Mrs. Nixon and students discussing college information

College Counseling

School Counseling Newsletter

March College Counseling Newsletter for Juniors

03/17/2020

“Help! My college search season is here and everything is closed. What should I do?”

  • Research colleges and universities in SCOIR. You registered your account on Friday, 2/28 during school. You can access it by clicking on the Google icon and signing in with your BCHS Google account. If you have trouble, please contact Mrs. Nixon.
  • Colleges want to know what is important to you and the things about which you are passionate. With a little extra time on your hands, ask people in your desired career if they are willing to do a phone interview so you can learn more about the profession. Line up summer or fall job shadowing opportunities. 
  • Leadership opportunities can look different during a time of a health pandemic. How can you replace “club treasurer” or “team captain” with “fundraising organizer” or “volunteer coordinator” during this time? 
  • Get the best grades you can. This is a huge opportunity to prove yourself as a student who can ask questions, show grit, and overcome adversity. Rising to the challenge when other students take the easy way out is a way to separate yourself from the crowd. 
  • If you love your teachers and love your family but would love an outside tutor even more, a couple of our local tutors are offering virtual sessions. Contact Bender and Rocap or Huntington Learning Center for more info.

What is going to happen with the ACT and SAT? 

  • The short answer is that we don’t know yet. Both testing companies released announcements on 3/16 (ACT, SAT) and have canceled test dates. It may be helpful to check the late summer and fall dates to schedule the one that currently works best for you. 
  • It may be likely that additional schools will adopt a test optional policy for your class. This site has a list that is consistently updated (sortable by Name and by State; 18 schools in Indiana are currently test optional).
  • It would still be a great idea to study for the SAT and ACT while you are out of school. For most schools, scholarships are still tied to scores. 

Next Steps

  • Complete the 2021 College Autobiography. These are a big help during your application process and many teachers require a copy of your answers before writing a letter of recommendation. Please complete it as soon as possible.
  • Let Mrs. Nixon help you! Set up a virtual meeting to ask college-related questions.

March Senior College Counseling Newsletter

03/16/2020

Seniors, We miss you. We are thinking of you as so many things on your busy senior schedules are postponed or canceled. Don’t forget that we also think you are the greatest senior class in the history of the world and will rise to the challenge. Here are some things to keep in mind as you move forward: 

  • Admission Decisions. With many campus offices closed or working remotely, please check your email and your online admission portal from each school more frequently.
  • Campus Visits. Many campuses are closed to visitors, but some are still hosting small tours. Please contact each school directly. Don’t forget to use their campus websites for virtual tours. You can also access SCOIR (set up an account with your BCHS ID number and login through your BCHS Google account) to watch video tours. Please email me if you need help accessing these. 
  • Enrollment Deposits. Many schools have enrollment deposit deadlines of May 1. Several schools have extended their deadlines. Please check with your colleges to see what their policies are. If you need an extension, contact the admission office and ask for an extension on the enrollment deposit. If your family is making less money during this time and you are worried that you will be unable to pay the deposit, you could also write a letter asking them to waive the enrollment deposit fee or offer a longer extension. 
  • Finalize Financial Aid. If you need help with the FAFSA, check out InvestED or use the FAFSA help line. I also highly recommend calling the financial aid office at the college or university you plan to attend; they are experts.
  • Transcript requests. Please request to have your transcripts sent through Parchment.com. Third quarter report cards will be available by this Thursday, 3/19; please email me if you need a college to receive it.
  • Withdraw your other applications. If you are no longer interested in a school, email them to ask to withdraw your application. Also, unsubscribe from their emails. This will save you time, prevent them from calling you with reminders, and limit emails in your inbox. 
  • Communicate with BCHS. As you decide what your plans are for next year, please complete the 2020 Exit Form. Please send us photos of your admission and scholarship letters or screenshots of your portals with information about all of your admission decisions and financial aid summaries. You can send these to pnixon@bishopchatard.org or aalerding@bishopchatard.org
  • Apply. It’s not too late to apply to many colleges and universities. Ask me for help in completing applications. If you would like to add Ivy Tech or Vincennes to your list, their applications are very easy to complete. Remember, if you are considering a trade school, I can help with that as well. The contact for our US Army recruiter, SSG Raines, is (317) 468-5192
  • Senior Summa candidates: Please check your email from Mrs. Nixon.
  • AP Tests. More information will be coming in the next week from College Board regarding a potential plan for AP Tests.
  • Ask Your Counselor. I’m here for you! Sign up for one of these times and we can have a meeting via phone or video. 
  • Take care of yourself! If you rely on school for food, several sites in the area have meals available. This link provides a list of places to pick up grab and go lunches and/or breakfasts. Scroll down to Indianapolis Public Schools under Marion County or look for the area closest to you. 

Juniors: PSAT info — your next steps

01/09/2020

Class of 2021: Your PSAT scores were released online Dec. 10, 2019. Login at https://studentscores.collegeboard.org/home to see the scores, test performance feedback and more. Take advantage of these opportunities:

  1. Get free, personalized SAT practice. Your PSAT score unlocks free, personalized practice through Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy®. Visit www.khanacademy.org/sat create an account, and link your College Board and Khan Academy accounts for a plan based on your test results.
  2. Receive AP course recommendations.: Your PSAT score report identifies AP® courses that are the best match for you. AP can give you an edge in the admission process and earn you college credit while in high school, which saves time and money in college. https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/what-is-ap.
  3. College Board National Recognition Programs. These are academic honors that can be included on college applications. They’re not scholarships, but colleges use them to identify academically exceptional students. Learn more at https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/psat-nmsqt-psat-10/scholarships-and-recognition/recognition-programs.

Other Career/Testing Opportunities

    1. Get started on BigFuture. Begin your College Search using BigFutureTM. Explore colleges, majors, and careers based on your interests. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/
    2. College Board Opportunity Scholarships: Juniors (class of 2021) are eligible to earn money for college by practicing for the SAT and improving their score through the https://opportunity.collegeboard.org/. Practice for six hours on Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy® to qualify and earn one entry in the monthly drawing of $1000 scholarship. Earn an entry for each additional hour you practice, up to a total of 20 hours. Details.

Register for the SAT
Take the next step toward college by registering. Juniors (class of 2021) should register for a March or May SAT (both offered at BCHS), and select up to four colleges to receive scores for free (COLLEGES REQUIRE SCORES DIRECTLY FROM THE COLLEGE BOARD AND THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO SEND THEM FOR FREE). https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register.

November Junior College Counseling Newsletter

11/06/2019
  • Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for the Junior Parent College Information Night session last week! View the Progress Report Night College Information Night Slides 2019 .
  • Just for Juniors meetings will take place November – June in order to talk through the college search and application process. Students are able to attend with or without their parents; parents are also able to attend with or without their students. Sign up here; dates will be added as these fill up.
  • Remember that Khan Academy and ACT Academy provide free SAT and ACT practice!
  • Check out Raise Me as you start to think about your scholarship search.
  • Students can log in to Naviance by entering their student ID number (do not put @bishopchatard.org) and their regular school password.