books on shelf

College Counseling

FAQs

College Visits

What are some college visit tips?

Best Time to Make a Visit

If you can, visit when campus in in full swing during the academic year. But if that’s not possible, a Saturday or in the summer will still give you the campus flavor.

Official tour or hang out?

Do both. An organized tour will allow you to understand process, logistics, dates and deadlines and all the nitty gritty. Hanging out helps you get a feel for the environment.

On the tour and beyond

Ask questions that aren’t about facts and figures you can find on their website. And don’t judge a university by just one tour guide or the weather on the day. After your visit is over, everybody should compare notes. Mom may have noticed something that perhaps the student didn’t. Remember, you can always visit again.
These insights are from Mitch Warren, Purdue Director of Admission, 2016

Bishop Chatard and College Visits

Visit the BCHS Senior Page . On that page, go to the ‘College’ tab to find out what you need to do if the visit is during school hours.

College Fairs: when are they, do you have any tips?

College Fairs are events where students of any grade can get acquainted with the multiple colleges at the fair in one evening or afternoon. BCHS  posts College Fair information we receive during the school year.

View list of 2019/2020 College Fairs

We recommend this article from the University of Colorado for tips and top questions to ask at a college fair.

View College Fair Tips

 


SAT/Act Testing

How do I log in to my College Board account?

If you are from the class of 2021 or 2022, you can use these instructions to log in:

Your username is your BCHS ID number and your first and last initial, lowercase.

Your password is your BCHS password and !

(If your password doesn’t have an upper and a lower case letter already, use your first initial)

If you reset your password at any point, you can try reset my password or call 866-315-6068 for help.

Can I send just one SAT or ACT score?

For the SAT, you can use Score Choice to send only certain scores to certain schools.
For the ACT, you have to specify which individual score you are sending when you order, so it is all customized.
For most institutions, we recommend sending all of your scores. Their computer systems will pull your high sub scores out automatically and they won’t look back to the lower scores. At extremely highly selective institutions, it is often better to send your highest scores only.

Can I get a waiver for SAT/ACT testing or college application fees?

Students who qualify for free/reduced school meals are encouraged to contact BCHS College Counselor Pam Nixon (pnixon@bishopchatard.org) for information about SAT/ACT test fee waivers and possible college application waivers.

When should I take the SAT/ACT?

Bishop Chatard recommends that as  junior you should aim to take the test in the spring. If you are taking it as a senior, you should choose an early fall date for the SAT or ACT.

Sami Katra, BCHS Class of 2016, offers her experience:

“My struggle began with the fact that I took my SAT later than everybody else so I had a lot of stress with all the deadlines for college. Because of a first score, it got to the point where I had other requirements from Marian in order to be accepted.
I took the test again and the scores were a lot better but I had to write a paper to Marian explaining why they should accept me and explain why my scores came in late. I even thought of other options rather than college. But I knew college was my path. So, some advice: in order to know what school you are going to for sure and get accepted by Christmas, take the SAT or ACT early! Take the test as many times as you can! The more times you take the test, the better scores you get and the easier it is to get in to college.”


Careers

What can I do as a Freshman to explore careers?

  1. Use the personality assessment in Naviance Student to evaluate your in interests
  2. Participate in grade-level meetings to explore colleges & careers
  3. Create a high school course map using academic planning tools
  4. Use the BCHS College Counseling career links to explore careers you are interested in.

What can I do as a Sophomore to explore careers?

  1. Keep an eye out for BCHS Alumni Career Lunches, where you can sign up to listen to recent BCHS alumni talk about their profession and path to that work.
  2. Login to Naviance Student and complete the career interest profile.
  3. Create a high school schedule focused on your college goals

What can I do as a Junior to explore careers?

  1. Continue to use the Naviance Student platform to match colleges to individual interests
  2. Schedule Just for Juniors meeting with BC college counselor
  3. Attend ‘College Reps’ meetings, where you can meet with admission representatives from colleges
  4. Gain college exposure at these on-site college presentations
  5. Begin college visits
  6. Access college database to compare admissions data to individual GPA and test scores

What can I do as a Senior to explore careers?

