Academic Counseling - Frequently Asked Questions
What's the first thing I need to do when I start high school?
Read through the College Handbook to find out what to do starting before the 9th grade year. Topics such as what to do each year of high school, writing a college profile, college athletes and applying for college are discussed.
When should I take the SAT?
Students are strongly encouraged to take the SAT Reasoning test twice as a second semester junior and once as a senior. Dates for the test and registration information can be found on-line or in the Academic Dean's office.
What is the SAT Subject test?
The SAT Subject tests are generally required only by the more selective colleges; students should check individual requirements of each college they are considering to see if the Subject tests are necessary and, if so, which tests are required. Three Subject tests may be taken at one testing time. The test dates are the same as the SAT Reasoning Test.
Should I take the ACT also?
We encourage students to take the both the SAT and ACT in the event the SAT scores are not what you had hoped. The ACT is an achievement test measuring english, math, reading, and science skills. Some students perform better on the ACT than the SAT. Dates for tests and registration information can be found online or in the Academic Dean's office.
How do I apply for the HOPE Scholarship?
For eligibility requirements or to apply, visit www.GACollege411.org and click the "HOPE Info" link found in the gold box on the lefthand side of the page. On the next page, click the "Applying" link found in the green box on the left. Then, click the links for either "Public Colleges and Universities" or "Private Colleges and Universities" to apply electronically or to print an application.
What is FAFSA?
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. As the name implies, it is free to apply. To receive any government aid (including Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, etc.), families must complete a FAFSA. Most colleges use the FAFSA in order to award need-based institutional aid as well. It is based upon a family's previous year tax returns, and it is to be completed annually for every year of college. Most colleges require that the FAFSA be submitted by March 1, so get started now!
The Web site for the FAFSA is www.fafsa.ed.gov. Do NOT visit any similar sites that end in .org, .edu, or .com as these sites do not represent the federal government aid programs. Even if you don’t think your family will receive need-based aid, complete the form anyway! Millions of dollars go unclaimed each year, and you just may qualify.
If you are going to a private college, you may need to complete the CSS Profile. Consult your college’s web site to see if this it requires it. If so, visit www.collegeboard.com to complete this form. It is very similar to a FAFSA, but requires some additional information. Some private colleges use it to determine how they should allocate institutional need-based money. There is a fee to submit a Profile.
What do I need to do if I am an athlete?
Student athletes who plan to enroll in a Division I or II college should register with the NCAA through their NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse to determine academic eligibility. You should register at the end of the 11th grade after completion of six semesters of high school coursework. The clearinghouse registration form and eligibility guidelines are available online. (Note* - when taking the SAT, enter the code "9999" to have scores automatically sent to NCAA Clearinghouse. Colleges can then pull your scores up through the clearinghouse without you having to pay to have scores mailed to each college individually)
What is the Academic Common Market?
The Academic Common Market is a group of schools within a region that offer in-state tuition for out-of-state students who agree to study certain disciplines. As members of the Southern region, students from Georgia can receive in-state tuition to study specific programs throughout our region, in states from Delaware to Texas to Florida. The academic disciplines vary from state to state and college to college, but can include things like Linguistics, Public Administration, Interior Design, Architecture, and certain types of Engineering. Visit the Southern Regional Education Board to see what is available and to apply.