BTSOA Counselor Newsletter

December 2015

What's Inside?

Seniors/Juniors: What should you be doing now?

Scholarship Information (Juniors and Seniors)

Post High School Planning Information


Glad to be back!

As you know, I have been out on maternity leave the majority of the fall semester. While I enjoyed my time with my family, I am happy to be back working with all the awesome students at SOA. I plan to publish this newsletter monthly at minimum. There will be information on school counseling topics that is relevant to all grade levels. Above all, please don't hesitate to call, email, or see me in my office with any and all questions!

Mrs. Howard

Juniors/Seniors: What now?


So those of you that had December 1st college applications (hopefully) sent those off. Others might still be working on applications. Here's some tips:

1. Confirm that each college received your application, ACT scores, transcript, letter or recommendation, fee/fee waiver. You would not believe how many things get lost in the mail and it IS your responsibility to make sure everything is received.

2. Complete any other applications for colleges that have later deadlines.

3. Schedule/prepare for any necessary auditions or portfolio reviews.

4. Scholarships, SCHOLARSHIPS, SCHOLARSHIPS! I have a massive number of scholarship opportunities for you as well as ones that you find on your own or receive from your home school counselor. Many are located right here in this newsletter to start.

5. If you are still confused as to what you are doing next year, see me.

If your plan is employment, military, or a gap year.... please see me to make sure you have a solid plan in place as well.


By now many of you are starting to think about your post high school plans. There is no need to stress yet, but do be exploring some options. The most important thing you can do is to keep your options open. I often hear students say that they aren't even considering college because they don't have the money. This is complete misinformation. There are many opportunities for attending college for ABSOLUTELY FREE and I will be explaining this further throughout the spring. Please especially read the Post Secondary Resources section of the newsletter as a good start.


December 12 ACT: If you registered for this test, please make sure you have everything you need including a calculator, pencils, an ID, and your admission ticket. See the link below for more test day information.

Still need to take the ACT?

February 6 is the next test date and the registration deadline is January 8th. *Please see me if paying the fee is an issue. I can give waivers in certain circumstances. All Middletown students automatically receive 2 fee waivers.

Juniors: All juniors will have the opportunity to take the ACT here at BTSOA in April. More information to come later.

SAT vs ACT: See more information below on comparing the SAT vs ACT. I would encourage students to take the ACT first, but to try the SAT if you don't like your score. I recommend seeing me to discuss your options if you have questions about this.

Note: The SAT has been redesigned but this doesn't start until the March 2016 test date

SAT next test dates:

January 23 is the next test date and the registration deadline is December 28th. *Please see me if paying the fee is an issue. I can give waivers in certain circumstances. All Middletown students automatically receive 2 fee waivers.


Check out this link for a great discussion on the ACT vs current SAT.

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Financial Aid!

This is a huge topic that could be it's own newsletter. Here are some highlights:

1. FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid: Seniors will hear about this repeatedly for the next 2 months. It is the single most important thing you can do in order to get free money for college. EVERYONE should fill it out. There isn't a single situation not to fill it out. See the link below about FAFSA myths and please, please, please, call me if you have concerns. Students can start working on this JANUARY 1st or wait until the January 14th senior financial aid day.

I am willing to help or review any student's FAFSA that asks. I take confidentiality very seriously and will never share any information contained in your FAFSA. However, a mistake could cost you thousands of dollars in free money so having it reviewed by myself or another expert is in your best interest. Last year, a tax preparer filled out the FAFSA for one student and made several errors that resulted in this student losing out on both a scholarship and $6,000 in grant money that they were entitled to. So please be aware that not everyone who says they are an expert knows the ins and outs of the system. I attend multiple trainings a year to stay on top of every update and available way to maximize your financial aid eligibility.

2. Scholarships

I have posted some links below and will continue to send out scholarships. Many are for seniors only but many are also for all ages. See the links below and pay attention to your email and my twitter account.

3. Overwhelmed? Fear not. Seniors will have a dedicated financial aid day with me on January 14th. Myself and others will be available to assist you in filing out the FAFSA and various community scholarship applications.

Sinclair Community College Scholarship!

DUE DECEMBER 15 & Requires a letter of recommendation This scholarship is $2,000 per year and will make your tuition FREE when coupled with the $3,000 Tech Prep scholarship you receive as a Butler Tech student.


Scholly is the simple, comprehensive and accurate scholarship-matching platform that turns the long months of searching for free money for college, into minutes.

Darrell Parks Scholarship $1,000

DUE MARCH 1, 2016

Any student enrolled in an Ohio Career and Technical Program is eligible to apply.

A one time check will be sent to the recipient's program of higher education to be used toward tuition/fees. The recipient must successfully enroll for the first term of postsecondary education within one year of being awarded the scholarship.

*See Mrs. Howard for an application

Post Secondary Resources

See the links below for some great articles/resources related to post secondary planning!
Want to be on Broadway one day?

Here are the top 10 colleges currently represented on current Broadway shows.

This organization focuses on helping first-generation college students to get to and be successful in college. This website is a great resource for ANYONE and I have copies of their college guide here at school.

Contest for CTE Students-Design Ohio ACTE Conference Program Cover

Ohio ACTE is looking for CTE student designed submissions for the front cover of the 2016 Connection to Education Conference program. The program is distributed to all conference attendees, presenters, and exhibitors.

Cover must meet the following specifications:

  • Cover must be 8.5 x 11 and submitted as a high resolution pdf.

  • Must include the conference dates, July 25-27, 2016 and conference name “Ohio ACTE Connection to Education Conference”

  • Design should somehow incorporate the student’s perception of career-technical education, or their specific CTE program.

Entries must be submitted via email by March 1, 2016. Entries should be sent to

Coming Next Time!

* More FAFSA information

* Senior Financial Aid Day January 14th

* More Scholarships including the Community Foundations of Hamilton, Middletown, Lakota, Fairfield etc

*More information on college and career options