PHS Counselor Connection

September 2021: Senior Edition

In this Newsletter:

  • Important Dates
  • Future Ready: Senior Specific Info, Tutoring resource, ACT Prep & College Considerations (research, financing, athletes etc.)
  • Helpful Resources for Families and Students (Including our new student job "Board")
This is a mini-version of the regular Counselor Connection Newsletter that the Student Services Team puts out each month. There is some important, time-sensitive information that we wanted to get out to you right away!
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Important Dates

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Start College Now and Early College Credit Program applications for second semester are due to the counselors by October 1st. If you are looking to register for a semester 2 college class through these programs, please connect with your counselor right away and turn your application in by the deadline!
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PHS Fall Future Ready Days!

October 13th and 14th are the Fall Future Ready Days at PHS. On these days students will run a shortened schedule of classes in the afternoon and each morning offers a different experience.

Morning of the 13th:

  • Freshmen will take the Pre-ACT
  • Sophomores will take the Pre-ACT
  • Juniors have the option to take a full-length practice ACT, the PSAT or the ASVAB
  • Seniors will choose from a menu of options from college application work time to paying for college, to information from WCTC along with many others.

Morning of the 14th:

All students will participate in our 10th annual Career Speaker Day

More details to come!

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We get it! Planning for your life after high school can be STRESSFULL- We're here for you every step of the way. Just stop by or reach out via email or g-chat for a meeting if you need help with anything along the way! We also offer a college application help session during resource- sign up in FlexiSched! The first workshop is this coming Thursday in the guidance office.

Don't forget about all of the tips and tricks regarding the UW System application, the Common Application and getting your transcript through Parchment that were included in our special summer edition senior newsletter sent in July and from a previous email from Mrs. Lewek! Students who have used those resources have had a much easier time completing their applications.

UW System application presentation

Common Application presentation

Sending Your Transcripts Through Parchment

Scholarships & Resources

Now is the time to start looking for and applying to scholarships. They are starting to come out and that will continue throughout the spring. HERE is a link to the PHS list of scholarships that come through our office. HERE is a flyer with some of the popular scholarship databases. Going Merry is particularly nice as it is like a common app for scholarships; apply for multiple scholarships with only one application.

Remember to use your Future Ready planning document and Resource Guide to help with some basic information. Counselors are here to help with every step of the way!

What? Apply to College for Free?!?

In case you missed us talking about this in the past, many UW system universities are waiving their application fees this year. Additionally there are many other colleges and universities throughout the state and country that are also waiving fees. Do your research now and be sure to apply in time to take advantage of this opportunity!

**If you qualify for free and reduced lunch, you should still indicate such on the application and complete the fee waiver paperwork even though applying is free. Completing that paperwork will then also waive the enrollment deposit. If you do not do the application fee waiver, you will have to pay the enrollment deposit.

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College Application Deadlines

Don't panic! You have plenty of time for most colleges! Deadlines vary greatly for the colleges. While some college have specific deadlines, many offer rolling admissions and accept applications until they are full. We recommend having applications done by Thanksgiving unless they have a later deadline. For most UW campuses we suggest having submitted by Halloween. UW Madison has two deadlines which effect when you will have a decision by. The November 1 deadline will have decisions by the end of January and the February 1 deadline will have decisions out by March 31.

Want some help completing the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA)?

Financial Aid Application (FAFSA)- The FAFSA opens on October 1st. Each college can set their own priority deadline- be sure to complete the FAFSA prior to the first priority deadline. You can see a list of the priority deadlines for the UW Campuses HERE. For information about other colleges, check the financial aid webpages. It is very important to have this completed by the priorty deadlines!

If you need help completing the FAFSA- check out the great opportunities through College Goal WI. There are in person and virtual events where you can receive 1:1 assistance completing your application for federal college aid.

Still doing your research? The College Reps are coming...virtually that is. But they still offer awesome information about their campuses! The military reps are available too!

It's never too early to start researching colleges! All grade levels are welcome to participate in these virtual visits.

Link to List of Current College and Military Scheduled Visits (for PHS students only-check back often!) Most are virtual. For most, you must pre-register at the link or get a pass from the guidance office if you will be meeting during class time.

College Representatives are calling regularly to schedule times so make sure to check this list regularly!

Other Opportunities to Learn about Colleges

Wisconsin Education Fairs

Christian College Fair

National College Fair

Taking the ACT again? Here are some options for prep!

WCTC ACT Prep Class (Online)

Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) is offering the ACT Exam Preparation course this upcoming Fall 2021 semester. The course is designed for high school students preparing to take the ACT. Students will learn strategies and aspects of the ACT in the areas of Math, Reading, Writing, Science Reasoning, and English Grammar to prepare them for success on their exam. Classes start September 18th or October 30th. See this flyer for more information.

