College Counseling Summer Send-Off

For Rising PHHS Seniors from Ms. Campbell, College Counselor

Hello Summer!

As a rising senior, it is extremely important for you to begin actively engaging in preparations for your senior year and whatever it is that you would like to do after. Senior year will fly by and you will be very busy. If you are planning on applying to a 4-year college, understand that the process moves quickly upon your return to school in the fall of your Senior year. Many college applications, including the Common Application, open in August. Yes, THIS August. Like, a month and a half from now. That being said, you will not be able to complete a college application in its entirety until transcripts from BCPS are available. This usually occurs mid-late September so technically, that would be the earliest that you could submit a completed application. There are however, many things that you and your family can be doing now through the summer, in order to prepare and give yourself the best possible chances of admission. You will thank yourself later if you take the steps listed in this newsletter prior to your return.

Also, if you have plans to take the SAT/ACT and the college requires it for admission or they are going test-optional and you want to submit them, you will also need to have those scores available to submit. More on that below...

Many of the things that you need to know about the process are included in this newsletter. Please read it carefully and keep it for your reference as we proceed into summer and beyond.

Know that I am here to help you through this process. I am a 10 month employee so I do not work during the summer but I will be back on duty at the end of August. If you need urgent assistance, you may contact Mr. Ferenschak, Department Chair at over the summer.

Also, if you have not already, be sure to join the College Counseling Schoology Group. It is the main way that I will be communicating with you regarding college, scholarships, internships, etc.

Perry Hall High School Join Code: 9BXF-ZC87-VV3SM

I wish you all a wonderful, restful and safe summer and I look forward to working with you in the fall!

Stephanie Campbell, PHHS College & Career Counselor

Big picture

Should I take the SAT and/or ACT?

As a Junior. you hopefully took advantage of the free SAT school-day administration that was offered here at Perry Hall. I recommend taking the SAT at least twice if not three times. It is in your best interest to take the SAT at least 2 times as many students see a bump in their scores due to increased time management the second time they take it. Also, many schools Super Score which is where they use the best Math and the best Reading/Writing scores from multiple test administrations and combine them to make a Super Score. Testing multiple times gives you that advantage.

Many colleges have altered their admissions requirements to go "Test Optional" which means you can choose whether or not to submit test scores. However, Test Optional does not mean "Test Blind". Test Blind is where a school does not want to see test scores from any applicant. Therefore, if a school is test-optional and all things being equal between you and another candidate, if they submit strong test scores and you do not, it is possible for a school to go with that other candidate over you.

Currently, the SAT will be held on the following dates:

  • 2022–23 School Year Test Dates

    SAT Test Date, Registration Deadline, Deadline for Changes, Regular Cancellation,
    and Late Registration

    Aug 27, 2022, Jul 29, 2022, Aug 16, 2022

    Oct 1, 2022, Sept 2, 2022, Sept 20, 2022

    Nov 5, 2022, Oct 7, 2022, Oct 25, 2022

    Dec 3, 2022, Nov 3, 2022, Nov 22, 2022

    Mar 11, 2023, Feb 10, 2023, Feb 28, 2023

    May 6, 2023, Apr 7, 2023, Apr 25, 2023

    June 3, 2023, May 4, 2023, May 23, 2023

If you have already taken the SAT during your Junior year or in June, then taking it again in August or October is recommended. I would not suggest taking the SAT or ACT later than the October administration as we will be encouraging you to apply early to college and you will need your scores available to send to colleges. Should you want or need to submit test scores to your colleges, you will need to have them available to send and they typically take several weeks to be posted.

Registration links are below. You must register directly with the College Board for the SAT and the ACT testing organization for the ACT. (SAT registration) & (ACT registration)

ACT Test Dates

Test Date, Registration Deadline, Late Registration Deadline, Estimated Score Release

July 16, 2022, June 17, 2022, June 24, 2022, July 26-Sept 9, 2022

September 10, 2022, August 5, 2022, August 19, 2022, September 20-October 4, 2022

October 22, 2022, September 16, 2022, September 30, 2022, November 1-15, 2022

December 10, 2022, November 4, 2022, November 11, 2022, December 20, 2022-January 3, 2023

February 11, 2023, January 6, 2023, January 20, 2023, February 21-March 7, 2023

April 15, 2023, March 10, 2023, March 24, 2023, April 25-May 10, 2023

June 10, 2023, May 5, 2023, May 19, 2023, June 20-July 4, 2023

July 15, 2023, June 16, 2023, June 23, 2023, July 25-August 8, 2023

Big picture

What should Juniors (Rising Seniors) be doing now to prepare for college?

-Build, grow or shrink your college list so that by the end of the summer, you have a solid list of schools that you want to apply to. "How many schools should I apply to?" is a common question. You want a balanced list with a mix of public and private schools that cover the gamut of reach, target and safety schools. A good # is 4-8 schools. You can technically apply for as many schools as you want but remember, most applications have a fee to apply and will you really want to fill out 20 applications??? For ideas on how to search for schools, see below. Here is a great guide to use!

Also, check out the College Search and Application Spreadsheet below for a great way to organize your list.

-Make sure your list contains at least one MD Public University!!! (It is important to have this even if it is not your number one choice as, we can see from the past 2 years, finances can change in the blink of an eye, and plans sometimes have to change with it). It also gives you a good benchmark when comparing out-of-state or private schools' financial aid packages.

