Junior Information Booklet

This booklet is separated into three different areas: college & technical schools, the military, and the work force.  These three areas represent the three choices that students will have upon graduation from high school.  We hope that you find the information in this booklet to be valuable.

 

Colleges & Technical Schools

The Cost of Education

Information taken from CollegeBoard (www.collegeboard.org)

Type of School Example Tuition & Fees per Year Room & Board % of Financial Need Met
SAT Average

V/M

% with Class Rank in top 25%
% of Students Accepted
Two Year Luzerne County Community College $6,000 N / A N / A N / A N / A N / A
Technical Penn College of Technology $17,160 $11,892 N / A 530

540

N / A 78%
State School Bloomsburg University $11,088 $10,528 49% N / A 29% N / A
Division I Penn State University

(University Park)

$18,980 $10,592 64% 625

640

76% 49%
Division III Susquehanna University $51,140 $13,680 86% 605

590

63% 85%
Private Bucknell University $58,202 $14,670 92% 660

683

83% 34%

 

College Planning Timeline

Junior Year

Fall

  • Begin your college search
  • Take the PSAT / NSMQT exam on October 14, 2020 (sign up using Forms)
  • Students interested in military academies must begin the process now

Winter

  • Meet with your counselor and review PSAT results
  • Develop a list of majors and colleges that you are interested in

Spring

  • Be sure that your course selection is appropriate and supports your career goals
  • Register for the SAT or ACT
  • Meet with your counselor to discuss majors and colleges
  • Apply for internships and summer programs that fit your career goals

Summer

  • Visit college campuses
  • Begin requesting information from majors and programs within the colleges that you are interested in

Senior Year

Fall

  • Request teacher recommendations
  • Register for the earliest SAT (if needed)
  • Begin completing scholarship applications
  • File the FAFSA and begin to secure additional financial aid
  • Meet with your counselor to help finalize future plans
  • Complete your applications before Thanksgiving break

Winter

  • Request mid-year grades be forwarded to colleges (if needed)

Spring

  • Inform colleges of your admission decisions before May 1
  • Advanced Placement (AP) testing will take place in early May

 

College Entrance Exams

SAT v. ACT

SAT ACT
What it Measures Aptitude exam – reasoning and critical thinking Achievement exam – what is learned in school
Test Sections Reading, writing & language, math, essay (optional English, reading, math, science, writing (optional)
Price $52.00 without essay

$68.00 with essay

$46.00 without writing

$62.50 with writing

Format Multiple choice, essay (optional) Multiple choice, essay (optional)
Length 3 hours (additional 50 minutes for essay) 2 hours, 55 minutes (additional 40 minutes with essay)
Scoring Based on number correct, no penalty for guessing Based on number correct, no penalty for guessing
Sending Scores Students choose what scores they want sent Students choose what scores they want sent

Students are encouraged to take practice exams for both the SAT and the ACT to determine which exam is most appropriate for them.  Most colleges accept both exams, and students may take both the SAT and the ACT.  Students should only take the SAT II Subject Tests if the college or program they are applying to will require it.

 

 

2020 – 2021 SAT Test Dates

Test Date Tests Given Regular Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline**
     
September 26
SAT & Subject Tests August 26 September 15
October 3
SAT & Subject Tests September 4 September 15
November 7
SAT & Subject Tests October 7 October 20
December 5
SAT & Subject Tests November 5 November 17
March 13
SAT only February 12 February 23
May 8
SAT & Subject Tests April 8 April 20
June 5
SAT & Subject Tests May 6 May 18

 

 

 

2020 – 2021 ACT Test Dates

Test Date Regular Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline**
October 24
September 25 No late fee
October 25 September 25 No late fee
December 12
November 6 November 20
February 6
January 8 January 15
April 17
March 26 April 9
June 12
May 7 May 21
July 17 June 18 June 25

 

** Both the SAT and the ACT charge an extra fee for late registration

 

Types of Admissions

Each college and university has its own admissions policy.  When choosing a school, make sure that you are aware of each individual school’s policy and admission schedule.  To find out which type of admissions a school has, refer to the college’s undergraduate catalog.

