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College Counseling

Are you a college and want to visit GSMST?

Please call 678-518-6692 to speak with our Counseling Office, or email christine.czarick@gsmst.org. We only allow college representative visits during our lunch hours. Our students are in a very accelerated, challenging curriculum and it is very difficult for students to miss class. Thank you!


NAVIANCE CONNECTION

GSMST uses the Naviance application beginning in 9th grade for Career exploration. As students progress towards graduation, Naviance begins to focus on college searches and selection. The counseling and teaching faculty use Naviance to process all college application materials, such as transcripts, school reports, and recommendation letters. It is important that students are familiar with Naviance, especially in the senior year! 

Students use this website to connect: www.succeed.naviance.com/gwinnett

If needed, copy and paste. Then save it as a Favorite, for easy access! 


When applying to schools, our CEEB/School Code is 111140

 


 

College Application Timeline 

 

9th Grade - Explore careers through the Partnership Program and use of Naviance Career search. Maintain strong grades and develop great study habits.

10th Grade - Continue to explore careers and start to research the differences between ACT and SAT. Take a free practice test at any of the local test prep agencies such as Applerouth, Kaplan, C2 Education, Sylvan, and others (GSMST does not endorse any specific agency but will list the services)

JUNIOR YEAR - GET READY!! This is when we start the big stuff. All juniors should take an ACT or SAT by December/January, to get a good benchmark score. Then focus on studying for the test and take it again, before the summer. We will begin Junior College Planning meetings at the beginning of February. Those meetings are scheduled using an online scheduling tool. All parents will receive information at the end of January. 

SENIOR YEAR - The college application season begins! All seniors will receive several lessons in applying to college, using the Common App, requesting recommendations, and more. As always, the counseling office is open for questions, but most seniors should already know the basics from our meetings last spring. 

 

Financial Aid and FAFSA

All seniors and their parents/guardians will need to complete the FAFSA in January of the senior year. The application will not be open until January. One of the best resources is the FAFSA customer service, as they are used to all types of questions! There are many companies that will also help you through the FAFSA, but I encourage you to follow the government's website first. It is full of useful information and tips, for every entry you need to make. 

WEBSITES TO USE:

www.fafsa.gov - Make sure you are on the .gov site and not another website. There are fake websites out there that charge to fill out the FAFSA. Remember that the F at the beginning of FAFSA stands for FREE.  The customer service at FAFSA is wonderful and are there to help EVERYONE through the process if you have questions.

On this website is the FAFSA4Caster.  This gives you the opportunity to estimate your financial aid numbers.

www.GAFutures.org - This is where students get information about the HOPE Scholarship. It is critical to stay updated on the HOPE Scholarship requirements and changes.

RECOMMENDATION REQUESTS

Please use the following form when requesting recommendations. Follow the instructions so that the teachers receive all information they need to write effective recommendations. Remember, for recommendations you MUST:

  1. Ask the teacher IN PERSON first. Give them your resume and list of accomplishments and ask if they need anything else.
  2. Add them in Naviance by requesting them as the Recommender. Indicate it is for ALL APPLICATIONS. 
  3. Use the same teacher for all colleges, unless there is a distinct reason to use a different ones. Many students only need one teacher. Pay attention to the needs for each college.
  4. If you have schools that require mailed items, bring the teacher an envelope and aks when you can return to pick it up.
  5. Do NOT add GSMST teachers to the Common App "Other Recommender" list unless they are a supplementary recommender (art, music, etc). Ask if you are confused.

 

College Recommendation Request Form


SAT and ACT- College Entrance Exams

**If you are on Free/Reduced Lunch, you receive waivers for SAT/ACT. Request in the Counseling Reception Area.

Almost every student that attends a college has taken the SAT or ACT.  But what exactly are these tests?  And which one should you take?

The SAT assesses your math and English skills. It also contains a writing portion. Each section has a maximum of 800 points, with a high score of 1600 for the math and verbal sections. Many college websites will discuss their “freshmen profile” and list the scores out of 1600.  It is important to know what sections the college includes so that you know the expectations. To register for the SAT, go to www.collegeboard.com/mysat  

The ACT contains four sub-tests in English, Math, Reading, and Science.  A separate ACT Writing Test is also available. Each sub-test has a high score of 36.  These sub-test scores are averaged together for a Composite Score.  Some colleges look at the sub-tests individually, others consider the entire Composite Score. To register for the ACT, go to www.actstudent.org

We strongly encourage you to take both tests at least once. This will give you an idea of which test showcases your abilities, and you can concentrate on increasing the score of your “best” test.


Transcripts

ALL seniors receive one free transcript. After that, all transcripts are $5 per transcript. Hard copy transcripts are sealed in an envelope with a copy of the school profile and picked up by the student.  Students are responsible for mailing their own transcripts.

Electronic transcripts also require a $5 fee per transcript. Most colleges prefer to receive transcripts electronically when possible.

Students are responsible for requesting their own transcripts for any scholarship, college or other application. Students must allow 2-3 days for transcripts to be printed. 

For college application transcripts, students MUST use Naviance to request transcripts, even if the college requires a hard copy. We MUST have the Electronic Transcript Waiver on file before we can process online transcript requests. The waiver is available in the Documents section of Naviance.

**From September to December, students need to allow 2 weeks for transcripts as the volume of requests will be extremely high.**

Students can obtain official transcripts for scholarships or non-college application needs by filling out a Transcript Request Form (available in the Counseling Office).  Turn in all requests to the Counseling Office. 

Students may print a copy of their course history at any time from the parent portal, however, these are typically not accepted by colleges or scholarship programs.


Thinking of Military Academies?

It's never too early to start preparing. If you are in 9th and 10th grades, be aware of the requirements for each military academy and make sure your grades are UP.

If you are a JUNIOR, you need to be looking at the websites for each military academy. You also need to be familiar with the process of nomination. If you are thinking of applying to a military academy for college, please come see Mrs. Scheid ASAP to familiarize yourself with the process. The military academies begin their processes much earlier than traditional colleges.

Also, there are summer opportunities at the millitary academies that are VERY COMPETITIVE to attend and give you the sense of that particular academy. Look for those applications in the Spring.


Wondering about AP Credit?

College Board has an outstanding tool that lets you search for a college and view the AP credit policies!



Georgia PROBE Fairs

Always open to all students, with plenty of events. Gwinnett has a few in the area, at local high schools and at Gwinnett Tech. The Probe Fairs at local high schools are also open to any students and they encourage others to participate. Check out the Probe calendar to find a tour near you!

http://www.gaprobe.org/tour-calendar