-Create a list/resume of your activities and clubs. Focus on the years of high school. Clubs, activities, honor societies, leadership positions, community service, employment, internships, etc. Jot them down with dates of participation so that you have them. Colleges WILL be asking you about all of this in your application. See the link for a resume template: Your teachers and counselor will need your resume to write your letters of recommendation.

- GO VISIT!!!! There is nothing that compares to stepping foot on a college campus and seeing for yourself what it is like and if it "feels right" to you. See below for tips on visitation. Check out the College Search and Application Spreadsheet that you can use to keep track of all of your potential schools, below!

-If an in-person visit is just not possible, go to the college's website and do their virtual tour. It's the next best thing.

-Fill out the PHHS Senior Brag Sheet. This sheet will be required if you will be applying to a 4 year college as it assists your teachers and counselor to write you a letter of recommendation.

-Practice for the SAT. Log in to your College Board account and use the free service, Khan Academy. This service works with your PSAT scores to create individualized practice for you. You can even set a regular schedule of practice. Recent studies suggest that practicing on Khan Academy for 20 hours increased students' scores by 115 points. That is substantial.

-Another option? The Answer Class! SAT/ACT Prep Info

Virtual SAT and ACT prep classes will be held this summer for fees that will not break the bank! $149 for an 8 hour course, combo SAT and ACT $249


-Create a Common App account. The Common Application is one application over 900 schools use so chances are, many of your schools will be Common App schools. Set up your account with your profile but do not start applying to colleges. August 1st will come and wipe out any active applications but will not erase your profile. If you do your profile now, that will be a HUGE benefit to you when you are back in school trying to complete applications while also balancing life as a Senior.

-While you are in Common App, check out the essay prompts. These are the actual prompts that you will use for your Common Application. You will choose one and only one when doing your actual application but, even if you don't do a Common App, the prompts there are very similar to other essay prompts in other applications. Begin brainstorming some ideas for your essay. Remember, the essay is the way that you bring your application to life and has become extremely important to the application process since many activities for students have been limited in the last several years. Plan on doing MANY revisions of your essay and understand that this is not a process that should be done in one sitting. The latest published essay prompts are located in the Junior packets below. Check out "The College Essay Guy". He is awesome and has TONS of free resources available. See below...

-Speaking of finances, if you and your family have not already had a discussion about money for college, please do so as soon as possible! It is often too late for many students to try and figure out how to pay for college when they receive their financial aid packages in the spring of their senior year! Know how much you have and how much you may need to finance so that you can make realistic decisions.

-The College Board offers scholarships to Juniors! Last chance to stay in the running for $40,000! Sign-up for Opportunity Scholarships by JUNE 30 to qualify.

-Begin looking for and applying to scholarships. IT IS NOT TOO EARLY!!! College is expensive and most of us need all of the help we can get. See the financial resources sheet below for links to legit websites. Remember, you should NEVER pay for a scholarship search!!! That is a scam so don't even bother. The Golden Rule here - You should never pay money to get money.

What is the Common App?

Searching for Colleges? Try these search sites...

-Open a Chrome browser tab while logged in to your BCPS Google credentials. Go to Log in as a student via "Clever". You will not need a separate username and password. Go to the "College" tab, then "Find My Fit" and then "Supermatch". This service contains filters that you can put in as much info or as little as you want and Naviance will create a list for you of colleges across North America that match what you're looking for.

-College Board Big Future: Learn about and compare colleges

-Collegevine: Provides college search and also great information on financial aid, scholarship searches and essay writing.

-Niche: Great website that "grades" colleges based on college student reviews:

-Colleges that Change Lives: Based on the book by Lauren Pope, this website features schools that in their words have, "Personalized, student-centered experiences [are] at the heart of every Colleges That Change Lives education. While the CTCL member schools all share that mission, they are otherwise very distinctive from one another."

-The Princeton Review: A long-trusted resource for students published yearly.

-CollegeXpress: A unique college search site that allows you to search for schools by major, activities, state, and more!

-Campus Reel: Using videos, CampusReel's student-driven video content puts students at the forefront of their college communities to build trust, connection and engagement in the digital world.

-College Scorecard: An excellent resource from the USDE to analyze test scores, fields of study, cost, etc. of any college.

Upcoming Events for 2022-23! Save the Dates!

Senior Family College Night

Thursday, Sep. 15th, 6:30-8pm

4601 Ebenezer Road

Nottingham, MD

This event will be tailored toward Senior students and families. We will be discussing how to create a college list, applying to college including essays, letters of recommendation, activities lists, transcripts, etc.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Perry Hall High School College Fair

Thursday, Sep. 29th, 6:30-8pm

4601 Ebenezer Road

Nottingham, MD

The College Fair is back in person! Featuring many in-state and out-of-state public and private schools. Students and families from PHHS and any BCPS high school, are invited to visit with colleges, get to know their programs, and meet admissions representatives.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Financial Aid Night

Thursday, Oct. 13th, 6:30-8pm

4601 Ebenezer Road

Nottingham, MD

This evening program will discuss what parents and students need to know about finding money for college. We will discuss the FAFSA, MDCaps, scholarship and grant money, etc.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Big picture

Ms. Stephanie Campbell

College and Career Counselor at Perry Hall High School