College Corner #4

College Corner

By Ms. Van Velsir, iLEAD Online School Counselor


All juniors and seniors are required to meet with me at least once before May 1, 2020, to discuss your academic path, your progress towards graduation, and your plans for the future. All meetings will be held virtually or by phone. If you haven’t yet met with me, you can contact me by email or text: pamela.vanvelsir@ileadonline.org or 661-816-1581.

AP Testing: You can check for updated information HERE.


It’s never too soon to start thinking about applying to colleges. As you are aware, the March 14 SAT date was canceled. See HERE to get the latest update on SAT testing.

Free Official SAT Practice Tests | SAT Suite of Assessments

The SAT is offered nationally seven times each year, usually on the first or second Saturday in March, May, June, August, October, November, and December.

Here are some planning tips from the College Board for the spring of your junior year. There are many websites out there for parents of juniors. Simply Google “things my high school junior needs to do in spring” for some tips.

Think of this time as if you are a detective:

  • Narrow your focus regarding your college goals.
  • Investigate colleges that offer programs in which you are interested.
  • Make a list of these colleges. If possible, make arrangements to visit those campuses to become more familiar with the culture and their programs.
  • Confirm which tests each college requires (some colleges only accept the SAT, not the ACT). This information is available online.

Another important thing to think about is how much this is going to cost. Investigate options for scholarships and grants; be sure to go online to read about Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to get an idea of what it is, what’s required, and what the deadlines are.

Here is an article about the efforts of one California university to help with the financial burden of a college degree.


By now, you have completed your college applications, testing, and financial aid applications, and you are probably waiting to hear back from your chosen schools. There are still some things to remember.

  • Keep your grades strong. Second-semester senior grades are part of the final transcript sent to your college choice.
  • Continue college research.
  • Check your transcript.
  • Know your deadlines.
  • Review the financial aid awards.
  • Count admission notifications. Check the outcomes. Were you accepted? Congratulations! Flat-out rejected? Move on. Did you receive a different response, such as spring start or wait list?

As you evaluate outcomes, revisit your priorities, and review your current school options to determine your first choice. Read the entire acceptance or denial letter. Be clear on the specific agreement into which you may be entering. Keep in mind that school officials may take until August 1 to decide about their wait list.

Now is the time to engage your best decision-making skills. Then if your number does come up and you are offered a spot, you can confidently notify the college of your decision. Try to visit or even revisit the colleges where you have been accepted. Talk with alumni. Attend an accepted-student reception. Then confidently make your college choice official by sending in your deposit.


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