College & Career Center Newsletter

George Mason High School - February 19, 2021


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Auburn University's Engineering Week, February 22-26

We invite students considering a career in engineering to join us and feel the excitement of Alabama's premier engineering educational experience. Seventh through twelfth graders have opportunities to watch interactive exhibits, chat with students and faculty, and virtually tour labs.

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High School Girls Only STEM Night and Astronaut Convocation, Thursday, March 4, 5-8 pm

United States Naval Academy (USNA) STEM Center is hosting a High School Girls Only STEM Night and Astronaut Convocation (VIRTUAL) on Thursday, March 4, 2021 from 5 to 8 PM. HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS (GRADES 9-12) are invited to participate in a live, virtual, hands-on workshop followed by a livestream of the Astronaut Convocation. Expand your education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and meet women faculty & college students working with exciting technologies in a wide range of science and engineering careers.

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STEM Careers Virtual Workshops, offered by NOVA's STEM Outreach Program, NOVA SySTEMic

  • The Career Engineer: Resume Workshop, Wednesday, February 24, 6-7:30 pm
  • The Career Engineer: Interviewing Workshop, Wednesday, March 3, 6-7:30 pm

Learn about Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways at NOVA from college faculty and staff. Sessions will utilize the Zoom platform and is geared towards High School and current NOVA Students. Some sessions will be recorded and uploaded to the NOVA SySTEMic YouTube Channel with Subtitles. Please register if you would like to receive this information even if you are unable to attend the session in real time.


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BigFuture Days, Virtual College Fairs

NACAC Virtual College Fair, Sunday, February 28, 1-7 pm EST

You need to register in advance to attend.

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The Princeton Review FREE virtual workshops

Virginia Tech's Virtual Uplifting Black Men Pre-College Program and 6th Annual Conference

High school students who participate in two of the three pre-college program sessions and attend the 6th Annual Conference will receive Virginia Tech swag, an application fee waiver and an invitation to visit Virginia Tech in Blacksburg! The pre-college program is open to students in the Class of 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024.

The pre-college program will consist of three sessions on February 23-25:

  • Session 1: Kickoff!/Admissions & Financial Aid, Tuesday, February 23, 12:00-1:00 PM
  • Session 2: Life @ Virginia Tech, Wednesday, February 24, 12:00-1:00 PM
  • Session 3: Networking, Thursday, February 25, 5:00-6:00 PM


Student Access to Naviance

Please review this instruction sheet to learn how to login to Naviance using Clever.

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.


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.

2021-2022 Common App Essay Prompts

Below is the full set of essay prompts for 2021-2022.

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.


Improve Your SAT or ACT Score From Home, Free Virtual Practice Tests Every Week from

They offer practice tests for the PSAT, ACT, and SAT. Anyone who participates will receive a free score analysis that breaks down how you did by section, question type, and content area so you can get a sense for where you might want to do some review prior to the real thing.

Take an SAT/ACT Practice Test with Tysons Pimmit Library

Virtual Test: Zoom login info will be emailed to registrants

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

  • 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 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 will be offered on several national test dates in 2021.

  • Saturday, May 8 - register by April 8
  • Saturday, June 5 - register by May 6

2021-22 SAT Administration Dates (Anticipated)

  • August 28, 2021

  • October 2, 2021

  • November 6, 2021

  • December 4, 2021

  • March 12, 2022

  • May 7, 2022

  • June 4, 2022

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."


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.

The College Funding Coach Specialty Webinars



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

Colleges That Change Lives (CTCL) Scholarship, application due March 26

The 2021 CTCL Scholarships of $1,000/year (renewable for up to four years) will be awarded to 3 students who will be attending a CTCL-member college or university.

Federal Water Quality Association National Capital Environmental Scholarship Program, application due April 12

"FWQA has been very proud to provide scholarships to students seeking careers in wastewater and related field. In the past, FWQA has provided each year, at least three $2,000 annual scholarships (based on sponsor donations) to Washington, D.C.-area high school seniors accepted to college to pursue careers in the environmental sciences.

Graduating seniors from high schools in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area planning to pursue environmental careers are eligible to apply for FWQA scholarships. Before receiving the awards, recipients must be accepted into a four-year bachelor's program in an acceptable field of study by an accredited institution of higher learning. Examples of acceptable fields of study include: chemistry, biology, environmental sciences, environmental engineering, civil engineering, chemical engineering, and natural resources planning."

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Johns Hopkins Engineering Innovation’s Precollege Program

"We’re hosting a series of virtual information sessions so you can learn more about the Engineering Innovation experience. The first session is Saturday, Feb. 27 at 12 p.m. EDT. Can’t make it Feb. 27? Register for another virtual session:

Space is limited, so register now!"


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

FEMA Corps Applications are Now Open

"Are you ready to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to disasters through AmeriCorps? Our FEMA Corps applications with July start dates are now open. By serving in the FEMA Corps program, you get:

  • Basic expenses covered by AmeriCorps, including lodging and meals
  • Opportunities to travel all around the U.S.
  • A modest living stipend for personal expenses
  • An education award of $6,345
  • Valuable leadership skills in emergency management
  • A foot in the door for employment with the federal government after service.

Take the next step today by reviewing our application guidance and starting the process. Apply by Thursday, April 1 to be a team leader or Thursday, April 15 to be a team member.

Learn how to apply for AmeriCorps NCCC opportunities by attending our next webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. ET."

Gap Year Expo 2021, Saturday, February 20, 3-6 pm

Who can you connect with?

  • Canadian Gap Year Association learn from the pros on how to maximize your gap year experience.

  • International Experience Canada Ever considered working abroad but didn't know how? Ask away!

  • Discover Year Develop career and life skills, self-awareness, confidence, motivation and interpersonal skills.

  • Class Afloat Sail around the world while earning credits. Become a true citizen of the world (and sea) on this adventure.

USA Gap Year Fairs

From Nov 30, 2020 - March 31, 2021, USA Gap Year Fairs is hosting 40 virtual events to connect students, families, and counselors with the most up to date information about gap year options and summer opportunities in 2021.

How to Take a Gap Year: the Ultimate Crash Course: In addition to the 12 regional and national virtual USA Gap Year Fairs, we're thrilled to offer this crash course for all things gap year! For the first time, USA Gap Year Fairs will bring together expert gap year counselors, gap year alumni, and college admissions representatives for this engaging series of panel-style events with live Q&A to tell you everything you need to know about planning the ultimate gap year.

Pre-register once to stay up to date on all things gap year and receive access to these 15 virtual events that will run from 7-8 PM EST:

  • Feb 22: Ask an Expert: Counselor Q&A
  • Feb 25: Gap Year as Career Exploration
  • Mar 8: How to Choose a Gap Year Program (Session 2)
  • Mar 15: How to Win a $10,000 Gap Year Scholarship!
  • Mar 22: Gap Year 101: Gapping in the COVID Era
  • Mar 24: How to Plan Your Gap Year (Independent vs. Program)
  • Mar 29: Gap Time as Career Exploration
  • Mar 31: Gap Year in the Wild: Outdoor Experiences & Adventure Trips
  • Apr 5: Gap Year in the Arts
  • Apr 8: College Credit & Language Learning During Gap Time
  • Apr 12: Gap Year Options in Conservation, Sustainability, & Social Justice

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.