College Board is set to release the scores from the October 2017 administration of the PSAT-NMSQT administration (for Juniors) on Wednesday, December 13th.
Students who correctly entered their email address during the pre-registration session should receive an email directly from College Board with information about accessing their scores in their college board accounts.
If you do not receive an email from College Board, your school counselor can assist you in accessing your scores online by providing you with an access code on or after December 13th.
For more information about accessing PSAT scores, please visit https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt-psat-10/scores/getting-scores
Understanding Your Results
Students will receive a packet of information, including the test booklet from the test administration following the release of scores.
For information about how to interpret your PSAT score results and how to develop a personalized study plan based on your results, please watch the youtube video below.
Questions? Please contact your school counselor.
Today the School Counseling Office organized our annual Reality Store Event. Juniors and Seniors enrolled in Economics and Personal Finance participated in a simulation where they were assigned a career, income, and family situation. Students then had to pay taxes and purchase all of life's necessities on a monthly budget including groceries, making a car payment, buying or renting housing, paying for healthcare needs, arranging childcare costs (if needed), and so much more.
We are very grateful to the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension office for organizing this simulation for our students!
Are you interested in pursuing a career as a Power Line Worker? The Southside Virginia Community College program is a great way to learn how to install, remove, maintain and repair distribution lines and associated equipment. The 11 week program covers the fundamental aspects of power line work allowing students to enter a rewarding career with many opportunities.
The Workforce Credential Grant (WCG) can help pay tuition and costs for qualifying VA residents. this is a great opportunity for students!
Please watch the youtube video below for more information about this great career opportunity!
The program is holding an informational session at the SVCC Occupational/Technical Center on TUESDAY, JANUARY 9th, 2018 at 6:00pm. Please see the flier below for more information.
Please RSVP for the Informational Session by emailing email@example.com.
Together with our partners from DSLCC's TRIO Program, we hosted our annual Financial Aid Workshop for students and families on 10/19/17.
Thank you to all that attended!
If you wish to review the powerpoint slides from the presentation, please click the icon below to download the powerpoint file.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Ms. Hall (if you are a member of Talent Search) or your school counselor. We are here to help!
Please note: Some colleges have changed their FAFSA Priority Filing deadlines since the "Opportunities Books" we provided were published. We strongly recommend that you visit each school's financial aid website to confirm the FAFSA Priority Filing deadline that your student should use.
You won't be applying until next year, but did you know that you have important college-prep things to do during Junior year? Spoiler alert, YOU DO!
First thing: Taking the PSAT-NMSQT in October. (during the school day on a Wednesday!)
Yep, another test. Sorry! But this is one of the best ways for you to prepare for taking the SAT (or ACT), which we'll talk about later in this post.
This test (when taken during Junior year) can qualify you for some scholarship money as well! So do your best!
#PROTIP, if you don't already have one, set up a College Board account using an email (that you are actually going to remember...) This is important, because once you take the PSAT, you can log into your College Board account to view personalized study materials and questions to help you best prepare for the SAT (or the ACT too) from KHAN ACADEMY. And best of all, it's FREE. Click here for more info.
#ProTip2- you should use your own email address for your College Board account. Please don't use a parent's. It's awkward. Really. Because throughout this school year (and ESPECIALLY during senior year) you're going to need to be accessing your College Board account and sending scores and such and chances are high that you'll forget your log in info, especially if it's not your info. So use an email you check often and a password that you will actually remember.
Next, actually use the KHAN ACADEMY RESOURCES (see above) for study prep. Why? Because it can help you target areas of weakness so that you can do your best when you take the SAT (or ACT) in the future.
So when do you actually take the SAT or ACT?
We recommend that students take the SAT and/or ACT for the first time in their junior year. Most juniors will choose to take this test in the Spring of their Junior year. Taking the test in Junior year is recommended because it gives students ample opportunities to retake the test later in their Junior year or during the beginning of Senior year. Many students choose to take the test(s) multiple times in pursuit of higher scores. Want more info? Click here.
Plan ahead because some colleges will also require SAT Subject Tests. You cannot take both the SAT and a SAT subject test on the same day. This is why we recommend that you start your college research process early so you know what may be required when you go to apply.
SAT and ACT tests are only offered a few times throughout the year. And the deadlines to sign up are typically just over 1 month before the test date. SIGN UP EARLY TO GUARANTEE YOU CAN TEST IN A LOCATION YOU PREFER.
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR REGISTERING FOR THE SAT OR ACT. Your counselor can help you with registration if you need it, but we cannot register for you! You do not need to contact us to sign up. Instead, you go to www.CollegeBoard.org (SAT) or www.ACTStudent.org (ACT) to sign up.
