The College Counseling Office has posted events on the HSP website calendar. Please click the "College Counseling (CC)" box to ensure these events are displayed on your calendar view.
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HSP’s policy related to excused absences for college tours:
1. Juniors are allowed two excused college visitation days.
2. Seniors are allowed two excused college visitation days.
3. The parent(s) of any student requesting an excused absence for a college visit must email the college counselor at least two school days prior to the visit. An email confirmation will be returned informing the parent that the absence is/is not excused. Absences for college visits will not be excused after a student returns to school and the student will be penalized for any missed assignments due to the unexcused absence.
4. If there is a need for more college visitation days, request in writing the purpose and dates and submit the request to the college counselor for approval.
If Excused Absence Falls on a… Request is due before school begins on…
All recommendation requests are to go through the College Counseling Office. All documentation is mailed from the College Counseling Office directly to the institution/program and is not released to students/parents. Therefore, any documentation (additional recommendations, essays, payment, etc.) that must be mailed with the HSP packet should be submitted to the College Counseling Office.
Any scholarship/summer application documentation requiring faculty or staff completion must be submitted to the college counseling office at least one month before the deadline. The student will incur a $30 processing fee for any request made less than one month of the application deadline.
There is a $30 minimum fee for requests to expedite mailings (utilizing Federal Express or UPS, for example).
Another college admissions season is winding down and excitement abounds at HSP. We are delighted with the opportunities ahead of our 10th graduating class. The Class of 2015 is considering their offers and getting prepared for life as alumni.
Our seniors have received 187 acceptances from 97 different colleges and universities. We continue to have strong acceptance rates at many institutions, including several universities that have admitted 100% of the HSP students who applied: The University of Alabama (9), Auburn University (8), Kennesaw State University (8), Berry College (5), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (4), University of Mississippi (4), Furman University (4) , Georgia Southern University (4), Case Western Reserve University (3), Mississippi State University (3), College of Charleston (3), College of the Holy Cross (2), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2), The Catholic University of America (2), and many more.
Seniors received acceptances from the following universities. Those in bold at the top will have the privilege of having an HSP alum from the class of 2015 at their campus this fall:
University of Central Florida
Clayton College & State University
Kennesaw State University
Michigan State University
University of Tennessee, Martin
United States Naval Academy
The University of Alabama
Arizona State University
The University of Arizona
Ave Maria University
Belmont Abbey College
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Davis
University of California, Irvine
Case Western Reserve University
The Catholic University of America
College of Charleston
University of Chicago
College of Coastal Georgia
University of Connecticut
The University of Findlay
Florida State University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Regents University
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southwestern State University
Georgia State University
The University of Georgia
High Point University
College of the Holy Cross
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Indiana University at Bloomington
The University of Iowa
James Madison University
University of Kentucky
Louisiana State University
Loyola University New Orleans
Marymount Manhattan College
University of Miami
University of Michigan
Mississippi State University
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri Columbia
New York University
University of North Carolina at Asheville
North Carolina State University
University of Notre Dame
Ohio Wesleyan University
University of the Pacific
Pennsylvania State University, University Park
Queens University of Charlotte
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
University of Rochester
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Sacred Heart University
Salve Regina University
Seton Hall University
Seton Hill University
University of South Carolina
Valdosta State University
University of Virginia
Washington and Lee University
Washington University in St. Louis
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Young Harris College
Harvard, Yale, or Princeton: how would you decide? It’s precisely the decision that HSP’s Head Girl, Meredith Jones, is in. She was thrilled to receive Early Admission to Harvard, but she has more options on the table today to consider – including two additional Ivy League schools. When asked how she’ll decide, Meredith said that her college visits have been extremely beneficial and “the advice from family and mentors - and prayers - will hopefully lead me down the right path.”
Drew Vincent, HSP’s Head Boy, was awarded the prestigious Park Scholarship from North Carolina State University in March. He went through rounds of interviews and an on-campus gauntlet of activities to showcase his talent and personality. After meeting him, NC State confirmed what we all knew: Drew is quite impressive. However, Drew has decided to decline the Park Scholarship in favor of attending Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business. The advantages of a business school within a world-renowned technical research university and their 96% undergraduate job offer rate couldn’t be denied. “I felt at home at Tech,” Drew said of his choice between NC State and Georgia Tech.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
As of today, our seniors have amassed an incredible pool of scholarship offers: a grand total of over $4.5 million dollars. The primary reason behind Mrs. Dean’s November 1 deadline is to ensure that our students are qualified and considered in the first rounds of scholarship and financial aid awards from colleges and universities. All this, on top of their rigorous coursework and active participation as leaders at HSP, is an amazing snapshot of the talent in the class of 2015. Sixteen individual seniors received scholarship offers totaling over $100,000. This scholarship total doesn’t include HOPE award amounts or the savings from AP coursework at HSP that will earn many students college credit after graduation. Our seniors will take 61 AP exams in the first weeks of May – the potential for college credit is through the roof!
On May 1, all seniors will be required to "commit" to one of the colleges who have offered them admission. To celebrate, Mr. Curtin is going to allow the seniors to show their commitment on their shirts! The seniors will be wearing their chosen college's gear on May 4 (Monday) and we will commemorate the day with a Class Photo. We would love to encourage families to participate as well. Help our students celebrate by donning the gear of your alma mater and catch a photo with them on campus. Remember to tag HSP when you upload it. The faculty will also be wearing their alma mater attire as a way to make new connections with our soon-to-be alumni.
Weighing their Options
While some of our seniors are absolutely sure of their college destination, others are using the month of April to make final trips to admitted student days and to compare financial aid packages. Please keep these young people and their parents in your prayers as they discern the best next step.
HSP's Unique, Intensive College Counseling Curriculum
As these favorable updates are coming in, Mrs. Dean has already begun the college planning process with juniors. Eleventh-graders have embarked on an 18-month, intensive journey with Mrs. Dean that will include:
• meeting with Mrs. Dean one-on-one
• registering for Senior Year classes
• considering SAT and ACT strategies
• researching potential careers
• choosing which colleges to visit
• planning an enriching summer
• prioritizing and rounding out a resume
• writing and revising college essays
• identifying and applying for scholarships
• selecting and approaching teachers for letters of recommendation
• applying to their best-fit colleges
Mrs. Dean enjoys being able to take a complicated process and break it down into manageable steps for students. Sometimes, this is their first real taste of personal responsibility and finite deadlines. Each year after having completed this process, our seniors comment on how much more they understand about the way the world works and how to prioritize their tasks. They also ultimately appreciate the early timeline to which Mrs. Dean holds them, which takes the pressure off of their final semester of school. It’s such a wonderful transformation.
We’re excited to share with you that Holy Spirit Prep, has recently partnered with YouScience, creator of the innovative new program called the YouScience Profile. Through the revolutionary intersection of aptitudes, interests and personality, the YouScience Profile will help students discover their unique set of talents and Mrs. Dean will assist our students in making more informed decisions when it comes to major and career-related choices. We are personally inviting parents of sophomores, juniors, and seniors to attend a YouScience Kick-Off Presentation before we unveil the program to our students. Because of the importance of this program in aiding our students, we are offering multiple sessions on the Upper School Campus on April 15 for parents to attend. If you haven’t RSVP’d yet to Mrs. Dean, please do so today!
As a Holy Spirit Prep family, you are already in the college counseling curriculum that Mrs. Dean has created. She is available as a resource to every HSP family from preschool through 12th grade. Mrs. Dean begins official meetings with parents about the college planning process in their students' 5th and 6th grade years. Mrs. Dean's college counseling curriculum begins in 7th and 8th grade with developing the skills essential to successful college planning, including study skills, leadership development, and extracurricular participation. It is a curriculum unique among Atlanta's independent schools, and which sees our students matriculate not only to the best universities in the country and around the world, but to those colleges and universities that are the best fit for each student.
Rising Juniors, Sophomores & Freshman:
Students who receive extra time to complete school-based tests and assignments may also be eligible for extended time on standardized tests such as the SAT and SAT Subject Tests, ACT, PSAT, and AP exams. This extra time is granted for a host of reasons, including physical disabilities such as hearing or visual impairments, AD/HD, some physical handicaps, certain medical conditions, and a wide range of learning disabilities. Students approved for extended time may receive from 25% to 100% extra time to complete each exam.
The testing organizations (College Board and ACT) agreed not to “flag” scores obtained through extended time testing. Thus organizations receiving these scores (colleges and scholarship programs) get no indication that the student received extra time.
If you believe you may be eligible for extended time testing, check out the services for students with disabilities part of the College Board and ACT websites at (www.collegeboard.com and www.act.org) and contact Ms. Triggs to begin the paperwork process.
Bear in mind that you must receive similar accommodations at HSP and that you must have a specific disability that has been documented by approved practitioners through testing done within the last three years. Apply early; you will need to begin the process at least seven weeks before you plan to register for a specific exam. The best time to apply for extended time on College Board exams (PSAT, SAT and AP) is during the spring semester of your freshman year. In most cases, the approval is good throughout high school. For ACT, apply for accommodations when registering for your first exam (generally Winter/Spring of Junior year) but give yourself lots of extra time before the stated test registration deadline.
On May 1, all Seniors will be required to "commit" to one of the colleges who have offered them admission. To celebrate, Mr. Curtin is going to allow the Seniors to show their commitment on their shirts! The Seniors will be wearing their chosen college's gear on May 4 (Monday) and we will commemorate the day with a Class Photo. You don't want to miss this annual photo opportunity!
Once you've decided where to enroll and you've mailed in your commitment letter/deposit, your college will want to receive a final high school transcript. These are prepared in June, after graduation, and mailed to the ONE college that you have told Mrs. Dean you're attending.
Please be sure that your records are accurate in Naviance and that your "college I'm attending" is set. This is how she will verify where to send your transcript.
Colleges understand that some schools may not have final transcripts until the middle of the summer. If you need a transcript before mid-June, you will need to email Ms. Little (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask for an unofficial copy of your transcript. This will include a transcript through 1st semester Senior Year and a copy of your report card through 3rd Quarter. Official Transcripts are not available until after mid-June.
May 1st is the deadline to deposit at the ONE institution that you plan to attend in the Fall of 2013. Please deposit before May 1, as some institutions require that the deposit is received before this deadline. If you fail to deposit by May 1, institutions can and will release your spot to the members of their waitlist.
By early April, seniors will have received admissions decisions from all or most of their college applications. With several acceptances in hand, it’s time for that final selection. Let’s look at ways of choosing the “best fit” from your college options.
Start by reconsidering each of the factors that you deemed important when you began your college search. You’ll want to rank each of these features in terms of its importance to you right now, considering such characteristics as size, location, majors, college facilities, and special programs. Now, compare each college to which you’ve been accepted and see how closely each meets your requirements in these areas. Make a list of positive and negative qualities for each college.
Since the cost of education is often a significant factor in final college selection, you’ll want to compare any financial aid packages you’ve received and determine the real cost to you at each institution. Look carefully at the amount of loans vs. grants in order to determine how much you’ll need to borrow to meet the cost of education at that school. Mrs. Dean is happy to help any family compare financial aid packages. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the College Counseling Office.
Be wary of committing yourself to borrowing a substantial amount of money to finance your education. Graduating with a significant amount of undergraduate debt may impact your ultimate choice of job or your ability to continue with graduate education.
Try to arrange a final campus visit to each of your top choices. While “accepted student weekend” programs provide a whirlwind of activities geared towards prospective freshman, you might get a more realistic idea of student life if you visit at another time. Be sure to leave yourself time to speak with current students, to sit in on a class or two, to eat in the dining hall, and ideally, to stay overnight in the dorm. Even if you’ve visited before, this additional campus visit will help to crystallize your feelings about each college and how well it fits you.
Once all this has occurred, you’ll be in a better position to determine the school that is right for you. If you’re still unsure after considering all your hard data, go with your instinct. As with any important decision in life, after considering the facts, you still need to go with what your gut tells you is right for you. Although it’s desirable to complete your undergraduate education at the college where you begin, remember that no decision is irrevocable.
After choosing the best fit, be sure to write promptly to each college you’ve decided not to attend, thanking them for the opportunity they’ve presented, and explaining that you’ve accepted another offer of admission. You just may wish to reconsider that institution when you begin your search for the “right” graduate school.
If you’ve applied for financial aid and filed all the paperwork by the appropriate deadline, an award letter outlining the college’s offer of financial assistance should arrive close on the heels of your notification of acceptance. Here’s a guide to understanding what that package really means.
The bottom line in comparing financial aid packages is the final cost of your education to you and your family. Since the total cost of education varies for each college, you’ll need to compare your packages in terms of several factors. First, compare the ratio of grants (gift money) to loans for each school. Packages with larger grants than loans are obviously most desirable. Next, consider how much you and your family are expected to contribute and compare this amount to your total grant award. Are you and your family comfortable with this Expected Family Contribution? Will you be able earn the expected amount?
Now, compare loans types offered and their terms. The most desirable loans are student loans with their low, deferred interest; these loans do not have to be repaid until after you have completed your education. Private, unsubsidized family or student loans generally require that repayment begins within sixty days.
Most financial aid packages also include work-study. Keep in mind that you are free to decline this type of aid; although there may be significant benefits to work-study employment, some students prefer to find their own jobs.
Call the college’s financial aid office to learn how outside scholarships may affect your financial aid package. While some colleges allow students to use these in place of loans, other colleges subtract this amount from any grant aid that you’ve been awarded. Ask, too, if you are likely to be awarded a similar package in succeeding years, assuming family finances remain at the same level. Some parts of your package may not be renewable, and this could affect your future cost of attendance.
