College Planning

 
College Search
 
With over 3,800 colleges in the United States, how do you pick the right college for you? RESEARCH!!!  Selecting a college can be a daunting task if you have not thought about some basic issues that can lead to a good fit for you.  This web site is designed to lead you to a variety of websites that will help you narrow your choices and get you started on the college planning process.  The quality of work that you put into your college search will ease the anxiety of choosing the right college for you. This process requires a great deal of self-reflection.  If you don't know what you want for yourself, how would you know what school will offer it?  Every college has a unique personality, the quest is to find the one that matches yours! 
Begin to do some reflection on yourself as a potential student by gathering information about your academic record, your extracurricular activities, and anything else you would want a college to know about you. Students can create a resume of extracurricular activities in their Naviance account. You can also view your GPA and SAT scores.

When you have done your research and gathered some facts, you will then analyze all of the information and compile a list of information on your top 5 or 6 college choices.

Students should utilize their Naviance account and the numerous features it offers to assist with their college search. Naviance enables students to compare their GPA and rank to each colleges’ average requirements AND students who were admitted to those colleges from PHS. Students are able to create a list of their favorite colleges and personalize their search.
Some things to keep in mind:
  • You will spending at least four years of your life at this school!  Be very selective.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are your values?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • What do you want to achieve with you college degree?
  • Do you meet the admissions requirements at this time?
  • What would you need to do to improve your chances of admission?

Use the following links to narrow your college choices and give you valuable information:
http://www.collegeboard.com 
http://www.educationplanner.com
http://www.aboutcollege.com/
http://www.petersons.com/ugchannel/
http://www.princetonreview.com/home.asp

Additional Resources for Students with Disabilities:
http://www.ldonline.org/
http://www.schwablearning.org/
http://www.educationplanner.com/education_planner/selecting_article.asp?sponsor=2859&articleName=Students_with_Disabilities

Make sure you gather information on each of these categories:

  1. Location - region of the country - where would I like my college to be?
  2. Setting - rural, urban, suburban - what setting would be best for me?
  3. Size - List some advantages and disadvantages of a small / big school
  4. Selectivity - how hard is it to get in - what are my chances?
  5. Majors - does it have what I'm interested in?
  6. Cost - Tuition/Room and Board/Fees - (don't eliminate any schools based on cost at this point!)
  7. Support for learning - tutoring/course substitution/remediation

College Admission Tests

PSAT

  • The Preliminary SAT or practice SAT is only offered once a year in October.
  • It will be given at PHS on October 20,2012
  • Register in the Guidance office.  Registration runs from September 21st through October 7th.
  • Student registrations are on a first come first sever basis.  Please register early!
  • All fees are nonrefundable.
  • Cost is $20
  • PSAT scores are intended to help students get a baseline of how they may score on the SAT.  It is HIGHLY recommended that all college bound Juniors take the PSAT.  This test is also the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test for Juniors.

ACT

  • The ACT has four sections: English, Reading, Math and Science
  • The writing section is optional but highly recommended if you are considering a selective college
  • Composite scores range from 1-36
  • Fee: $35 + optional $15.50 for writing section
  • The ACT will be offered at Pennridge High School on December 8, 2012 and April 13, 2013.
  • To get more information and/or to register online go to:   www.act.org

SAT

  • The SAT reasoning test has 3 sections: Critical Reading, Math and Writing
  • Scores range from 200-800 on each section
  • Optional Subject Tests (SAT II) are highly recommended if you are considering a selective college – check your college admissions requirements.
  • Reasoning Test: $50         Subject Test: $23 each subject test
  • You can take up to 3 subject tests in one test session. 
  • You can not take the SAT reasoning AND subject tests on the same day.
  • To get more information and/or register online go to: www.collegeboard.com
    Pennridge High School Code: 393-195
    Pennridge High School Test Center Code: 39-496
  • The SAT is being offered at Pennridge High School on November 3, 2012 and May 4, 2013.
College Fair
There will be one College Fair held at Pennridge High School in the Fall.  Representatives from over 140 schools attend.  This is an excellent opportunity for students to speak directly with representatives from colleges they are interested in or gather information about other colleges.  If you are considering matriculating at a college, it is highly recommended that you attend this fair. 

Monday, October 22nd at 9:45 A.M.

Students who plan to attend either of the college fairs need to sign up in the Guidance Office. A sign up sheet will be available a week prior to the fairs. Students who miss a class to attend the college fair are responsible for any work that is missed. It is the student’s responsibility to inform their teacher that they will not be in class and to collect their work.
 
Financial Aid Information

The financial aid process can be overwhelming to many families. Since counselors are not privy to the unique financial situation of each student, we are unable to assist you with the financial aid process. It is highly recommended that you attend our Financial Aid Night on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 6:30pm in the auditorium. A financial advisor will walk you through the financial aid process. He will explain what forms must be completed and what documents you will need. This is a free seminar but extremely valuable!

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form as soon after January 1st (of your senior year) as possible:
http://www.fafsa.ed.gov

Some schools also require a CSS profile.  Apply online at:
http://www.collegeboard.com/profile

Contact the Financial Aid Officer at the college you plan to attend.
Search the web and the Guidance Department for scholarships that you may qualify for. Some helpful sites:     
Fin Aid
Financial Aid Facts
PHEAA
CSS Profile
College is Possible
Nat'l Assoc of Student Fin Aid Admin
 

NCAA

Student athletes should talk to their coaches about the possibility of playing Division 1 or 2 sports at the collegiate level.

All prospective student athletes must register with NCAA Clearinghouse.


Students will also need to print out transcript request forms from the web site and submit them to the Guidance Department.