Attn Seniors- From the College and Career Counselor

Class of 2021! You have twenty one, that is 21, weeks to go. Let’s see this as auspicious! Please buckle up and move forward on whatever needs to be done. This is just an incredibly packed time (do we have to keep saying that?!!). Don’t give up, ask for support, find ways to take care of yourself, celebrate the small stuff (longer days are what I’m celebrating – I can see it!).

We are at the next big college admissions deadline. We are still hosting essay workshops, the College Planning Squad is still in effect if you need support, FAFSA needs completion, Scholarships are more than just a notion, GAP Year? We have something for you, thinking about working in the fall, make a plan! Work to do more than falling into whatever happens happens. We are here to support you being planful.

January Deadlines

January 15th is the next big deadline. If this is your first deadline, please be sure to request transcripts and recommendations in a timely manner. Teachers needs at least two weeks to write your recommendations. 

Know that if Naviance indicates that recommendations or transcripts and school materials are “processing,”’ Ms. Garrity sends closer to your deadline. If you have request at least two weeks before your deadline, you can politely reach out your teachers writing recommendations and Ms. Garrity.

Generally, colleges and universities give schools a little more leeway with school materials, but we work to rarely have to take advantage of that option.

Missing Materials for Admissions Offices (CG)

So you’ve applied to college, and you’re working hard in your classes, when suddenly you get an email from your top school saying your application is incomplete! But how? You’ve done everything right, and Miss Garrity sent your transcripts weeks ago!  Colleges are going to begin sending emails asking for your “first term grades” or “first marking period grades” or “mid-year report.” They’re gonna make it seem like you screwed up, or that Miss Garrity did. However, our first semester will not end until late January, and then it will take a few weeks for grades to be finalized, stored in our system, and updated on transcripts.

Semester One Grades and Mid-Year Reports

We expect to start sending mid-year reports sometime in mid-February. Colleges are aware of this, and know that many schools started later than usual this year. They will have your progress report grades and will be able to review your application with this information.

If you receive an email from a college and the piece missing is NOT the mid-year report but a different item, please email Miss Garrity.

FAFSA – Super Important to Complete

If you are applying for financial aid, merit aid, or using the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship for tuition, you must complete your FAFSA.

Here’s some great support – don’t miss deadlines (you can Google [“college name” & “financial aid deadline”]

Items you need to complete the FAFSA – https://www.mefa.org/blog/items-youll-need-to-complete-the-fafsa

Making Changes on Your FAFSA – https://www.mefa.org/blog/making-changes-to-your-fafsa

Hey families! Did you know you can get FAFSA assistance for free? @FAFSADayMA is hosting events to help answer your questions about this financial aid application. Do yourself a favor and register for one to learn & ask questions at masfaa.org/fafsaday #FAFSAComplete

From MEFA – 

Our upcoming FAFSA Day MA events, all virtual, offer a brief presentation on the FAFSA and leave plenty of time for live Q&A. Encourage your students to register for an upcoming event. To a student randomly chosen who attended a FAFSA Day event and completed a follow-up survey this is a $1,000 scholarship.

 Sunday, February 7th @ 2:00 p.m. en Espanol

 Thursday, February 11th @ 7:00 p.m. in English

FAFSA Challenge – Can ARHS WIN?!!! – Link

We’re offering 3 $1,000 FAFSA Day Challenge Scholarships this spring to help encourage FAFSA completion. These scholarships will be awarded – To the high school with 250 or above seniors with the highest overall FAFSA completion percentage rate through 5/1/21 (the high school will award the scholarship to one student)

Scholarship Season (CG)

It’s that time! You’ve started applying for schools, now you need to find a way to cut costs! Check out Naviance for scholarships for now, and keep an eye out for an email in February with our local scholarship book!

To request a transcript, letter of recommendation, or anything else for a scholarship, you’ll need to request it in Naviance. 

Go to the Colleges tab, then “Apply to College,” then “Manage Transcripts.” Then click on the red + button to request an “Other Transcript.” Fill in the form, noting where the transcript should be sent and any other materials needed.

Check out this video if you need help: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-jkqewKCJL4WNemXweSIMzIJHeM7fbiM/view

 Here’s some suggestions for scholarships!

Big Y – Due February 1st https://www.bigy.com/Community/Scholarships

Community Foundation of Western MA – Due March 31st – https://communityfoundation.org/students/scholarships/

MEFA January Deadlines – https://www.mefa.org/blog/scholarships-with-january-deadlines2

MEFA February Deadlines – https://www.mefa.org/blog/scholarships-with-february-deadlines

Scholarship search 

First check the Financial Aid pages on the schools you are applying toFastweb – https://www.fastweb.com/Going Merry – https://www.goingmerry.com/Unigo – https://www.unigo.com/scholarships/our-scholarships

MCAC – Massachusetts College Application Celebration February 2nd & 4th

We are hosting a great opportunity for those of you who are moving a little slowly in the process and interested in four and two year MA public colleges. On February 2nd and 4th we’ll help with applications and have admissions officers present for the amazing MA Public colleges that are still accepting applications.

Stay tuned!!!

Cost of Attendance – Comparing Packages

MEFA recently began their Paying the College Bill seminar series. At these seminars, families from around the region can bring their financial aid offers and learn all about financial aid, the college bill, and different options to pay for college. This time can be an emotional roller coaster for families. They are proud of their students’ acceptance letters but anxious about how they are going to pay for college. They’re often confused about the financial aid that they’ve received from schools, with each school’s offer looking different than the last. It’s not always clear what a family received in aid and what they will ultimately owe to each college.

My College Cost Calculator – https://www.mefa.org/college-cost-calculator

Admissions Interviews

Do you have to sit for an interview? This might be true for a college admissions process or a scholarship. Prepare for it! We can help you practice too (set a time with Ms. Cuffee-Gray)

College Interview: Tips and Strategies – link

90 Second Interview Guide – link

GAP Year Workshop – link

Thinking about a GAP Year? We’re here to help. Sign up for a weekly GAP Year planning session with Mr. Lubin. Set some goals and make a plan. Fill in the form below and we’ll include you in the group.

ASVAB for Military Enlistment – 2/11 Information Session @ 5:30 – (not ARHS sponsored)

Are you interested in enlisting in the military? The ASVAB is the exam that all military branches use for the process of determining your eligibility. Reach out to Ms. Cuffee-Gray if you would like to have support in preparing for the ASVAB.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86962680598?pwd=bTlZS2czc3kyKzBOSGo1eldtSjNhdz09

Zoom Meeting ID: 869 6268 0598 Passcode: asvabparen

Work Ready Workshop (see attached)

Ready to get ready to work? Sign up for the amazing School to Career Work Ready Workshop. Prepare to have a job in the spring or summer. Talk to Ms. Cuffee-Gray – this is a great opportunity.Apply using the following link: https://tinyurl.com/R2Wprogram

As you are accepted into colleges, remember to mark it in Naviance and to also fill out this form: https://forms.gle/czVJAhAk3BNi4GYs8

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