  1. Review your interests and career profile from Naviance Student
  2. Shadow someone in the profession that you are interested in
  3. Continue visits with College Reps at BCHS

College Search

Why should I attend a College Rep Session?

  1. Many colleges track students’ demonstrated interest. (If a student shows up at the high school meeting, it goes into the application record and can help chances of admission or scholarship. It is a reality of the admissions process these days.)
  2. This is a great chance for you to find out whether schools are a good fit for your academic statistics (GPA and test scores) and desired majors.
  3. These meetings help to make you aware of deadlines, special scholarships, and important information regarding your applications to your top choice schools.
  4. You will be able to expand your horizons to hear about some schools that you may not have previously considered.
  5. View the College Rep Calendar

College Fairs: when are they, do you have any tips?

College Fairs are events where students of any grade can get acquainted with the multiple colleges at the fair in one evening or afternoon. BCHS  posts College Fair information we receive during the school year.

View list of 2019/2020 College Fairs

We recommend this article from the University of Colorado for tips and top questions to ask at a college fair.

View College Fair Tips

 

How can I start thinking about which college to attend?

Here is one suggestion from Ruth P., from Louisville U.:

I made 4 lists that were the backbone of my search. The first contained my extracurricular activities, skills/abilities, leadership roles, community service, honors/talents and awards. The second held potential effective recommenders. The third consisted of scholarships that I qualified to apply for, based on my ACT score and GPA. And, finally, the fourth, a list of colleges that fit my intended major.

I turned the first list into a resume, the second into actual recommendations, the third into applications that I filled and submitted, and the fourth into colleges that I applied to, based on my intended program/major.

After getting accepted into my college choices, I then made the decisions considering “location, tuition, advantage of my intended program/major, involvement opportunities.”

Taylor Keasey, BCHS Class of 2016, offers her advice:

  1. Take the SAT/ACT early, beginning in your junior year, and often, to get the best score.
  2. Make sure you let your parents help you. This is a new beginning for them too. They are there to help and are more than willing.
  3. Take a deep breath and take it one thing at a time.

College Applications

What is FAFSA?

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is nationwide application that calculates the EFC (Expected Family Contribution), that is used to determine federal, state and institutional financial aid and sometimes scholarships for a college student.

Application generally opens around October 1 with early submission recommended by December 1. Students must submit the FAFSA application in order to be eligible for both Indiana and Federal Student Aid.

Do I need to send my AP scores to colleges when I apply?

You do not need to send AP scores during the application process. Colleges typically use AP scores for placing you in classes and awarding credit, not for admissions. When you take your senior year AP tests, you can enter the code for the school you will attend and they will automatically send them all of your scores, so you won’t have to order them. Another option is to order them to one school only after you decide where you will enroll. You do need to send your SAT and ACT scores directly from the testing service in order for your application to be considered complete, however. It takes approximately 3 weeks for scores to be received.

Can I get a waiver for SAT/ACT testing or college application fees?

Students who qualify for free/reduced school meals are encouraged to contact BCHS College Counselor Pam Nixon (pnixon@bishopchatard.org) for information about SAT/ACT test fee waivers and possible college application waivers.


Scholarships/Financial Aid

What is FAFSA?

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is nationwide application that calculates the EFC (Expected Family Contribution), that is used to determine federal, state and institutional financial aid and sometimes scholarships for a college student.

Application generally opens around October 1 with early submission recommended by December 1. Students must submit the FAFSA application in order to be eligible for both Indiana and Federal Student Aid.

How do I know my household size on the FAFSA or scholarship application?

Your household size is the number of people living in your home who are dependent on the primary unit for 51% or more of their finances. For example, if your grandparent lives with you but does not have an income, he or she would count in the household size. If your brother is employed and moves home while he is building his first house, he does not count in your household size. If your parents are not involved in financially supporting you and you live with another family member who does not have legal guardianship, but who does support you financially, you will want to complete a dependency verification form. If your parents/guardians cover your living costs but cannot contribute to financially supporting the costs of your tuition and living expenses, you are not an independent student. Their income must be counted on the FAFSA; your EFC should reflect your financial need. If the parents are separated, but live together, they must select “Married or Remarried” when filing the FAFSA. If the student’s legal parents are divorced or separated, and do not live together, the parent with whom the student primarily lives (often called the custodial parent) should complete the FAFSA. Additional information is available at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/dependency. The best resources for these questions are fafsa.ed.gov, INvestEd, and the financial aid offices at the colleges and universities to which you are applying. They are experts and are very willing to help.