Traditional or Committee– with traditional admission, there is a specific application deadline that must be adhered to.  If the application arrives late, it will not be considered.  A committee of admissions representatives and faculty in the students major makes the admission decision.  Students will be notified of the admissions decision on or after April 1.  This method is used by smaller, private schools such as Bucknell University.

Rolling– when people think about college admissions, they usually think of rolling admissions.  These schools have an open-ended deadline for admission, and students will be notified of the admission decision in 4 – 6 weeks.  These schools operate on a first come, first serve basis.  For example, a student with average grades should apply in September or October, because in April the school can be more selective in whom they admit.  This method is used by the Pennsylvania State Schools, which include Bloomsburg University and Penn State University.

Early Decision – in early decision, the student agrees that if they are accepted to the school they will pay the tuition.  This is a legally binding agreement.  Once the student chooses early decision, they are obligated to pay tuition at that school, even if the decide not to attend.  This is not recommended, as you cannot complete your financial aid information (FAFSA) until January.  This leaves you agreeing to pay for a school before you know how much it will cost you.  The benefit to this method is that students will know the admission decision before Christmas.  If the student is not chosen for early decision, they are placed into the regular admission pool.  Please carefully review the obligations that go along with early decision before you sign.

Dual Enrollment– this allows exceptional students to begin taking college courses before they graduate from high school.  Not all colleges and universities offer these programs.  One example would be Bloomsburg University’s ACE Program (Advanced College Experience), or Luzerne County Community College’s Young Scholars Program.  Not only do students in ACE receive college credit while in high school, but they also receive a 75% tuition decrease.

 

College Visits

College visits are one of the most important aspects of choosing the right college.  The college may be top rated and have an excellent program, but if you don’t feel comfortable on campus you may not be successful.  There are several types of college visits:

Open House – open houses are great opportunities for juniors to get a feel for college.  Large group tours are conducted, and sessions with admissions and faculty representatives are usually held in a lecture format.  Open houses are not personalized, but are a good chance to get a basic feel for the college.  Some colleges will even offer an application fee waiver for attending.  Open houses are usually offered in late summer and the fall.

Individual Tour– led by a current student, these visits are more personalized and provide an opportunity to get your questions answers.  During an individual tour, you can also schedule to have an interview with admissions and speak directly with faculty or department heads.  Individual tours also show “demonstrated interest”, which may help when admissions decisions are made.

Overnight Visit– overnight visits are an opportunity to spend the night with a host student from the university, sleep in a dorm room, attend class, eat in the dining hall, and experience college life.  Overnight visits are recommended for seniors who have applied and narrowed down their choice to two or three.  Overnight visits usually occur in early spring.

 

What Should I Do On A Visit?

  • Eat in the dining halls – be sure that you understand the meal plan options available to you
  • Visit the FRESHMAN dorms and see a typical room – don’t just visit the fancy senior dorms that are showcased on the tour
  • Try to attend a class in your major – no one will even know you’re there, and it will give you an opportunity to experience what college level courses are all about
  • Visit the career development center.  Find out job placement rates for your major, and how the college assists their graduates in getting a job once they graduate
  • Visit the academic advising center.  They have resources and important information such as who your advisor is, how to register for classes each semester, how to get an internship, and much more
  • Talk with students and faculty members.  In most cases, they will give you a more realistic perspective on the school than admissions personnel will
  • Visit the surrounding community.  Most freshman take 15 – 18 hours of class a week – where will you be hanging out when you’re not in class?
  • Visit the health center and find out what services are provided and what the fees are
  • Speak with a housing representative to find out how long you can live in the dorms and if you can have a car on campus

The Application Process

          Once you have decided to further your education, you must decide which college or university you want to attend.  It is recommended that students apply to one reach school (a school that, on paper, will be difficult to be admitted into); one safe school (a school that you will be admitted into); and two or three schools that you would like to attend.  The next step is the application itself.

