Sep 21, 2017

School Counselors Helping Students Ramp Up For College Applications

Decorative image saying college bound

It seems like the school year is just beginning, but for high school seniors this is already the time to be thinking about where they’ll be attending college in 2018.

School counselors at Pickerington’s high schools are working to help students through this process, with a lot of activities planned leading up to and during College Application Month in October.

“October is application month for Ohio, but the national American College Application Campaign kicks off Sept. 22 with the #whyapply day,” according to Julie Brunner, Pickerington High School Central school counselor.

Seniors are encouraged to participate in the college application campaign by tweeting @phsccounselors or @phsncounselors and by taking a selfie holding a sign of the college(s) they applied to with #whyapply #Iapplied #PLSDproud.

Brunner said students should begin their application process now.

“Many universities have priority deadlines starting as early as Nov. 1 for honors and scholars programs, as well as for university scholarships,” she said. “Many colleges also have a ‘rolling admissions’ process, so applications are evaluated as they arrive. That means, the sooner an application is completed the better.”

In addition, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens Oct. 1, and students must list the colleges they apply for on the form.

Applying now also is important for early decision and early action deadlines at some colleges.

Fortunately, Pickerington’s school counselors are available to help students through what can be a complex process.

“Each college has its own separate admissions and scholarship deadlines, so students need to check to find out what those deadlines are,” Brunner said. “Plus, school counselors and teachers are asked to write letters of recommendation for many of the student applications. The earlier the students ask, the more time we have to write great letters.”

There’s also a question of transcripts. For a school like The Ohio State University – which has a Nov. 1 priority deadline – students must request their letters of recommendation and transcripts at least 10 days earlier.

School counselors meet with each of the seniors to help them get started on their future plans. There also is information on both high school websites (http://www.pickerington.k12.oh.us/pickerington-central-high/school-counselors/ and http://www.pickerington.k12.oh.us/pickerington-north-high/school-counselors/) that can help.

Looking for additional assistance?

The Fairfield County College Fair and Financial Aid meeting will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, at Ohio University Lancaster. Approximately 100 colleges, universities, and military representatives will be present to share information. In addition, Pat Fox from OUL will give a presentation about financial aid, including details about filling out FAFSA. This free event is open to grades 9-12.

College reps from Muskingum University, Ohio State, University of Akron, Ohio University Lancaster, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wright State University, University of Toledo and other schools will be at the PHSC media center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 24 to help students with questions (both general and specific to their schools.)

 

College timeline

Fall

  • Apply for college (check deadlines). Applying by Nov. 1 is the district’s recommendation to meet priority and early action/early decision deadlines.
  • Apply for FAFSA. Check college financial aid deadlines. The district recommends that students apply before the holidays.

Winter

  • Hear back from colleges about admissions
  • Receive financial aid award letters from colleges
  • Apply for scholarships

Spring

  • Decide which college to attend
  • Send in deposits for housing
  • Schedule orientations
  • Apply for student loans
  • Apply for scholarships

May 1