Senior Tidbits from Ms Ross

On the Common Application, use 229 for the size of the senior class. 

Several weeks ago we sent you a transcript worksheet at home.  Please look at it to be sure it is correct.  If there are errors, please see your counselor immediately.  If your counselor does not hear from you by this Friday, we will assume it is correct and will send your transcript as is to your colleges.  If you completed your English AP portfolio as a junior, your worksheet should show AP Portfolio complete under your English classes.  I am aware that this designation has been missing for some of you who earned it and have been reporting it as I notice it.  Please make a point of checking your own worksheet for accuracy.

Later this week, we will send letters to those of you whose MCAS scores may qualify you to receive a Massachusetts tuition discount via the Stanley Z. Koplik Certificate of Mastery.  Those of you who receive the letter will need to present an application and additional qualifying materials to Mrs. Tracy by late April.  25% of you will also receive a John and Abigail Adams scholarship letter.  This scholarship is an automatic tuition waiver.  If you do not get an Adams, but do get the Koplik letter, you will need to present additional evidence of Mastery in order to get a tuition waiver.  Read the Koplik letter carefully so you will know what to do.

FAFSA Night is next Thursday, October 25.  Come for less than two hours and leave with your FAFSA completed!  Look at previous Tidbits for the list of materials to bring.  Register in advance at  Also, get your FSAID (electronic signature) at before you come.  Tell your parent(s) to get one too!

Think about going to the Majors Fair at UMass, in the Mullins Center Concourse, on Wednesday, October 24 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.  You will learn about different areas of study available at UMass.  Many of these majors are available at other colleges too. UMass is a good place to find out about different fields.

You have the right to decide which, if any, SAT/ACT scores you want to put on your college applications.  Remember that some colleges do not require scores at all.  Colleges that do require scores may accept self-reported scores or they may need official copies of all scores before making decisions about you.  Be sure you know which colleges will require official scores.  If all of your test results will not be available before you submit your application, be sure to list the dates of the tests you would like them to consider.  They will wait to make judgments about your candidacy until they have all scores you have told them to expect.

On the Common Application, you must complete the Education section, complete the FERPA waiver, and put at least one college onto your college list before you can go into Naviance (Colleges I’m Applying To) to set up the match with the CA.   You will need to enter your CA e-mail address into Naviance.  When this is successfully completed, your documents will be able to transfer correctly from Naviance to your Common Application colleges.  If you do not match on the first try, check to see that your last name and date of birth match exactly in these two programs.  Be careful with spaces and hyphens.  See a Guidance secretary if you cannot achieve the match.

Some colleges will only accept one recommendation.  You must learn if this is the case at any of your colleges.  If you can only send one, you must indicate which one in Naviance under recommendations.  If you already told Naviance to send all recommendations to all colleges, you will need to change it ASAP.  See Mrs. Tracy in 309 or Miss Garrity in Guidance if you need help with this.

If you hope to invite a third, outside, recommender (someone who does not work at ARHS), through the Common Application, be aware that some colleges will allow that; some will not!  You can provide addressed, stamped envelopes for any college that will not accept the recommendation electronically.  Please DO NOT request any ARHS Arts teachers through the Common Application.

You should NOT wait until deadlines to try to submit your applications. Remember the first four letters of the word DEADline!  Assume that you might possibly have submission problems and be pleased if you don’t.  The Common App website and Naviance both have had problems on extreme high volume days!

Be sure to look at your essays after pasting them into the Common Application.  Formatting is sometimes lost.  If this happens in your case, you will need to make some repairs before submitting.

Essay day will be Thursday, November 8, during school hours.  If you would like some help with your essay, sign up with Miss Garrity.  Take advantage of this opportunity to get feedback from a trained Amherst College student.

If you want help completing your FAFSA on Sunday, November 4, you can attend a FAFSA Day workshop at either Holyoke Community College or Turners Falls HS.  At 1:00 p.m.  Register in advance at

If I have not met with you this year, please complete the Senior Questionnaire and make your appointments to meet with me.


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