Which tests do high school students need to take?

9th grade: Freshmen will take the 9th grade PSAT.

10th grade: Sophomores will take the 10th grade PSAT. They can also take the ACCUPLACER if they plan to dual enroll as juniors.

11th grade: Students can take the PSAT which is a practice for the SAT and attached to the National Merit Scholarship.

The M-STEP is required for all juniors. This includes the SAT, Work Keys and M-STEP. Other optional tests include ACT, ASVAB (for both career planning and military entrance) and the ACCUPLACER for dual enrollment. Please see Mrs. Vidak with any questions regarding these tests.

12th grade: seniors may want to consider re-testing SAT for college entrance purposes or scholarships. The higher the score, the more money may be attached to college scholarships.

How do we afford all of these tests?

Students that are eligible for free or reduced hot lunch are also eligible for assistance with these expenses. There are “fee waivers” available for the ACT, SAT and PSAT. Students just need to see the guidance counselor for this form. The M-STEP, ACCUPLACER, and ASVAB are free to all students. Although there is a $5 to retake the ACCUPLACER if need be.

What about help with college applications?

Students can come to the guidance office anytime for help filling out their college applications. Time is spent during their advisory allowing for some college research, meeting with the various representatives and filling out their applications. They will also receive parchment information so that transcripts can be sent electronically. Again, students eligible for free or reduced hot lunch just need to notify Mrs. Vidak so she can attach a letter requesting that the college “waive” the application fee. Most colleges will honor this request.

When do we start looking for scholarships?

All throughout high school, students should be exploring their career and college options. Junior year is the perfect time to start looking for scholarships. Some are available for juniors; however, most are available to the seniors. It is still helpful to know in advance which scholarships are out there, when they are due and which scholarships students want to apply for.

What about financial aid?

New for the fall of 2016 the FAFSA application will be available in early October. The FAFSA is the national form that is filled out by everyone requesting financial aid for college including loans, grants or work study. It is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov MCC has a financial aid workshop and FAFSA completion night every year to explain this process and help answer questions. The Financial Aid Department from West Shore Community College presents our workshop.