Applications

You can request them from the college or apply online.  Some colleges will even waive the application fee if the student applies online.

When to Apply

                    In general, applications should be completed and submitted to the guidance office before Thanksgiving break of the student’s senior year.  Competitive and popular programs fill up fast, so applications to these programs should be filled out earlier.  Always check the application and adhere to the deadline date!

Filling out the Application

If applying online, be sure to print out a confirmation page stating that your application has been sent.  PLEASE NOTE: You are not done applying!  Once the online application is complete, you must fill out a transcript request through Microsoft Forms for EACH school you have applied to.  If you do not tell the guidance office where you have applied, your application will be incomplete.

If applying via paper, take your completed application and attachments to the guidance office to be reviewed.  The guidance office will send all application materials out in one mailing; this cuts down on colleges “losing” pieces of your application.  Make sure that you allow two weeks for the guidance office to complete your application – do not bring it in the day before it is due!

Additional Information

College applications often require more than just the application itself.  Making a checklist of what each school requires is a good way to stay organized.  In general, college application will require:

The application

Payment (check or credit card)

Teacher recommendations

High school transcript

Counselor evaluation form

Personal essay (not required for all schools)

You may also send additional information that you feel would be helpful in assessing you as a potential student.  This may include a resume of activities and organizations with leadership experience emphasized, or a personal statement if an essay is not required.  Remember, you’re selling your most important commodity – yourself!

Teacher Recommendations

Request teacher recommendations as soon as possible!  Most schools require two or three, so if each college bound senior requests them one week before Thanksgiving, your chances or receiving a great recommendation are reduced.  It may also be helpful to give the teacher a write up of your activities and involvement that they can incorporate into their letter.  PLEASE NOTE: Do not assume that a teacher will write you a positive letter of recommendation.  Ask the teacher before they write the recommendation if they will recommend you highly.  It is always a good idea to get a recommendation from a teacher in the field that you are entering.

Mid-Year Grades

If your college requires that mid-year grades be sent from Southern, be sure to mark that on you transcript request form (green) when you are applying.  It is YOUR responsibility to inform the guidance office and provide your counselor with the appropriate forms from your college!

Neatness Counts!

Remember that when an admissions representative opens up your application, it is usually their first impression of you.  Be sure that you have read over the application and follow the directions carefully.  Write neatly and use the color of ink indicated on the form.  Also, make sure that you note the application deadline: does the application have to be postmarked by a certain date, or received by a certain date?  There is a difference!

Helpful Information

Southern Columbia Are High School

812 Southern Drive

Catawissa, PA  17820

(570) 356-3450

 

Guidance Counselors:

Mrs. Jenna Sellers (last name A – L)             jsellers@scasd.us          (570) 356-3458

Mr. Tom Donlan (last name M – Z)              tdonlan@scasd.us          (570) 356-3464

Guidance Secretary

Mrs. Beth Fegley                                          bfegley@scasd.us            (570) 356-3499

School Code

390595

 

Financial Aid

Types of Financial Aid

Grants – money from state and federal sources which you do not have to repay

Loans – money from federal sources and banks which must be repaid

Work Study– program within the college that allows the student to work on campus and receive money.  NOTE: Money is not given up front or taken off of your tuition.  You are paid depending on when and if you work your allotted hours

Scholarships – money from private sources and the college itself which you apply for and do not have to be repaid.  Scholarships may be merit based (grades, clubs, leadership) or need based (financial).  The guidance office sends out a scholarship e-mail and lists scholarships on our website.  Also, check with the college to see what scholarships are available.  Be sure to check early and often, as scholarship deadlines will begin in September and new scholarships arrive weekly.

How do I Apply for Financial Aid?

