Seniors, have you received your financial aid award letter for the college you are planning on attending?
If so, make sure you understand the different types of aid you may be offered. The chart below explains the order in which you should accept aid. You may not have received all of the types of aid below.
If you haven't received an award letter yet, do not panic! They can take time! But you'll only receive the award letter if you have filed your FAFSA AND you've sent your FAFSA to the college. Students often forget to do that last step! If you did, log into your FAFSA account and have it sent to each college you are considering! If you need help, please see your school counselor.
If you have questions about your financial aid award letter, be sure to see your school counselor! We can help you interpret your financial aid package and discuss options you have.
We recommend that Juniors consider taking the SAT and/or ACT beginning in the spring. This is the ideal time, as it allows juniors to retake the exams later on in Junior year or during the beginning of their senior year to increase their scores. Please do not wait until Senior year to take your first test!!
We wanted to remind you about some study resources available to help you prepare for the SAT and ACT.
Click the button below to view a full-length ACT practice test (using retired questions from previous ACT administrations. The manual also contains tips for preparing for the test and what to expect on test day.
The SAT is changing beginning in March! To help prepare for the next SAT, the button below contains a link to Khan Academy, which is offering a ton of preparation resources for the new SAT.
Do you want more information about how the SAT is changing? Click here to view the presentation we gave to students and their families at the beginning of this school year. You can also click here to view information directly from the College Board website.
Upcoming Test Dates
The remaining 2015-16 test dates and registration deadlines for the ACT are:
The remaining 2015-16 test dates and registration deadlines for the SAT are:
* There will be no SAT Subject Tests on the March 5th test date
Ready to Register for the SAT and/or ACT?
Ready to sign up? There are a few things you need to know about. First, registration is NOT conducted through the School Counseling Office. Students/Families are responsible for completing the registration online through the ACT and SAT websites respectively. School Counselors are happy to assist students with questions about registration, but they do NOT sign up through our office. Click the buttons below to visit the ACT and SAT registration websites.
Additionally, it is important to note that seats for each administration are limited. Students are encouraged to sign up well in advance in order to reserve a spot at their desired testing location. This also helps avoid late-fees when registering past the first deadline! Please note that RCHS does not host the ACT and SAT on all available test dates. You may need to travel to another location.
Some students may be eligible to receive fee waivers to take the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, ACT, and AP Exams. If a student is eligible for a fee waiver, they should see their school counselor for a copy of a fee waiver BEFORE completing the online registration.
Make sure you read the test day requirements carefully - you must bring an approved photo ID and your test ticket (created when you register). You will not be permitted to enter the testing site without both of these pieces of information. If you have any questions, please see your school counselor well in advance of the test date!
Talent Search, Student Support Services, and Student Services at DSLCC will team up to offer two opportunities for parents and students to get help with the FAFSA.
Families are asked to bring all relevant documents (W2s, tax forms, etc.) in order to receive help with filing the FAFSA.
The PSAT was given this past October for all 10th grade students (unless a student was absent) and any 11th grade students that chose to sign up for a small fee. The PSAT given this past October matches the newly redesigned SAT that will be offered beginning March 2016.
The College Board experienced some delays and other issues due to the newly designed PSAT scoring system... therefore, if you have not received your scores yet, do not panic!
When students completed the registration for the PSAT (i.e. the bubble sheet with identification information), they were asked to provide an email address. College Board has sent an email to each student with access to their online score report.
If a student did not provide an email address, they did not receive an email. They must get an access code (which will be available in the school counseling office) to access their online score report. This access code will be available on their paper score report. The School Counseling Office has not yet received paper score reports and expects that they will be available beginning in February. School Counselors plan to provide students with their paper score reports during the individual meeting each student will have with his/her school counselor in the coming weeks to register for classes.
Mrs. Burkhardt has created a new video tutorial that provides information about the following topics:
Today we held our annual Financial Aid Workshop, presented by our colleagues with Educational Talent Search. Senior parents and their families attended to learn more about scholarships and filing a FAFSA.
Thank you to all that attended!
For those that were unable to attend the event, the presentation slides are posted below and are archived on our "Parent Presentations" page of this website (under the Resources tab).
Today, our school counseling office welcomed back many graduates from the Class of 2015 to talk about their experiences during their first years in college. Seniors were able to attend the event during 2nd period to ask their former classmates any questions about college. Our graduates talked about the importance of time management, how to stay organized during the college application process and during college, how to find scholarships and financial aid opportunities, how to get to know professors in large classes, navigating the complexities of living with a roommate, and so much more!
Thank you to the 2015 graduates that returned to help at our event and to all of the current seniors that came to the event! It was a huge success!
The Common App can be a great time-saving way to apply to college if at least a few of the colleges that you are interested in applying to are partnered with Common App. There are over 600 schools on Common App currently. To see a full list, click here. Specifically, the screen shot below shows which schools in Virginia are on the Common App:
Mrs. Burkhardt created a video to help students and families understand the Common App process and set up their accounts. To view that video, click here.
Here are some highlights from the video:
Helpful Common App Tools
The school counseling office will begin hosting Lunch Bunch this Wednesday, October 7th during 4th period (covering all lunches). Lunch bunch is designed for seniors that want feedback or assistance on their college application essays. School counsleors and students from W&L will be available to read your essays, give feedback on your essays, and answer any questions that you may have about college application essays or the college application process in general.
No appointment is needed. Just stop by the Counseling Office during your lunch period. We will be working with students in the Counseling Office Conference Room. If you have any questions about Lunch Bunch, please see Mr. Rapoza!
According to the New York Times, the White House just unveiled their new website College Scorecard, which is designed to provide students and parents with information about annual costs, graduation rates, and prospective salaries after graduation for colleges and universities across the country. This is an attempt to supplement existing ranking systems and provide families with clear,
clear, reliable data on critical questions of college affordability and value, such as whether they are likely to graduate, find middle-class jobs, and pay off their loans.
This website is very easy to navigate and contains a lot of valuable information in one place. We recommend that families utilize this website when beginning the college search process.
The following information is generally provided on each school's profile
Positive Findings For Local Universities
The following VA Colleges were listed on the site's list of 15 Colleges with High Graduation Rates Leading to High Incomes
The following VA Colleges were listed on the site's list of 23 four-year schools with low costs that lead to high incomes. These are colleges that have demonstrated high earnings and low costs for their lowest-income students
Wells Fargo Bank has posted a very helpful college-preparation guide on their website. You can check out their full article here.
Here are some important highlights.
First, did you know....
Here are some financial suggestions from recent college graduates: