Welcome Back! Registration for college planning workshops coming up! College Planning Resources

Welcome back to one of the most unusual senior years on the planet!

I’m here to support you with your college and career planning needs. In other words, Life After ARHS needs.

This fall, I’m excited to offer students the chance to join a one-month college essay and application course delivered by Ethan Sawyer, AKA the College Essay Guy. Some of you took advantage of this opportunity in the spring. Others attended the College Planning Summer Camp with me, I’m here to offer you a number of opportunities to get going on some of your “pieces of the Admissions Pie,” before school gets underway. You can do both and and, but it is not at all necessary. Basically, you have two ways (well, more than two, really!) to move forward on this process on the early side of the school year. Maintaining (reestablishing…) your mental health and well-being is what is most important. Remember seniors all over the world are experiencing similar levels of disruption to their lives. Less stress good people!

Coming Up – Senior College Planning Workshops Prior to the Start of School;

Virtual Sessions with College Vine;

Diversity Fly-Ins for underrepresented students (BIPOC and women in STEM);

Another Word about SAT and ACT (brief);

NACAC COVID 19 College Admissions Database;

College Essay Guy Workshops – Admissions Process Soup to Nuts;

Senior Life After ARHS Meetings.


Senior College Planning Workshops With You Friendly Neighborhood College and Career Counselor

A number of college planning workshops to get you going before the school year picks up. Use the link to register (note that some of these dates and times are subject to change, because of my professional development schedule for ARHS). College essay, Naviance and Building Your List, Common Application, Financial Aid, Diversity and HBCUs, Q&A Session, and Athletes and the College Planning Process. I am offering morning and afternoon sessions to accommodate you.  These are student focused, know that sessions for the adults in your lives (bossing you around…) are coming. If they boss you around and tell you sign up for these workshops, I’m pretty much okay with that! Please sign up 24 hours prior to the workshop session time.

Common Application Workshop Tuesday, September 1 ⋅9:00 – 10:30am 

College Essay 101 Tuesday, September 1 ⋅3:30 – 5:00pm

ARHS Athletes and Planning for the Future Wednesday, September 2⋅12:00 – 1:00pm


Naviance! Yay!: Building a List & Researching Schools Thursday, September 3⋅9:00 – 10:30am

College Planning Drop-In Q&A Tuesday, September 8⋅12:00 – 1:00pm

Paying for College & Financial Aid Tuesday, September 8⋅3:30 – 5:00pm

College Essay 101 – Brainstorm and Get Started Wednesday, September 9⋅9:00 – 10:30am

Naviance! Yay!: Building a List & Researching Schools Thursday, September 10⋅3:30 – 5:00pm


Kamala Harris Went to an HBCU: Diversity on College Campuses Monday, September 14⋅12:00 – 1:00pm

Common Application Workshop Monday, September 14⋅3:30 – 5:00pm 



Check these out – great way to explore colleges and universities, and/or get support on pieces of the college planning process.


Students of color and women in STEM have an opportunity to participate in college information sessions (on campus or virtually). A few deadlines are coming up, If you fit the criteria, consider applying for one or two of these weekend sessions.


ANOTHER WORD ABOUT SAT & ACT (BRIEF) https://www.fairtest.org/university/optional

Do not travel to Alaska to take the SAT!!! Travel to Alaska for hiking or fishing, that is it…

The majority of colleges and universities are TEST OPTIONAL this year, and many colleges that aren’t are adamant that seniors will not be penalized for not having had an opportunity to take one of those exams. This is a bit earth shattering news, but you just have to believe it. Some schools are “test flexible” meaning they may require a graded essay or report in the place of the SAT or ACT. It remains unclear what this reality means for merit scholarships, but the best approach is to contact an admissions office and ask them.

Fair Test is a great listing of schools that are test-optional. Check the admissions pages of the schools you are interested in to verify.

ARHS is not currently offering the SAT – we are in the midst of a pandemic and college admissions offices get that.



The National Association of College Admissions Counselors has created a great tool to help you find information regarding admissions. Check it out.


Dowload Version https://awesome-table.com/-M37Rt2oR2WPd-29JOBQ/view


ARHS students can join The College Essay Guy’s (you know I looove him!) fall course from September 12th-October 4th at no cost.

Quick info on College Essay Guy:

Ethan wrote the current bestselling book on the personal statement, College Essay Essentials

He’s well-regarded in the college admissions field and is considered one of the go-to resources on college essays

His website has hundreds of free resources for applying to college

He has a cool podcast!

This syllabus maps out what Ethan will cover during the courses.

Can’t make the live course dates? You’ll have access to the courses for a year, and recordings of the sessions will be available to all who sign up. 

Here’s how to register for the course:

A.) Go to this registration page.

B.) Enter your name and email.

C.) You’re done! Put the date and time in your calendar, and keep an eye on your email with next steps and instructions for the assignments to complete and how to join the live webinar.

The live course sessions will be held on Saturdays and Sundays starting September 12th at 2-3:30pm Pacific Time (5-6:30pm Eastern)


Coming soon. You will be able to set an appointment for you and the adults in your life to meet and discuss your plans for life after ARHS. Regardless of your plans, I would really like to meet with you to support you in planning for life after ARHS. A parent or guardian will be expected to attend with you. The process will be much like it was this spring, we’ll have an online sign up. I’m hoping you will have done some introspection and research prior to our meeting. You’ll be expected to attend a 30 minute overview session, prior to signing up. We’ll start the meetings the last week in September. If you have burning questions, attend the College Planning Q & A on September 8th. Stay tuned.

 Thinking of you all,

Your Friendly Neighborhood College and Career Advisor – Deidre Cuffee-Gray

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