Courtland Counseling Newsletter

Let's make YOUR future happen!

In this Issue

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12: Upcoming Events

Grade 9: STEM Opportunity!

Grades 11 & 12: Paid Summer Internship & Mentoring Opportunity: Fisheries Sciences, Marine Biology and STEM Related Fields!

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12: Suggestions for December

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12: What is Naviance?

Grades 11, 12: College Financial Aid and the FAFSA

Grades 9, 10, 11, 12: Tis the Season To Volunteer!

Grades 10, 11, 12: The New SAT vs the Old SAT

Suggestions for December

Grade 12: Encourage your senior to begin working on college financial aid. The FAFSA form won't be available until January 1, but you and your senior can explore the website, gather your needed documentation, and create a FSA ID at

Grade 11: Have your junior register to take the SAT if he/she has not already taken it. To register go to For eligible students, fee waivers are available from Mrs. Hall in the Counseling Department.

Grade 10: Help your sophomore update his/her resume using the Naviance resume builder. Students sign in to Naviance at: Have your student show you the results from their career cluster finder inventory. You can see what kind of research they have done on possible careers.

Grade 9: Talk with your freshman about his/her academic progress:

· Is he working to his potential? Could enhancing organizational skills help him get better grades?

· Is she using her Cougar AM time to get help with her assignments and course work?

· What are the reasons for low grades: Missing assignments? Low test and quiz grades? Not enough study time? Poor attendance?

· Has he/she spoken with the teacher to get some feedback on course performance and possible solutions?

For all students:

Is your student using StudentVue? If not, have your child see his/her counselor to get log-in information.

Did you know that students can now practice for the new SAT on their mobile devices? Check out the new daily SAT practice app at With a different question every day, students can prepare for the test even when they're crunched for time.

Big image

What is Naviance?

Family Connections by Naviance is a web-based program that will assist students in managing the college and career planning process. Family Connection is a comprehensive website that students AND parents can use as a tool in planning for the future. Students log-in to Naviance at:

Family Connection Homepage

  • Check this page for updates and messages from your student’s counselor.
  • Links to websites (College Board, NCAA clearinghouse, ACT, FAFSA, etc.)
  • Links to documents (brag sheet, how to request a transcript, how to request a letter of recommendation)

Colleges Tab

  • Colleges I’m thinking about: Students can keep track of colleges in which they are interested
  • Colleges I’m applying to: Students can request transcripts/letters of recommendations to be sent to each college they have listed.
  • College Lookup: A research tool that provides comprehensive information on thousands of colleges. A link to the college’s website is provided.
  • College Search: Students can enter criteria such as size, location, cost, majors, etc., and produce a list of colleges that meet their criteria.
  • Upcoming College Visits: Click on ‘view all upcoming college visits’ for information on scheduled college visits.
  • Scholarships: Students may research scholarships, complete a scholarship match, and look at the scholarship list from Courtland High School.

Have a junior? Ask them about the college/postsecondary search that they completed with the counselors in November.

Careers Tab

  • Career Interest Profiler: Students can use this feature to assess their personality and interests and match them with careers they may want to explore.
  • Career Cluster Finder: Students can use this tool to identify career clusters based on their interests, activities, and favorite school subjects. Specific careers are identified for students to research. Ask your sophomore about it...the counselors just completed a lesson with them and everyone completed the career cluster and researched their identified careers.
  • Do what you are: A personality test that will help students identify their personality and careers that match it.

Ask your sophomore about their career search...the counselors just completed a lesson with them. Each student completed the career cluster and researched their identified careers.

About Me Tab

  • Resume: Students can record their resumes (leadership, work experience, extracurricular activities, community service, honors, awards, athletics, etc) to use when they are completing college applications.
  • Official Things: (Yes, this is what it is called.) Students can see their rank and GPA.
  • Goals: Students can create an academic goal, career goal, personal/social goal, and a postsecondary goal. The counselors will be individually meeting with the freshmen to identify their academic goal and career goals.
  • Learning Style Inventory: Students can take an inventory to identify how they learn best.

The counselors will be presenting a lesson to the Freshmen in January on Learning Styles. Each freshman will take the inventory and gain a better understanding of how they learn.


What is college financial aid?

Attending college is a significant investment in a student’s future, but most students cannot afford to pay for college without help. Financial aid is money that is given or loaned to help students pay for college.

Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the official form used to request federal, state and school assistance in paying for college. The FAFSA asks questions to determine the student’s level of financial need and establish his or her expected family contribution, or the amount of money the student and parents are expected to pay out of pocket for the student’s college expenses. The federal government, the colleges the student is applying to, and the states those colleges are located in all use the FAFSA in determining how much financial aid to grant a student who applies for college financial aid. (Investopedia)

Financial aid sources:

  • The federal government
  • State governments
  • Colleges and universities
  • Private organizations such as companies, clubs, and religious organizations; and lending companies such as banks.

Types of financial aid:

  • Grants: do not have to be paid back. Grants come from federal and state government and from colleges and universities.
  • Scholarships: Scholarships do not have to be paid back. Scholarships come from governments, colleges, and private organizations.
  • Loans: Loans are borrowed from federal or state governments or banks and lending companies. Loans must be paid back and often charge interest. The federal government offers low interest loans to students with financial need. Generally students do not begin paying back loans until after they have graduated.
  • Work-Study Programs: The Federal Work-Study Program offers paid part-time jobs to help students pay for part of their college cost.

Need vs Merit Based: Scholarships and grants may be need or merit based. Need based means the student’s family’s income is taken into account. Merit based scholarships and grants recognize student achievement, such as academic, athletic, leadership, or extracurricular and volunteer activities.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC): The amount the student’s family is expected to pay toward the total college cost of attendance. The EFC is calculated based on the information provided in the FAFSA.

When to file/deadlines: FAFSA deadlines are set by federal and state agencies, as well as individual school financial aid offices, and vary widely. Some schools have deadlines as early as the second week in January! File as early as possible, or at least before your college and state grant agencies' financial aid deadlines or preferred filing dates. Most student financial aid is limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.


Giving back to others in need is a measure of character, maturity, and commitment; and community service is a great way for students to help others during the holiday season. There are many opportunities for students to volunteer in their community: church groups, the Salvation Army, civic clubs, the United Way, the local food bank, homeless shelter, hospital, humane society, etc.

The holiday season is an exciting time for students: spending time with family and friends, sharing holiday meals, traveling to visit with loved ones, and exchanging gifts. It is a wonderful time to remember how fortunate we are and to contribute to our communities!

Old SAT vs New SAT

The new SAT will begin with the March 2016 administration. Please see the chart below to see the differences.
Big image
Big image

From the Courtland Counseling Department