Guidance News For Rising Seniors

Hello Rising Seniors-

You have negotiated a school year with a tremendous amount of upheaval both in terms of COVID 19, the George Floyd, Breonna Taylor (and countless others) protests and soul searching around Black Lives Matter, and negotiating physical distancing and, sometimes, social isolation. None of which would have been easy alone. We are all entering summer and looking towards the school year with a tremendous amount of uncertainty. I am thinking about you. Take care of yourselves and hang in there.

A Bit of Advice – Control What You Can

This New York Times Article is written specifically for juniors (now seniors). Control what you can!

Control what you can…

“Students can’t do anything this year about canceled tests, or how their high school is treating grades, or a missed track season,” said Hannah Wolff, the college and career-center specialist at Langley High School in Northern Virginia. “But they can get started on writing essays or compiling information for their applications. Students should concentrate on what they can still do.”

Track Changes in Admissions Requirements

Those seniors (yes, seniors) applying to four year colleges should bookmark the admissions pages of the colleges on their list. This is the best way to learn of changes in each school’s admissions requirements. Make sure you complete the interest forms online as well (this way you’ll be on each school’s email list).

Fair Test is tracking the growing list of test optional schools – Here’s a great podcast on test optional schools –

Try To Do Summer This Summer

First decompress from the school year. Just stare into space for a while…

Do something interesting this summer – get a job, write a blog or make a podcast, read, volunteer, tele-interview people in your choosen career, take a summer community college class 2nd summer semester, get to know an elder virtually and check in all summer, rebuild your back porch steps, have a ” mini-summer camp” for kids in the neighborhood, find an internship (virtual is fine) with a local professor, professional, or non-profit organization. Here’s a link to MOOCs – a huge list of college classes – FREE OF CHARGE – check it out –

Common Application COVID 19 Question

Common Application is going to have a short question related to your experience with COVID 19. Take notes or write about it, so you are ready to write about it in the fall. Doesn’t have to bare your soul, write as much as you feel comfortable.


Sign up for a fall SAT or ACT – it is still unclear if ARHS is going to offer the SAT in the building. Sign up for a nearby school, if ARHS is not listed. If you are eligible for a fee waiver, email Ms. Garrity now.

SAT – College Board –


Study –

Military Enlistment

If you are considering the military, reach out to recruiters with your parents/guardians now.

Research Community Colleges

Due to COVID 19 and the uncertainty of even the fall of 2021, I am going to strongly encourage seniors to apply to one of the local community colleges. Here’s the list, do your research:

Greenfield Community College

Holyoke Community College

Springfield Technical Community College

If you didn’t do it already, reach out to teachers from 11th grade to request recommendations before this week ends! Look back in my previous emails to find the The Student Information Form.
Virtual College Admissions Stuff
College Vine
National Association of College Admission Counselors – track admissions
Virtual College Fairs

Class of 2021 College Planning Summer Camp – July 21st-23rd

Four workshop sessions for seniors in the Class of 2021 in late July which will focus on several pieces of the College Admissons Pie!
Tuesday – July 21st – Building Your College List – Target, Reach & Likely School  9am-10:00am
Tuesday – July 21st – Missed Your Junior College Planning Meeting – Catch Up! 5pm-6pm
Overview of the college admissons process and Questions and Answers for students that didn’t sign up for a meeting. Here’s your chance!!!
Wednesday – July 22nd – Diversity on College Campuses – A Conversation 10:30 am – 11:30am
A look at Predominantly White Institutions (PWI), Historically Black College & Universities (HBCUs), & Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSi)
Wednesday – July 22nd – Common Application 9am- 10:00am
Monday – July 21st – Missed Your Junior College Planning Meeting – Catch Up! 5pm-6pm
Overview of the college admissons process and Questions and Answers
Thursday – July 23rd – College Essay and Supplements 9 am – 10:30 am
Get started, polish, what do you need to ensure that you are not stressing about your essay in the fall?
Take Good Care of Yourselves This Summer,

Deidre Cuffee-Gray

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