Senior News

Following is news for seniors from Myra Ross, college counselor:

  1.  Remember:  The application deadline for UMass Amherst is Sunday, Jan. 15.  If you plan to apply to UMass, and most of you should, you need to put it in your Common Application and in Naviance.  Tonight would be a good time to do it!
  1.  The UMass Amherst deadline for ALL supporting documents, including all school documents and official test scores (ARHS does not send scores; they must be sent by the testing company) is FEB. 1.  BE sure that your account is complete.  Send scores officially today if you neglected to do it.  It can take 3 weeks for scores to get there at this time of year, so take care of this immediately.
  1.  Almost all other four-year colleges will have deadlines before Feb. 1.  If you have been procrastinating, you are now in the home stretch and need to finalize your list, in Naviance, and in the Common Application, if applicable.  See me, your counselor or a Guidance secretary, (in 101 or 309) if you need help getting the logistics done.
  1. About a week after you submit an application, you should begin to check the status of your applications.  If you received login codes from colleges, use them every day until you know that colleges have all of your materials.  If you provided an e-mail address to colleges, check it every day until you know that your applications are complete.  After about two weeks, if your application still seems to be incomplete, call the college to check.  Sometimes, they have materials that the computer has missed.  If materials are indeed missing, come to guidance and we will fax the missing materials for you.  Colleges lose materials all the time, so don’t worry.  Just check and then see us if you need help.  Do not be the student who did not get into a college because s/he did not know that something was missing.  Believe me, it happens!
  1. Jan. 19 is FAFSA Day at ARHS.  Come at 7 pm and leave with much of the form complete.  Register at fafsaday.org.  The website has a list of documents to bring with you.  If you will need help completing the FAFSA, please sign up this weekend.
  1. Before you can submit a FAFSA, both you and your parent(s) must create an FSAID.  This replaces the PIN, used in previous years.  Even if your parents have a PIN, they will need to get an FSAID.  It is an electronic signature and gives you access to the Federal Student Aid online system.  Go to fsaid.ed.gov to create yours.  Have your parent do it too.  It may take a few minutes, so don’t expect to do it here on FAFSA day, Jan. 19.
  1. Be sure to file your FAFSA and any other required financial aid forms, on time!  This means they must be completed before your first financial aid deadline.  If you don’t know those deadlines, you have another task for this weekend!
  1. Applying to HCC or GCC?  An HCC Admissions representative will be here on Tuesday, Feb. 7, to answer your questions and admit you.  The GCC representative will be here on Wednesday, Feb. 8.  Sign-up sheets are available in Guidance.  You must hand in your lime green release form, put the college into “Colleges I’m Applying To” in Naviance, and most importantly, complete the HCC or GCC application.  Find them at hcc.edu or gcc.mass.edu.
  1. May 1 is the official national “Candidate Reply Date” agreed to by colleges that belong to NACAC, the National Association for College Admission Counseling.  Almost all colleges and most high schools belong.  Colleges have agreed not to require non-refundable deposits prior to May 1.  If a college asks you for a deposit before May 1 to reserve housing for example, it must be refundable until May 1.  If you are unable to make a refundable deposit, contact the Admissions Office and let them know that you are unable to make the deposit and that you would like your acceptance to remain active until May 1.  Please let me know immediately if a college seems not to know your rights.
  1. Check your SAT and ACT accounts to see that all scores were indeed sent where you need them to go.
  1. The ARHS scholarship brochure and application will be e-mailed to you just before February break.  Applications for scholarships determined by the ARHS staff or scholarship committee are due on Apr. 3.  The deadline is not flexible.  TAKE THE TIME TO APPLY FOR THESE SCHOLARSHIPS!!
  1. The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (communityfoundation.org) scholarship application is now open.  The deadline is Mar. 31.  They offer many scholarships and require transcripts and the SAR (Student Aid Report) from the FAFSA.  Do not wait until the last minute to apply to the Community Foundation.  .
  1. Keep checking Naviance for scholarships to apply for.  Remember that if you need a transcript, you must request one in Naviance.  It is not sufficient to simply list a scholarship in your account.
  1. If you are informed by a financial aid office that you have been selected for verification of your FAFSA, follow the instructions provided to you ASAP.  Colleges will differ in what they want you to do.  You MUST comply with a verification request.
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