The final decision about college choice needs to be a family decision, made by weighing numerous factors to determine the best choice for both you and your family. With skyrocketing college costs, finances may count heavily in your ultimate college selection.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the first step in applying for college financial aid. All U.S. colleges use the Student Aid Report (SAR) generated by this form as their roadmap for distributing need-based grants, loans, and work-study (now and through the 2015-2016 school year). The form is also required by many private scholarship organizations. For this reason, HSP recommends that all students file the FAFSA, regardless of the anticipated outcome.
The FAFSA must be submitted each year and should be completed as soon as possible after January 1st. It helps to have the prior year’s tax return when you begin, but it is possible to estimate numbers based on the previous year’s return or by using those documents you have available. You will receive your report much more quickly if you apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
To apply online, you will need a PIN. Follow the directions at the FAFSA website to get a pin. When ready to begin completing your FAFSA, assemble the documents you will need: driver’s license, social security number, W-2 forms, investment records, business records, current bank statements, latest tax return. You will need documents for both parents and the dependent student.
To complete your FAFSA online, first click on “before beginning a FAFSA” - this is a step-by-step guide through the application process. Follow all directions carefully for best results. Do not leave any answers blank unless instructed to do so. You can electronically “sign” your FAFSA form by using your PIN or you can print out, sign, and mail in a signature page. Submitting a signature by mail will greatly increase the time needed to process your application and to send data to your colleges, so using your PIN is the preferred way to go.
If you apply and sign electronically, you should receive your Student Aid Report in about seven days. On the report will be your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - the amount the processing agency expects that you and your family will be able to pay towards your first year of college. The difference between the total cost of attendance at a college and your EFC is Demonstrated Financial Need.
Because all admission decisions are not released at this time, request that your SAR is submitted to each college to which you have applied.
*By using your GAcollege411 account and accessing the FAFSA application from GAcollege411, you can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete this form. This will also count as your HOPE application!
Senior Girls Interested in Sorority Rush
For those wondering if sorority life is right for you and wondering what this 'rush' process is all about, then please join some moms and sorority girls as they provide information and answer all of your questions, Friday, April 24 from 11:10 - 12:05 in the Boardroom. Lunch will be provided.
*Moms of Seniors, please feel free to join the meeting as well, if you have info to share or questions to ask!
Using your summer to visit college campuses can be a great opportunity to see prospective colleges. Consider the following while you plan:
1. Look for Open House or Special Event Dates. Usually colleges will roll out the red carpet for you to come see them on a specific day. Open House events will not only expose you to a campus tour, but you may be able to see the dining hall, meet faculty, and interact with more students than on a simple campus tour.
2. Consider a college tour. Some students find a whirlwind tour of colleges exhilarating. Many of these tours are set up to show you up to 15 colleges in a matter of 6 days! Check out a list of summer tours here: www.college-visits.com. This is one company among many that offer these group tours for students - but sorry, no parents allowed!
3. Find a summer camp on a college campus. Besides being a great opportunity to enrich your summer, attending a pre-college program on a university campus can help you get a sense of "college life." You will only get to see the one campus, but spending both days and nights there could help you develop preferences that carry over into researching the other colleges you may visit.
Whatever method you choose to visit colleges, VISIT! There is nothing like getting a firsthand look at the campus and where you might choose to spend your next four years of education.
Students who want both an outstanding education and the opportunity to develop leadership skills while serving their country, might want to look closely at the U.S. Service Academies. The service academies offer challenging academics that emphasize engineering and history along with courses unique to their particular branch of the military. At the Air Force Academy, students can study flight and space operations or learn to fly, while majoring in math, engineering, behavioral science, economics, or counseling. The Coast Guard Academy offers such majors as humanities, and management and leadership, along with several types of engineering, math and science majors. At the Military Academy at West Point, cadets study a core curriculum that includes physical education and military science in addition to a choice of major. Naval Academy students may spend summers at sea and the academic year majoring in computer science, oceanography, math, science or engineering.
Common to all of the academies are small classes and an emphasis on military, physical, and leadership training. Students are cadets and, as such, subject to the rules of military life. Strong bonds are commonly forged between students; teamwork is stressed. All incoming students complete basic training in the summer before their freshman year, and spend succeeding summers in additional field training.
Cadets receive full scholarships to pay their college tuition, room, board, medical care, and fees. They also receive additional stipends. In return, after graduation, cadets are required to serve in their branch of the military. Admission to all of the service academies is competitive. In addition to grades and test scores, applicants must demonstrate physical fitness and (except for the Coast Guard Academy) receive a congressional nomination to be considered. Typical applicants rank in the top quarter of their high school class, have a 1200+ score on the SAT, are involved in varsity level sports, and are active in school or community activities.