*if you are eligible for a fee waiver, see your school counselor IN ADVANCE of signing up for a test. We will give you a card that has a code to take the test for free if you qualify.
VERY VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT -> you will be asked if you want to take the test with or without the writing portion. Most colleges are going to want to see a writing score. Therefore, we recommend that you take the test the first time with WRITING. If you decide to re-test, you can choose whether or not you want to retake the writing portion. But since you cannot just take the writing portion alone, we recommend doing it during your first test. That way, if you're happy with the rest of your scores, you don't need to sit through the whole thing all over again just to take the writing test later on.
After you take the SAT or ACT (or both) in the Spring of Junior year, you can retest later in the spring, during the summer (limited availability) or in the fall of senior year.
Want more info about SAT and ACT testing? Click here!
Now onto non-testing responsibilities for Junior Year...
Begin to compile a list of colleges you are interested in and start researching them. You need to do your homework and actually research to make sure it's going to be a good fit for you. Researching during Junior Year is important so that you know exactly what you need to do (Testing wise, application wise, etc.) before getting to your senior year.
Junior year is also a GREAT time to VISIT COLLEGES! Spring break... summer vacation, etc. are all great times to visit schools. Don't wait until senior year! You'll be starting college applications typically by October of Senior year, so you need to get most of your researching (and visiting) done before then to have an idea of where to apply to!
DID YOU KNOW? Colleges visits are an excused absence. They are! IF YOU DO A PRE-ARRANGED ABSENCE FORM. Pick one up from the main office at least ONE WEEK BEFORE YOUR VISIT so you can get signatures from your teachers and pick up the work you will miss BEFORE YOU GO.
Hey seniors, we hope you're already planning for college application season. If so, we wanted to share some important information about what you're responsible for during this time, and what your counselors will be responsible for.
1. Completing your own college applications!
(If you notice, this is not listed under Parent responsibilities and that is because YOU should be completing your own applications). Trust us, we have quite a few horror stories we can share about parents completing applications for students #AwkwardEssays #IncorrectInformation So seniors, you can ask them for help but make sure you're managing your applications!
2. You are responsible for adhering to all deadlines.
This includes application deadlines from colleges and also deadlines that the RCHS Counseling Office sets. We get inundated during college-application season, and we're happy to help you (we love this part!) but you've gotta get your documents to us on time! For example, you'll need to submit a BRAG SHEET and a BLUE SHEET a few weeks in advance of when your applications are due in order to guarantee that we are able to write you a letter of recommendation in on time. Fun fact, the deadlines are right on top of the Brag Sheet (that you can download from our website, and we'll give you a copy in class) so don't forget! This helps ensure that we're able to devote a substantial amount of time to crafting a wonderful letter that will aid you in your admissions process. :-)
3. Requesting your transcript
Regardless of where you are applying, you will be using PARCHMENT to request your transcript. If you are applying to a Common-App school, you will request that your transcript be sent to COMMON APP. If you are applying to non Common-App schools, you will request that your transcript be sent to those schools. Need help? Click here.
You will request your transcript a few times during the application season:
Initial Transcripts - typically October or November.... when you complete your applications.
MidYear Transcripts - when grades for first semester are posted (typically mid-January)
Final Transcripts - after graduation.
4. Sending your ACT/SAT scores
Colleges typically want OFFICIAL scores directly from SAT or ACT. They do not typically want to rely on them appearing on your transcript. And neither to you, since they can take months and months to appear on your transcript. So just send them via SAT or ACT. As we've told you, you send them when you sign up to take your tests (for free!) but if you didn't do that, you'll need to log into your College Board (SAT) or your ACT Student (ACT) account and have them sent to the colleges you are applying to. No, we cannot do them for you. They need to come from you to be official. Need help? Feel free to ask, but we can't send them for you.
5. Sending your AP scores
Re-read number 4 because the same thing applies to AP Scores. Log into your College Board account and send them. If you are taking tests during your senior year, make sure to add the colleges you are applying to when you sign up for the test. If you don't, you'll need to send them after you get your scores.
6. Asking recommenders to submit letters of recommendation for you. #ProTip, you should ask recommenders in person if they will be willing to write you a letter. If you give them enough time and if you're generally nice about it, chances are they will say yes! You will typically ask Junior year teachers, or teachers that know you very well. And chances are high that you will need a letter from your counselor too. Please don't send an invitation to write a letter to a teacher or counselor without asking first, it's the polite thing to do! :-)
Seniors - it's never too early to start working on gathering those college recommendation letters!
Counselors often get a lot of questions about this process for Common App. The tutorial below explains exactly how to assign recommenders to your account. Keep in mind that the process for adding a counselor and the process for adding a teacher (or other recommender) are different. You must sign your FERPA release before you can access this page.
