Counselor Corner 2017-2018

September 2017 (v.1)

Welcome to the 2017-18 school year!

Welcome to the ROHS Counseling Corner Newsletter. Whether you are new to ROHS or returning to us this year, we are excited to have you check in here with our monthly newsletter and keep apprised of important dates and details as they pertain to the Counseling Center. Please be in touch with your student's counselor if you have further questions here. We are looking forward to another great year partnering with you and your student.


Paul Surdenik, Jennifer Vick, Carrie Laurence & Jim Bowker

Mark your Calendars:

ROHS College Fair: October 5th, 6:00-7:30, in the Cafeteria and Commons (click the link for list of colleges attending) Open to the public and students of all ages strongly encouraged to attend


ROHS Underclassman Academic Awards: Oct 17th, 6:30pm, @ Royal Oak Middle School. Students being recognized will receive a letter of invitation via mail.


FAFSA Opens: Oct 1st. "Free Application for Federal Student Aid" (click link for website). Application through FAFSA is required for most colleges, universities and many scholarships before they issue monetary awards (even merit based). We recommend all families with students attending a 2 or 4-year college in the fall file with FAFSA.


PSAT Testing (in school):

  • 11th graders, October 11th, in school (you do not need to do anything to register your student). All students will have early dismissal, times TBA
  • 9th and 10th graders will take the PSAT in the spring


ASVAB Testing: Oct. 31st, The ASVAB is a multiple-aptitude battery that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military. Test is free to students and may provide useful career pathway information even for students not interested in the military.


Newly Updated--FAFSA Workshop @ ROHS: Nov 7, 6:00-7:30 pm in the Learning Commons. We will host a Financial Aid Counselor that evening who will be making appointments to answer all of you application questions. Click HERE to sign up for an appointment with Sign Up Genius.

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Testing Dates 2017-2018:

ACT 2017-2018:

  • Oct 28,
  • Dec 9,
  • Feb 10,
  • April 14,
  • June 9,
  • July 14


SAT 2017-2018:

  • Oct 7,
  • Nov 4,
  • Dec 2,
  • March 2018--TBD, will be administered to all Juniors at ROHS, no registration needed,
  • May 5,
  • June 2


*To register your student for testing, please do so directly on the respective websites below

Should I retake the ACT or SAT?

This is a good question, and one only you and your student can answer. The advantage of a strong ACT or SAT is primarily two-fold. One, a strong test score strengthens your application for colleges. Two, a strong score may enhance your scholarship options (merit based and private scholarships).


However, it is good to know WHY you are electing to retake the test. Would scoring 1 or 2 (ACT) or 100 (SAT) points higher help you qualify for $1000 more in Merit Scholarships from your college? Are you close to getting into your "reach" school? If so, then maybe. HOWEVER...these instruments are generally very "reliable" metrics, meaning student scores don't tend to vary much from one test to the next.


Tips if you DO want to retake:


  1. Focus on ONE test (ACT or SAT) whichever one you felt more confident and comfortable with. All colleges take either test.
  2. If you want a different score, take a different approach. If you didn't do any prep work the first time, do some actual prep the second time. Online tutorials, test prep books or tutors/prep classes are all options.
  3. The ROHS Career Counseling Center website has a lot of information that might also prove helpful. Do a little research.

Tip of the Week...

SENIORS--How to apply to a college or university 1-2-3:


1) Go to the school's website, click on the "Admissions" tab, and then click the "Apply" button--at this point the student will either be directed to create an account OR will be directed to apply via the "Common App" (not widely used for colleges/universites in Michigan).


2) After you hit "submit" on the application, your student should send his/her transcripts to that school via Parchment (www.parchment.com). Please note, the SSC does not typically send transcripts unless the student is applying to a school via the Common App. Students will need to do this on their own.


3) Send test scores (ACT/SAT) if asked to do so and your student hasn't already done so. Your student's SAT from last spring at ROHS is published on their transcript, for most schools this is adequate.


Note: some schools (University of Michigan, Michigan State University) require you to send them directly from ACT/SAT. If your student designated a school to receive their test scores at the time they took the test (both tests allow you to send 4 for free per test). If you did not do this, you must log into the testing website, request them to be sent, and pay).


After you have done the above steps, prompt your student to check back in with the online application portal to make sure 1) all facets of the application are complete 2) they receive a response from the school (accept, defer, decline). PAY ATTENTION to important application deadlines on each schools webpage.


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JUNIORS--Now is the time to start looking 1-2-3:


1) Website visits/virtual tours are a great first step. Start browsing different schools online and compare/contrast---see what piques your interest. There are some great websites to help your student to explore different colleges/options your student may or may not already be familiar with. Two such websites:


2) Attend College Rep Visits at ROHS--pick 3 or 4 schools that sound interesting and come sit in on an informational meeting. Sign up in the SSC.


3) VISIT! This may be the most critical component of your college search. All colleges and universities schedule campus visits/tours on their websites. This is the best way to get the "feel" of each school. Please note: plan ahead. Some schools (MSU, U of M) book up quickly. You don't want to be left out in the cold (literally and figuratively! brrrr...)

Upcoming College Rep. Visits:

Visits vary from 30-60 minutes, open to all Juniors and Seniors. Sign up in advance in the SSC for n opportunity to meet with the reps, hear a presentation and have some Q&A (you can click on each school for a link to their webpage for a preview).


Hope College, 9/26, 9am

Albion College, 9/26, 1pm

U of M, Dearborn, 9/28, 1pm

Michigan Tech. U, 9/28, 1pm

Lawrence Tech U, 9/29, 9am

Baker College, 9/29, 1pm

DePaul University, Chicago, 10/5, 9am

Adrian College, 10/5, 1pm

Oakland University, 10/5, 2pm

Otterbein University, Westerville, Ohio, 10/9, 10am

Wayne State University, 10/10, 9am

Baldwin Wallace, Berea, Ohio, 10/10, 1pm

Aquinas College, 10/12, 1pm

Loyola, Chicago, 10/12, 2pm

Eastern Michigan University, 10/16, 1pm

Siena Heights University, 10/23, 2pm

Northern Michigan University, 10/30, 9:30am

Scholarships?

There are many avenues to pursue with scholarships for college. One of the easiest, is to read the Senior Bulletin distributed by the Student Service Center each month. Click here for the September 2017 edition. Give it a read and keep checking for updates each month.

Get Involved at ROHS...there are SO many options...

According to the National Center for Education Statistics " it is clear that participation and success are strongly associated as evidenced by participants' better attendance, higher levels of achievement, and aspirations to higher levels of education "


ROHS has myriad clubs, sports, and activities. Encourage your student to put a couple the below items on their bucket list for the year.

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Your Counseling Staff:

Paul Surdenik, alpha A-B and OSTC students, surdenikp@royaloakschools.org


Jennifer Vick, alpha C-J, vickj@royaloakschools.org


Carrie Laurence, alpha K- Re, laurencec@royaloakschools.org


Jim Bowker, alpha Ri-Z, bowkerj@royaloakschools.org


Karen Murphy, secretary, murphyk@royaloakschools.org