One of the first steps in the financial aid process is to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.  The FAFSA will ask information regarding both student and parent’s previous year taxes.  The FAFSA form cannot be filed before October 1 of the student’s senior year.  While the federal filing deadline is in May, many colleges and universities require that the FAFSA be filed earlier.  Check with each college that you are applying to and be sure to file the FAFSA before the earliest due date.  Failure to do so can result in a complete loss of financial aid money.

Why is the FAFSA form necessary?

The federal and state governments use a needs analysis formula to decide who will receive money, and the FAFSA form is used to collect all of the required data.  Once the FAFSA is filed, the information will go to the federal government, the state government, and each individual college.  Colleges will use this information to provide you with a financial aid package in the spring of senior year.

Where can I find out more information?

The guidance office offers an e-mail service called Senior Info that students and their parents can subscribe to.  By subscribing, you will receive information on scholarships, open houses, career opportunities, and college & military representatives.  Here are a few other places where you can find information:

www.pheaa.org                              www.educationplanner.org

www.fafsa.ed.gov                          www.salliemae.com

www.finaid.org                             www.fastweb.com

www.collegeboard.org

 

The Armed Services

The guidance department has current information for each branch of the military.  Also, representatives of each branch of the military visit our high school each year.  If your student is interested in military academies, the application process must begin junior year.  For more information, please contact the following:

Local Recruiting Offices

U.S. Air Force Recruiting Station                                              U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Station

                    1 Susquehanna Valley Mall Drive                                                 589 East 7th Street, Unit 3

Suite 1A2                                                                                       Bloomsburg, PA  17815

Selinsgrove, PA  17870                                                              (570) 784-3651

(570) 784-2744                                                                              www.marines.com

www.airforce.com

 

U.S. Army Recruiting Station                                                   U.S. Navy Recruiting Station

8 West Broad Street                                                                     1 Susquehanna Valley Mall Drive

Suite 100                                                                                      Suite E1A

Hazleton, PA  18201                                                                    Selinsgrove, PA  17870

(570) 455-4201                                                                           (570) 374-6100

www.goarmy.com                                                                        www.navy.com

 

U.S. Army Reserve Recruiting Station                                   U.S. Coast Guard Recruiting Station

8 West Broad Street                                                                    Franklin Marketplace

Suite 100                                                                                     183 Franklin Mills Blvd.

Hazleton, PA  18201                                                                   Philadelphia, PA  19154-3140

(570) 455-4201                                                                           (215) 632-0568

www.goarmy.com                                                                      www.gocoastguard.com

 

                    Pennsylvania National Guard Recruiting Station

www.nationalguard.com

 

Service Academies

U.S. Military Academy – West Point, New York

U.S. Naval Academy – Annapolis, Maryland

U.S. Air Force Academy – Denver, Colorado

U.S. Coast Guard Academy– New London, Connecticut

U.S. Merchant Marine – King’s Point, New York

 

Entering the Work Force*

* Information for the Entering the Work Force section of this guide is used with permission from Bloomsburg University.  The information was taken from Bloomsburg University’s Job Search Guide.

Resume Writing

No matter what you plan to do after graduation, you will need to know how to communicate effectively.  One of the most important ways that you will communicate is through the job application process.  Knowing how to write a cover letter and a resume are necessary skills for advancement in any vocation.  Remember that a resume won’t get you a job, but it will get you an interview.

There is no”right” way to create a resume.  Be unique and allow your personality to show, but remember to be professional at all times.  Use a font that is professional and easy to read.  When describing your work and related experiences, use action words, such as “aided”, “demonstrated”, “monitored”, and “utilized”.  Also, use short phrases to describe your experiences, not complete sentences.  If you need to provide references, ask for permission before you use someones name and information.  Finally, have several people proofread your resume for spelling, formatting, and grammatical errors.

When you’re ready to print, don’t use regular copy paper.  Print on resume paper, which can be purchased at Wal-Mart.  Resume paper is heavier, colored, and may even have a granite or marble design.  Below, you will find a worksheet that will help you in writing your resume.

