News for Class of 2021

Class of 2021,

First of all, I want to acknowledge that we are in the midst of a pandemic, Distance Learning 2.0, physical distancing, and political and personal unrest in this nation are a lot weighing on our collective psyches. These are stressful times, and it super important to take care of your emotonal selves.

No doubt, you have gotten communication from The College Board regarding in home testing and strong encouragement to register for summer and fall testing. This with the message encouraging “flexibilty” from college admission offices. My guess this that for some you who either want to take the SAT or ACT again, or for the first time, that this nerve-wracking and I wanted to give a quick bit of information to take it down a notch.

Test – Optional 

Colleges are aware that there are fewer testing dates. Many have determined to become test-optional, a few (Hampshire College and the University of California System []) have determined not to use standardized testing for their admission process. An organization Fair Test does an incredible job of tracking this ( Additionally, I think it is a great idea to bookmark the schools you are interested in, sign up on admissions information pages to get up to the minute information.

There are many, many, selective colleges that are test-optional.

Holistic Admissions 

Many schools that continue to use standardized tests for their admissions process are clear that the SAT/ACT is one piece of their admissions pie. Meaning that your scores are not the only piece or the main piece of your application. It one Saturday for around two hours and fourty five minutes. Some of us are great test takers, some of us are far better students, and community members, who have great “college ready” skills. (

Score Driven Admissions

It must be said that some schools continue to require the SAT/ACT and it drives a good portion of the admissions process.

Essay or Writing Portion for SAT and ACT

Fewer and fewrer schools require the essay or writing portion of the SAT or ACT. It is a good idea to look on admissions pages for the requirment for the schools that you aspire to. Common Application’s GRID is a good place to start as well (

Registering for the SAT or ACT

You’ll need an account to register for the test and here are links and the published test dates for both organizations.



Fee Waivers 

If you qualify for Free/Reduced Lunch you are eligible for a fee waiver. Becuase we are not in the building, you can request a fee waiver from Crystal Garrity, our wonderful Guidance Secretary. She will check your eligibility and provide you with a code to register. Her email is (

If you have additional questions. please do not hesitate to contact me by email ( This college admisson process is complicated already, COVID 19 has made it even more complicated, and I am here to support you.

Junior College Planning Meeting

If you have not scheduled your Junior College Planning Meeting, please use this link to do so. I have remaining time this month to meet with you. Even if you are unsure as to whether you’ll apply to college in fall, I’d like to meet with you think about planning for Life After ARHS.

Your Friendly Neighborhood College and Career Counselor, Deidre Cuffee-Gray

phone - 413 362-1720
email -
(email is best these days...)

This entry was posted in Parent News. Bookmark the permalink.