College & Career Center Newsletter

George Mason High School - November 20, 2020


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College Conversation with Ms. Mural in Schoology, Tuesday, November 24, 12 noon - 1 pm

Please bring your college application questions to a conversation with Ms. Mural to obtain answers before Thanksgiving Break! The link to participate is posted on the calendar in Schoology.

AmeriCorps-NCCC Gap Year Program Information Session, Tuesday, December 1, 12 noon

Hear about AmeriCorps-NCCC from GMHS 2018 graduate, Chloe Young! "Join this residential program designed for young adults who want to serve full-time, on a tight knit team." The program will be held in Schoology; the link to connect is on the calendar in Schoology.


Senior Worksheet & Parent Brag Sheet, due one month before the first college application deadline

The Senior Worksheet is completed in Naviance (About Me > My Surveys > Surveys Not Started). The Parent Worksheet is posted on the College and Career Center website; it should be completed and emailed to your student's counselor. These forms are not sent to colleges and universities. They are used to help your counselor write the school recommendation.


Abilities Expo Virtual Experience, College Accommodations for Students with Physical Disabilities and Health Conditions, Sunday, November 22, 12-12:45 pm

"Students with physical disabilities and health conditions have a different set of considerations to navigate when transitioning to college in the United States. This webinar will explore the additional calculations that these students may face.

  1. Understand the applicable laws that govern academic, residential and programmatic aspects of college life (ADA, 504, FERPA).
  2. Identify common issues for students with physical disabilities and health conditions.
  3. Identify ways that students and families can prepare for this transition."

2020 College Access Fair for African-American/Black and Hispanic/Latinx Students and Families, hosted by The Commission on Independent Colleges & Universities in New York, Saturday, November 21, Virtual Fair from 12-2 pm and Workshops from 1-3 pm

"The virtual college fair will include the opportunity to connect with representatives from 50+ private colleges from across New York as well as workshops, offered in English and Spanish, on the college process and financial aid. Individual virtual appointments with financial aid experts will also be available in English and Spanish."

National Portfolio Day, 100% Free, Online Portfolio Reviews hosted by the NPDA (National Portfolio Day Association)

If you are applying to a NPDA member college, university, or art school, you may need or want to participate in one of the National Portfolio Day reviews as part of your admission process. Please consult individual institutions for specific application requirements.

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State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) Video

SCHEV launched this statewide video featuring college students encouraging high schoolers to attend some form of postsecondary education after graduation.



Dream Colleges, Free virtual program by The Princeton Review, Monday, November 30, 8-9:30 pm

"Planning for college can be stressful. Let us put you at ease. Join this session to overcome fears, dispel common myths, and learn how the college admissions process can actually be a fun experience (really!). We’ll share valuable insights and insider information to help you get into your dream school."

Exploring College Options, Sunday, December 6, 6 pm

Exploring College Options is a special informational program sponsored by the undergraduate admissions offices of five of the country's leading universities: Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford University.

This fall we are pleased to invite you and your family to join us for a 90-minute webinar to help you explore your college options and prepare a strong and reflective application in this time of change and new challenges. During the program, admission officers from our five universities will introduce their institutions, discuss the college application process, answer general questions, and provide individual school breakout sessions.

Longwood University Accelerated Decision Program

"Our Accelerated Decision allows you to get an on-the-spot admission decision immediately following your visit event—either on campus or virtually from the comfort of your home. We're also offering special regional events throughout Virginia!"

NOVA Pathway to the Baccalaureate Program, application deadline extended to November 30

Please reach out to Ms. Mural if you have questions about applying to the Pathway program.

TERRIFIC 10: Virtual College Exploration Series, Wednesday & Thursday, December 2 & 3, 6:30 pm

10 of the largest research-extensive public universities in the country are working together to bring the college search to you! We want you to learn about what a public university has to offer you close to home and across the country. As public universities, we recognize the importance of working together to ensure you find your best college fit. Learn about Arizona State University, Clemson University, Penn State, University of California San Diego, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Georgia, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Nebraska, University of Oregon, and the University of Texas at Austin.

Virtual Sneak Peak Program, Virginia Tech College Access Collaborative, Monday & Tuesday, December 7 & 8, 12-1:15 pm

The College Access Collaborative and its Hokie partners invite current 9th and 10th grade students to a Virginia Tech Virtual Sneak Peek program which will offer guidance on how to start preparing for college now. You need to register to attend.

The Virtual Sneak Peek program agenda is as follows:

  • Getting to Know You
  • Admissions Overview and Virtual Tour
  • Expanding Your College Knowledge with current Virginia Tech students
  • Show Me the Money! (Financial Aid Highlights)
  • Q & A and Closing

The Virginia Tech College Access Collaborative aims to increase academic preparation, access and affordability for first-generation, low-income, underrepresented minorities (Black, Latino, and Native American), women and students from rural and inner-city communities.


FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

Seniors, and a parent/guardian if the student is under 18 years old, need to complete the FERPA Consent, Release & Waiver for Letters of Recommendation(s): College, Scholarship, Honor, Special Programs & Employment. If you are applying to colleges using the Common Application, the GMHS FERPA form is in addition to completing the FERPA section within the Common Application. To complete the GMHS FERPA form, students need to use their FCCPS email addresses.

Transcript Requests

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The ACT will be offered on several national test dates in 2021.

  • Saturday, February 6, 2021 - register by January 8
  • Saturday, April 17, 2021 - register by March 12
  • Saturday, June 12, 2021 - register by May 7
  • Saturday, July 17, 2021 - register by June 18 (No test centers are scheduled for New York in July)

FREE, The Princeton Review ACT Virtual Practice Test, Saturday, December 12, 1-5 pm

Hosted by the Tysons Pimmit Regional Library. When you register for the practice test, be sure to use your personal email address (not your .fccps account).

Free, The Princeton Review ACT Practice Test Online

"Don’t procrastinate! Take action NOW to ensure you improve your ACT score. Try a full-length free practice ACT online today. After the practice test, you’ll receive a comprehensive score report detailing your strengths and weaknesses."

The SAT/SAT Subject Tests will be offered on several national test dates in 2021.

  • Saturday, March 13 (no subject tests) - register by February 12
  • Saturday, May 8 - register by April 8
  • Saturday, June 5 - register by May 6

FREE, The Princeton Review SAT Practice Test Online

"Don’t procrastinate! Take action NOW to ensure you improve your SAT score. Try a full-length free practice SAT today. After the test, you’ll receive a comprehensive score report detailing your strengths and weaknesses."


Moody, J. (2020, June 17). ACT vs. SAT: How to Decide Which Test to Take. U.S. News & World Report.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened on October 1. Some schools also require the CSS Profile for financial aid consideration. Please consult individual colleges regarding financial aid forms that are required.

Coalition for College FAFSA Resources, Recording of Intro to the FAFSA | Introducción y Proceso del FAFSA

Feeling overwhelmed about applying for financial aid? Admissions and financial aid officers from Coalition for College schools will walk you through how to get ready to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and answer questions about the process. Recordings of the program are available in English and Spanish.

Navigating the Twists and Turns of Paying for College, with The College Funding Coach and St. Mary's College of Maryland, Saturday, November 21, 9-10:30 am

"The struggle is real! Changing times, economic uncertainty and a rapidly evolving college landscape call for greater education around college financial planning. The College Funding Coach®️ and St. Mary’s College of Maryland have joined forces to offer a highly educational webinar."

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You will find scholarship resources on the College and Career Center Financial Aid and Scholarships website page and within Naviance.

The Builders' Association Scholarship, application due December 1

"To be eligible, applicants must plan to be a full-time college student in the Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 semester studying in a construction-related program (construction management, engineering, or architecture)."

CyberStart America, free program open now and ends February 28, 2021

Virginia high school-aged students are encouraged to explore their aptitude for cybersecurity and computer science by participating in the program. Winning students can earn prizes and scholarships, as well as recognition for their schools. Students can preview the types of challenges in the competition before formally starting the CyberStart Game. All Virginia students in grades 9-12 are invited to participate. High-scoring players will qualify for the National Cyber Scholarship Competition, a 2-day challenge in Spring 2021.

Make the U Scholarship, application due December 6

“Make the U” is an educational program from Colgate-Palmolive in partnership with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation that offers financial relief to Hispanic youth on their path to higher education.

2021 Northern Virginia Athletic Directors Administrators and Coaches Association (NVADACA) Scholarship, application due to Ms. Mural by Monday, February 1

George Mason High School can submit applications from six students to be considered for this scholarship.

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Ohio Wesleyan University Branch Rickey Scholarship

"Students with a minimum 3.6 grade point average will receive an automatic $30,000 Branch Rickey Scholarship, renewable for up to four years."



You will find a list of gap year programs on the College and Career Center Gap Year website page.

Go Overseas Gap Year Fairs

Monday, November 30

  • Gap Year 101, 7–8 pm
  • How to Plan a Gap Year in 2021, 8-9 pm

Tuesday, December 1

  • Experiential Ed: Gap Year in Academics, 6:30-7:30 pm
  • Language Learning during Gap Time, 7:30-8:30 pm

Wednesday, December 2

  • Gap Time as Career Exploration, 6:30-7:30 pm
  • Gap Year in Sustainability & Social Justice, 7:30-8:30 pm

Thursday, December 3

  • Outdoor Experiences & Adventure Trips, 6:30-7:30 pm
  • Gapping during COVID: Health & Safety, 7:30-8:30 pm

This information is provided for your convenience. Postings do not indicate endorsement or sponsorship by George Mason High School, FCCPS, nor any administrator or employee of either George Mason High School or FCCPS.