     Cover Letter

Before a prospective employer reads your resume and application, they will read your cover letter.  Cover letters are an important part of your application package, as they spark interest and make the employer want to read your resume.  More than just what’s on the resume, your cover letter is more personable and should link together your skills and how they will be of benefit to the employer.

Be sure that the cover letter is addressed to whom ever is responsible for hiring new employees.  Cover letters are generally three paragraphs.  Paragraph one is used to tell the employer why you are writing.  Paragraph two is your opportunity to sell your product, which is yourself!  Describe how your skills and experiences relate to the requirements of the position that you are applying for.  Paragraph three describes the next step, which is an interview.

     The Interview

Now that you have made it past the cover letter and resume stage, you are ready for the interview.  Relax.  Take a deep breath.  It’s normal and expected that you are nervous, and the best way to deal with anxiety is to be prepared.  By following these tips, you will be well on your way to your new job!

     Interviewing Tips

~ Be sure of the appointment time and location.  Try to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.  The best way to lose your opportunity is to show up late.

~ First impressions count!  You can be nervous, just don’t show it.

~ You only have 20 – 30 minutes in an interview, so make the most of your time.  The interviewer will want to know about you, what your future goals are, what you can bring to the company, and the experiences that you’ve had in the past that will prepare you.

~ A strong handshake, good posture, eye contact, and professional dress are important.

~ Be sure that you know a lot about the employer: what is your prospective employer in charge of, how large is the company, how long has the company been around, who are the top individuals in the company, and any current or local issues that pertain to the company.

~ Don’t appear to be a know-it-all.  You’re trying to get a job, not re-structure the organization!

~ The most important thing that you can do is be yourself.  Be relaxed, but enthusiastic.  Remember: whoever interviews you sat in the same seat that you’re sitting in at some point!

Sample Interview Questions You May be Asked

~ Tell me a little bit about yourself.

~ Why did you choose this field to work in?

~ What are some of your strengths?  Your weaknesses?

~ I see on your resume that you worked at _____________.  Can you tell me a little about what you did there?

~ Tell me about a difficult time in your life and how you handled that situation.

~ What kind of leadership roles have you had and what have you learned from them?

~ What made you interested in our company?

~ What are your career goals OR where do you see yourself in 10 years?

~ What will you bring to our company?

~ Why should we hire you?

 

Follow-up Letter

A follow-up letter, or thank you note, is important.  Sending a note after your interview is an added element that may help your employment opportunities.  Even if you do not get the job that you applied for, a thank you letter may help to keep your name fresh in an employer’s mind.  Remember to make your note personalized to your interview.

 

Resume Worksheet

Use this page to help you put together the information you’ll need to compile your resume.  (This worksheet has been reproduced from Futures ’99 with permission from Scholastic Inc.)

1.  Name: _________________________________________________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________________________________

Phone Number: _________________________  E-mail: _________________________________

2.  Education

High school name: _______________________________________________________________

High school address: _____________________________________________________________

GPA (if “B” average or higher): _____________  Rank (Example – top third): _______________

Expected graduation date: _________________________________________________________

List and describe courses of special interest and / or special programs you’ve participated in: ____

______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

List the skills you’ve acquired in those classes: _________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

3.  Employment (for each position, list and describe)

Your employer, dates worked, and your position: _______________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

Your job responsibilities and promotions: _____________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

The skills you’ve developed: ________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

Your accomplishments (give a concrete example of each): ________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

Favorable comments by employers and / or awards: _____________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

4.  Volunteer Work (for each position, list or describe)

The organization and your volunteer duties: ___________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

The skills you’ve developed: ________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

Your accomplishments (give a concrete example of each): ________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

5.  Activities

List extracurricular activities or school-related projects: ___________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

List computer / software / program and Internet experience and skills: _______________________

________________________________________________________________________________

List awards and notices of recognition for activities and achievements: ________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

6.  Other

List your other special skills (example: language proficiencies, problem solving, and leadership skills):

________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________

Describe any experiences that highlight these skills or abilities: _______________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________