If you think you might be interested in attending a service academy, investigate requirements early. Speak to recruiters at college fairs and learn about the process of obtaining a congressional nomination. Check out websites for each of the academies listed below and consider attending one of their summer sessions after junior year so you can try out cadet life. For more information, log on to www.usma.edu for the Military Academy at West Point; to www.usafa.edu for the Air Force Academy; to www.usna.edu for the Naval Academy at Annapolis; or to www.cga.edu for the Coast Guard Academy. Those interested in the Merchant Marines should go to www.usmma.edu for more information. If you’re interested in direct contact, complete the pre-candidate questionnaire at the websites. This expression of interest in no way obligates you to apply, but submitting the questionnaire gets you into their database, and they’ll contact you with more information.
Washington University in St. Louis will host an Admissions and Financial Aid session at Pace Academy in Atlanta on Saturday, April 25 from 1:00 to 2:30pm. Please RSVP to Beth Zenhari at EZenhari@wustl.edu.
Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Rice, and University of Chicago will present a Joint Information Session on Sunday April 26. They will simultaneously be held in Buckhead and Marietta. Go to exploringeducationalexcellence.org to register.
Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Penn, and Stanford will present at the "Exploring College Options" information session this May. Two events will be held: Marietta, Tuesday 5/5 at 7pm and Buckhead, Wednesday, 5/6 at 7pm. Go to www.exploringcollegeoptions.org to register.
Services Academy Day will be held at Dobbins Air Reserve Base on May 9. All students interested in applying to a Service Academy (West Point, Air Force Academy, Coast Guard Academy, Naval Academy, or the Merchant Marine Academy) should attend. Please register online: isakson.senate.gov.
Dartmouth, Northwestern, Princeton, UC-Berkeley, and Vanderbilt will host an information session in Atlanta on Tuesday, May 19 from 7-9pm. Register online: http://www.coasttocoasttour.org/
Families are encouraged to set up a meeting with Chyten after the results are available to receive a professional analysis without obligation to any test preparation service.
In these meetings, you will be given an extensive showcase on the student's performance on SAT-based and ACT-based questions. The tutors at Chyten will walk students and parents through how the individual sections stack up against one another and will even point out areas where the student can improve. Having this discussion early, and with such detail geared towards each test, will help your family begin planning for a standardized test timeline.
Ivan Mervis is the owner of the Sandy Springs Chyten location and can be reached at email@example.com or 678-735-7555.
Personal Approach Aptitudes:
Time Frame Orientation
Success Drivers - Driving Aptitudes:
Amplifiers – Supporting Aptitudes:
Visual Comparison Speed
Do Something! Scholarships: There are monetary rewards for students whose community service and volunteer work is above average. Visit http://www.dosomething.org/scholarships for more information.
sSunTrust Off To College Sweepstakes: Students can enter to win 15 separate drawings for a $1,000 scholarship for education expenses. Entrants can be High school seniors planning to attend college in the fall of 2015. One winner is chosen every two weeks from Oct. 31 - May 10. Free to enter — eligibility is not based on GPA or financial need. One entry per drawing, but students can register during each drawing period. To register: https://www.suntrusteducation.com/ScholarshipSweepstakes/index.html
Clothes Less Traveled in Peachtree City: Clothes Less Traveled offers $25,000 in annual merit-based college scholarships, up to $5,000 each, to qualifying local high school seniors who have volunteered (currently only a minimum of 40 hours) at Clothes Less Traveled. For more info please see our website at http://clotheslesstraveled.org. We also offer paid summer internships to college students, so there are ongoing opportunities at CLT for your students extending into their college years. More info at: http://clotheslesstraveled.org.
Scholarship Contest ($10,000): www.10000scholarship.com - must register online
College Prowler "No Essay" Scholarship ($2,000): www.scholarshipexperts.clickmeter.com/882040
College Week Live ($1,000): www.scholarshipexperts.com/notes/cw.jsp (register and "visit" three booths)
Zinch Three Sentences a Week Contest ($1,000): http://www.zinch.com/scholarships/weekly/rules
Shout it Out Scholarship:Finding and applying for scholarships to pay for college is important, and ScholarshipExperts.com is here to help! Each year, ScholarshipExperts.com funds several unique scholarship programs for high school students, college students, grad students and non-traditional adult learners. Complete various 250 word essays to be entered. Must be 13 or older. Various Deadlines. https://www.scholarshipexperts.com/scholarships/our-scholarships