ACT Prep: Don’t forget- all juniors have access to the online ACT prep course through Method Test Prep. This is true wether they are enrolled in the ACT prep class through PHS or not. Students can find the program in their Xello accounts on the menu on the right. This can be used at any time.

Most students take their first ACT with the high school in February/March and then take the April, June or July tests if they wish to retest. Some juniors will take the December test. Some seniors will take the September or October tests if they are still trying for a certain score. Scores are reported in time for admissions deadlines at most schools.

Looking for a JOB?

We get (almost) daily calls or emails from local employers looking to hire current high school students and sometimes calls for recent graduates or getting ready to gradauate seniors. Check out this virtual job board for all of the great opportunities out there to earn some money and gain experience for your future!

Considering WCTC? Join them for an in-person Open House on November 18th!

Register for the WCTC open house scheduled for 4-7pm on November 18th. Students and parents can attend anytime in that window. Check out the list of the over 150 programs that WCTC offers HERE and don't forget to scroll way down the page to learn about the transfer agreements that exist to aid in transferring credits to 4-year colleges. For example, did you know that the Electrical Engineering Technical students can easily transfer 60+ credits to MSOE, Marquette and UWM!

Applying to WCTC?

This step by step resource walks you right through the process of completing your requirements for entering a program at WCTC. From application to entrance tests to specific program requirements, use this tool to guide you through the process.

Thinking about the UW System?

This booklet has great information for those starting to learn about options within the UW System. This is a nice checklist (9th & 10th) checklist (11th) for those planning on attending college.

Paying for College Resource

The website from Sallie Mae has great resources from the basics to more detailed info about the various methods to help afford college. A great video series is also available.

And don't forget to join us for the in-person Financial Aid seminar on September 28th where a representative from a college will be here to give you information on completing the FAFSA and to answer your questions about the process or unique situations. See information in the Important Dates table above.

Test Optional/Test Flexible

With so many schools allowing you to choose whether or not to submit test scores, we wanted to give you a few links with info that may help you learn more about what that means and information to help make your decision. One important item to note with test optional schools, which you will see in these resources, is that many schools DO require test scores in order to award MERIT BASED SCHOLARSHIPS- you need to know if this is the case at the colleges that you are applying to so that you do not lose out on FREE MONEY! Start by checking the college's admissions and financial aid pages for this information. If you cannot find it, give the admissions office a call and ask. In most cases, the NCAA will also still require scores for all athletes. Here are a few links with helpful test optional information:

Get Schooled Test Optional Page

College Raptor Test Optional Page

Road to College Admissions Policies Page

College Essay Guy Resources

This website has a TON of great resources in the college decision making and application process (Some require payment but many, many are free). You can even get a free guide to writing a personal statement (if you want to give your email).
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Considering a Gap Year?

Whether it's to work, travel, volunteer or something else you may find yourself considering a gap year. Below are some resource to help you determine if this is the best path for you.

Gap year guide (and they offer programs)

US News article- Tips and resources

Global Citizen Website with lots of articles and information

Gap Year Association- Gap year definition, advice, list of options etc. article on what they consider the 11 best gap year volunteer programs

Volunteerhq list of best volunteer gap experiences for 20-21

Considering College Athletics?

If there is a possibility that you will be enrolling at a D1 or D2 college (NCAA) or a NAIA program, you need to be sure to be knowledgeable about and follow the steps required for eligibility confirmation. If you haven't created your clearinghouse account yet you need to do this now (including the transcript upload). Accounts must be created before you can attend an official visit or sign a letter of intent. Potential division 3 students should complete the profile page. See your counselor for assistance and to be sure that you have met the academic requirements. More information (regarding all divisions) can be found in this slideshow from the NCAA.

Main NCAA Info Page

NCAA Eligibility Center

NCAA Guide for the College Bound Student Athlete

NCAA D3 Profile Page

Main NAIA Page

NAIA Eligibility Center

Looking for volunteer opportunities?

Check out the community organizations looking for volunteers on this Volunteer Opportunities spreadsheet.
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District Community Resources List

(use the links on the left to navigate resources for various topics)

Your Choice Parent Webinars- Sessions on various topics that parents may find useful. Topics include resiliency, drugs, alcohol, vaping and screen addiction

College Goal WI- Assistance with completing the FAFSA (seniors) All virtual event this year

Healing Hearts Fall Grief Groups (youth and adults)

Resources from the Pewaukee Library- Help Now (Live online tutoring), Teen Reading Challenge, Teen Book Club, Virtual Magna & Anime Club

District/School Calendars

Student Job "Board"- Often times, local employers will let us know of positions that they are hiring for. This document will be updated each time we learn of a new opportunity so check back often!

Teen Central

Resource for teens facing mental health issues. This website is filled with resources and information to get help. (click the picture to go to the site)
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