Choosing a Major

How do I begin to think about a major in college?

College Board has a wonderful article they call the Ultimate Guide on Choosing a College Major. It is a good place to start. They suggest

  1. Think about what you like
  2. Consider your career goals
  3. Talk to advisors and professionals

Read the CollegeBoard article


Next Steps

How can I get quick information about college items?

A really good way to view upcoming and new items is to follow Mrs. Nixon’s and the College Counseling twitter, @BCHSCollege. Mrs. Nixon tweets on many topics, some not found on this website. Of course, checking this website will help you find college, career and scholarship topics too, many not found in her tweets.

I’m struggling in school now. Where can I find help?

First: Congratulations on looking here to see how to find out how you can get help!

Listed are some of the options at the school that are available to all:

  1. School Counselors and the BCHS Social Worker Becky Wilde are there to help you in whatever needs you have. Stop by the BCHS Counseling Office or see their contact information at the bottom of this page.
  2. Tutoring Opportunities: Visit the main website to see the current opportunities for tutoring or other help.

Stressed?
It’s inevitable that we all experience stress in our daily lives. Some stress is actually good for us but too much stress can be harmful. Check out the special edition School Counseling Newsletter specifically addressing stress and how to effectively manage it.

Inside you will learn about…

•Tips for staying healthy
•How to create a stress plan
•Who you can talk to if you are stressed
•Apps to help you identify and manage your stress/anxiety
•Deep breathing exercises
•And more!

Read the Newsletter

What can I do to get a good start at college?

John Michael Mason, BCHS Class of 2016, offers this advice:

  1. Get into the habit of checking your emails, during the summer.
  2. Try to get the earliest orientation date possible so that you can get the best choice of classes before they fill up.
  3. When you arrive on campus, be careful, especially before school starts, with going to parties, and manage your time properly.
  4. Spend a few hours each day studying to retain the information learned in class. College is not like high school. You apply what you learn to real life situations through problem solving and critical thinking. The critical thinking aspect is something to look forward to because thinking grades matter will take away the motivation to learn.
  5. Get involved in a few clubs, but do not get too involved because studying is the number 1 priority.
  6. If you go to office hours for your struggling classes every week, you will be more likely to succeed than those who do not.
  7. If you want a job or internship, go to career fairs.
  8. Build connections, make friends, and have fun because with being your own boss, there is a lot to enjoy and learn from the experience.

Sami Katra, BCHS Class of 2016, offers her experience:

  1. Do what is best for you! Give yourself a balanced schedule and take care of yourself and you will be fine. Be healthy, sleep when you can, take a break when need to, and take advantage of the small amounts of free time. Meet new people, love your friends, and let God do the rest.
  2. Don’t be afraid to keep in touch with your high school friends and don’t be afraid to come home. Your parents will miss you and love to see you home, but make sure you get the college experience, you won’t regret it.
  3. So, do your best and be thankful for the life you have and those around you. Live the 4th and Go Trojans!

Leadership & Enrichment

What is the difference between an enrichment activity and a leadership activity?

Enrichment activities are programs available that will introduce you to a profession or skill, or boost your academic skills in an area you need help or an area you’d like to explore.

Leadership activities often involve taking a leadership role in an organized activity or learning how to become a leader. These could range from  camp leader opportunities to joining a board or committee focused on a subject.  Leadership activities are a good item to add to your college resume.

As BCHS receives these activites, we will post them on this page. If you have something in mind, contact your school counselor and she will be able to help you find a program.

Should I consider a summer program?

BCHS receives an amazing number of summer program information from colleges and other organizations.  These programs may revolve around a career or field of study and are also a good way to explore a college you might be interested in.  These often have a cost, but some can be found that are not so expensive.

If you have a specific interest, contact the BCHS school counselors to see what information they have.  Or, look on the college website to find what your college of interest is offering.

Registration for these programs often opens in early spring, with late spring deadlines, so plan ahead.