonable based on a student's academic record, provided the school has everything a student is looking for in a college. The best way to avoid applying to too many schools is to start early on the college search so you can eliminate schools before you even get to the application process. Applying to 5 schools is usually plenty. Many students need to apply to fewer.
How do I apply to college?
There are several different ways to do this. Most colleges have online applications, which students are finding very convenient. You can find these on a college website under "admissions" or "prospective students". Some colleges utilize the Common Application. The Common Application is a universal application accepted by over 500 private colleges and some state schools. If several schools of interest accept it, a student can fill out this one application and send it to those schools. If using this application be sure to include CORRECT email address for school counselor to complete needed forms.
Will colleges look down on an applicant who uses the Common Application?
Absolutely not. Many students feel that colleges will think they are lazy for using it. However, the colleges who subscribe to it welcome it. In fact, for many colleges, this is THE application form. Students should be aware that most schools have an additional "supplement" to the Common App and should make sure they get submitted with the application. The Common Application has teacher recommendations (2) as well.
How do I get teacher recommendations?
The answer is quite simple: Ask them for it! But ask a teacher early on, even Junior year so you are ahead of the rush. If you feel a teacher will write you a good recommendation, there is a good chance many other kids feel the same about that teacher. You want to give the teachers ample to time to write you a nice one, so don't wait until the last minute to ask the teacher to help you. Furthermore, if you want a teacher to write positive things about you, you want to show maturity and responsibility by getting the recommendation forms to them on time. The Common Application has teacher recommendation forms, as do many college applications. If they don't have specific forms, a document on letterhead is just fine.
My student is planning to participate in college athletics, are there any specific requirements?
Yes, they will have to register with either the NAIA or NCAA. Check with the college to find which they use. NAIA: Register at www.naia.org, you will need a credit card, must request a transcript be sent to them. NCAA: Register at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net, you will need a credit card, must request a transcript be sent to them. Must send SAT/ACT scores to NAIA and NCAA (they will not take off of the transcript).
What hinders most students in the college application process?
Organization and forgetting passwords! There will be many online registrations in your future (for example: SAT, ACT, gacollege411, college applications, FAFSA)…make sure you have a system to keep track of all your passwords. If you are “old school” start a college folder and write on inside flap the site, user name and password. If you are proficient with technology, use your iPhone, iPad, etc. and the notes section to record the site, user name, password. Another tip: DO NOT EVER CREATE MORE THAN ONE ACCOUNT!! This will cause you time and frustration in having to call the organization to undo the mess.
Waiting until senior year to think about college. Many colleges and scholarship committees will require a resume, portfolio, or list of accomplishments. You will forget what you did in 9th grade, so my advice is to begin a resume or activity sheet listing your accomplishments in the areas of academics, volunteer work, extracurricular, etc. An easy way to remember to do this is each spring when we hold our Honors Day; use this as your cue to record your accomplishments. Trust me…you’ll be glad you did!
What is your biggest tip for applying to college?
FOLLOW DIRECTIONS! Every college is unique and different. There is no standard way to apply for college. Make sure you carefully read their requirements and way of doing things and DO IT. If they want a teacher rec form printed out and given to the teacher, do it. If they want the online link sent to the teacher to fill out and submit, do it! Give them what they want in the way they want it. This will save you time and impress them because you are being responsible and adhering to their requirements.