GSMST College Counseling
Attention Parents - Current students use their Counseling eClass page for specific advisement lessons, documents, and other information. We have all of the class-specific packets regarding college and career exploration on e-Class.
Are you a college representative wanting to visit GSMST?
Please call 678-518-6692 to speak with our Counseling Office, or email firstname.lastname@example.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!
Lunch times are approximately 10:30 – 11:00 and 11:30 – 12:00.
College Information Timeline
9th Grade- Explore careers through the Partnership Program and use of Naviance Career search. Maintain strong grades and develop great study habits. We have Advisement every Wednesday with many of the lessons geared toward College and Career.
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). GSMST continues to offer College and Career lessons. Dual Enrollment options are taught as many of the GSMST students will take classes through Georgia Tech, Gwinnett Tech, and other colleges. We have several proprietary programs that enhance our Computer Science, Science, and Math offerings to extend beyond traditional curriculum.
11th Grade - GET READY!! This is when we start the big stuff. All juniors are expected to 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 Spring term. Those meetings are scheduled using an online scheduling tool. Our PTSA works on parent workshops that will begin in the Fall of Junior year. Alumni return at the end of Junior year to help students begin their applications and college selections.
12th Grade - - The college application season begins! All seniors will receive several lessons in applying to college, using the Common App, requesting recommendations, and more. GSMST Language Arts department helps with the essay polishing process. We highly, highly encourage students to apply to at least one school by October 15th. Families should begin the FAFSA in October (details below) to have all documentation processed early. The e-Class page for seniors is packed with information and guidance!
Financial Aid and FAFSA
All seniors and their parents/guardians will need to complete the FAFSA. 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.
NET PRICE CALCULATORS - A Great Tool To Know!
Each college should have a Cost Calculator on the website. These give an estimate of what the family would owe if the student attended. It is 100% dependent on the information entered, but provides a great estimate for families who want a quick look at what they might receive in financial aid.
Here is Yale's Net Price Calculator - https://admissions.yale.edu/yale-net-price-calculator
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. All F/R students receive two waivers for the “regular test” and two waivers for SAT Subject Tests.
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.
ALL seniors receive the END OF YEAR transcript for free. All other 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.
PAYMENT IS MADE in the Counseling Reception Office. Cash or Check is acceptable. Please let counselors know if there are any issues for payment.
Electronic transcripts also require a $5 fee per transcript. Most colleges prefer transcripts electronically when possible.
Students are responsible for requesting their own transcripts for any scholarships or non-college needs. Students must allow 2-3 days for transcripts to be printed. 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 with payment (for hard copies).
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. (Instructions on how to request in Naviance are located on the Counseling eClass page).
**From September to December, students need to allow 2 weeks for transcripts as the volume of requests will be extremely high.**
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 – Great College 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!