Tips for Best Practice
1. It's always nice to ask a recommender if they will write you a letter in person before just putting their email on your account. Once you put someone's email, they will get an auto-generated email asking them to submit a letter for you. So talk to your recommenders in person before sending the invitation.
2. Once you add a recommender's email, you should follow up with them to make sure that they received the invitation. Sometimes students spell the email address incorrectly, or sometimes it can go to a person's spam mail. A recommender cannot submit a letter without having an email invitation, so always check to make sure they receive it.
Make sure you spell your counselor's email correctly too! They're copied below:
Mrs. Burkhardt: Christina_Burkhardt@rockbridge.k12.va.us
Mrs. Pedigo: Rhonda_Pedigo@rockbridge.k12.va.us
Mr. Rapoza: Mathew_Rapoza@rockbridge.k12.va.us
3. Send your recommender invites IN ADVANCE! After you've asked a recommender to write you a letter, make sure you send the invite well before you need it done. Sending it early does not mean that your recommender will need to do it immediately, but it does make sure they are able to access the invitation. Don't wait until the last minute, otherwise you'll leave your recommender scrambling on the last day to submit your info. The process for counselors to submit letters is actually REALLY time-consuming (we have to answer a TON of questions about each student) so the more time you give us, the better! YOU CAN ASSIGN RECOMMENDERS BEFORE FINISHING (or even starting...) YOUR PORTIONS OF THE APPLICATION, so there's no need to wait!
For more tips... view this youtube video!
Seniors, have you been working hard on your college applications? Later this month, Common App will be offline (July 24th through August 1st) for a roll-over. Don't panic! It will be back and updated for the 2017-18 school year. If you created your account before July 24th, it will still be there when the roll-over is over. :-)
In the meantime, you can work on your college application essays! The 2017-18 Common App essays were announced back in February. Check them out below:
COMMON APP ESSAYS 2017-2018 ---- (650 word limit)
1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story. [No change from last year]
2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? [Revised from last year]
3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome? [Revised from last year]
4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution. [No change from last year]
5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others. [Revised from last year]
6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more? [New]
7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design. [New]
Seniors, if you are applying to 4 year colleges, chances are high that one of the colleges will utilize the Common Application, or "Common App" for your application.
What is Common App?
It's awesome because it saves you a lot of time by allowing you to answer questions once that are then transferred to multiple applications.
But, it can be a bit confusing to use at first.
Therefore, since you're on summer vacation, now is the perfect time to start learning about Common App. The tutorial below will walk you through the basics of how the system works.
*KEEP IN MIND* The application rolls over each year in July. So right now, we recommend just getting to know how Common App works - but don't go answering every question because a lot of that info won't save during the roll-over.
Things that will save during the roll-over:
Things that will NOT save during the roll-over: (AKA DON'T DO THESE UNTIL AUGUST!)
* Answers to college-specific questions
* Recommender invitations
* Forms submitted by recommenders
* Your Release Authorization and FERPA selection
* Responses to questions that have been changed or removed
If you need any help, the RCHS Counseling Team is happy to help you! :-)
^^^^^^ That youtube account has MANY tutorials to walk you through the Common App process. Check them all out! :-)
Congrats to the class of 2017! We're going to miss you!
If you are headed off to college in the fall, make sure you've done all of the things on this list:
1. Did you request to have your final transcript sent via Parchment? If you are attending a Common App school, you don't need to do this.... but make sure you've told your Counselor which school you've committed to. Your counselor will send your transcript via Common App when they are available (typically a few weeks after graduation!) <- That last bit is really important. It takes time for us to hand-check all transcripts before we release them to colleges. This is NORMAL. Seriously. Yes, you'll probably get a lot of reminders to have your final transcript sent (as long as you complete step 3 below) but it's important for you all to know that we release them as soon as we're able, provided that you request them!
2. Did you have your AP Scores sent to the college you are attending? If not, you better log into your College Board account and request that your scores are sent to your college. The RCHS Counseling Office is not responsible for sending your scores - they're yours, after all. Even if we wanted to, colleges don't want them from us. They want them directly from College Board, and only you can log in and have them sent. If you need help, we're happy to help, but we cannot do it for you.
3. Make sure you know how to log in and access your email from your college. Some colleges won't give this to you until you attend orientation. Others sending it much earlier. Either way, make sure you know what you're expected to do. This email is SO IMPORTANT. Add it to your phone so you can check it ALL THE TIME. Trust us. Plus, you may get important updates during the summer about how to access financial aid and scholarships that you may be eligible for. You wouldn't believe how often we hear from students that they missed out on some $$$$ because they haven't been checking their college email accounts.