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College and Career Counseling

 

Welcome to Weston High School’s College & Career Center

We invite you to explore the information below related to college and career planning

 

 

Post-Secondary Planning Meetings

Junior families may begin scheduling post-secondary planning meetings with their counselor and Ms. Green, our College & Career Counselor, after the December break. You may schedule these meetings by emailing your counselor and Ms. Green directly. It does not matter who you meet with first, but we encourage families to schedule meetings with both their counselor AND Ms. Green between January and June. We can also accommodate joint meetings with Ms. Green and your counselor if that is your family's preference. Priority in scheduling appointments between January and March will be given to families who attended the Kickoff. We are extremely excited about the upcoming college planning season and we look forward to assisting you to find the right fit!

Senior Internship

Senior Internship will run from May 20-June 7. Students must secure an internship placement by April. 12. Please see the Senior Internship tab below for details.

As a resource, we have a dedicated College & Career Counselor, Ms. Green, who works collaboratively with the School Counseling department to provide post-secondary guidance for families. In addition to large-scale programming, presentations, and workshops, Ms. Green begins meeting with students and their families individually in January of their junior year. You may contact Ms. Green directly with questions or to schedule an appointment at randigreen@westonps.org.

An image of Randi Green

Randi Green

College & Career Counselor

  • 9th Grade

    Welcome to high school! Ninth grade is a time for exploration, so it’s important to do just that. 

    • Choose the courses and academic opportunities that fit your current goals and interests.
    • Work on time management skills by using a system for keeping track of your schedule and homework.
    • Do as well as you can in class; colleges consider academic performance from grades 9-12 in their application evaluations.
    • Participate actively in a few interests outside of class that align with your interests (do not overload). There is much to be gained from being involved in our school and the greater Weston community.
    • Remember the importance of balancing academics, extracurricular activities, community involvement, and mental wellness.
    • Build a relationship with your school counselor.
    • Begin tracking activities and achievements. This will come in handy later!
    • Utilize self-discovery tools in SchooLinks during advisory.
    • Meet with your counselor in March to discuss your 10th-grade courses. Share future goals with them so they can guide you appropriately.
    • Do something productive in the summer—investigate or continue pursuing an interest or read!!!

    *Note to students: throughout high school, it is best to pursue the five major subject areas (English, math, science, foreign language, history) for as long as possible and to the highest level successfully attainable. It is not helpful, either to you or to your academic record, to overload at the expense of your health or performance. Colleges want students to take on challenging courses that they can healthily handle, but also those in which they can thrive.  

    10th Grade 

    • Do as well as you can in class; academic performance continues to matter.
    • Stay involved outside of class.
    • It’s too soon to visit colleges; however, driving by a college because you happen to be in the area to see what a big college or a small college is like is appropriate.
    • Parents- consider attending the College Funding Workshop in September to get a head start on understanding college funding options.
    • Take the PSAT in October.
    • Complete Career Interest Inventories in SchooLinks during Advisory.
    • Meet with your counselor in March to review course selection for 11th grade. Begin to think about challenging yourself appropriately and how your courses might align with an intended college major.
    • Participate in the Sophomore Mock Admissions Activity during the in-school SAT in March.
    • Parents- Attend the Sophomore Parent Coffee in April.
    • Some begin SAT prep in the summer after tenth grade, but for many, this can be too early based on developmental peaks and content coverage in class; it’s generally optimal to prep around the middle of junior year.
    • Be active in the summer. Go to camp. Volunteer. A job or internship in an area of interest to you may be helpful as you think about specific paths. Read good books!

    11th Grade

    • Do as well as you can in class.
    • Keep participating outside of class. Consider taking on leadership roles.
    • Participate in College Admissions Rep visits at WHS in September-November. 
    • Parents- Attend the College Funding Workshop in September.
    • Take PSAT in October. 
    • Attend the Junior College Kickoff in December.
    • Schedule your post-secondary planning meeting with your counselor and Ms. Green from January to June.
    • Take the in-school SAT in March.
    • Consider your testing plan and sign up for the SAT and/or ACT.
    • SAT/ACT prep can be done on your own or through a test prep company. Students can also utilize Khan Academy for free SAT prep through their CollegeBoard account.
    • Begin utilizing SchooLinks for college exploration.
    • Schedule campus visits over February and/or spring break.
    • Meet with your counselor in February to discuss your senior year courses.
    • Ask two teachers for letters of recommendation in May.
    • Set up interviews at colleges if offered (see college websites) and continue to visit campuses over the summer.
    • Keep being active in other ways during the summer—e.g. job, reading, internship, research, camp counseling, arts camp. 
    • Register for our summer college application workshop, Camp College, by June.
    • See the detailed month-by-month Junior/Senior College Search and Application Timeline

    12th Grade

    • Participate in Camp College in August.
    • Parents- attend the Senior Parent Coffee in September.
    • Parents- Attend the College Funding Workshop in September.
    • Do as well as you can in class (all year).
    • Keep participating outside of class and continue to take on leadership roles.
    • Continue to visit college campuses as time permits.
    • Retake SAT or ACT if necessary (Aug/Sept/Oct/Nov).
    • Invite your teachers to submit their letters of recommendation in SchooLinks at least 3 weeks before your earliest deadline.
    • Turn in a transcript request form at least 3 weeks before your earliest deadline.
    • Apply to college by November (early deadline) or January (regular).
    • See the detailed month-by-month Junior/Senior College Search and Application Timeline
  • College Search and Application Timeline for the Class of 2025

    Glossary of Commonly Used Admission Terms

    Tips for Making the Most of Your Campus Visit Experience

    Researching Colleges Virtually- While visiting campus is the ideal way to really get a feel for a college, we know students have busy schedules and some schools are far away making it cost-prohibitive or challenging to get to campus before applying. The good news is there are plenty of ways to learn about schools virtually. Here is a list of resources you can use to learn more about colleges from a distance.

    Common Application Essay Prompts for 2023-24

    Completing the UC Application- This video workshop provides step-by-step instructions on completing the University of California application.

    How to Write the UC Application Personal Insight Questions

    A Guide to Completing the Cal State Application

    Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete

    Applying to College in the UK. 

    • Students may apply to up to 5 colleges in the UK
    • While some schools in the UK accept the Common App, most only accept the UCAS application
    • Weston High School does not have a "buzzword", so students should indicate that they are applying as an individual when completing the UCAS application
    • The UCAS personal statement is quite different from the American college essay and should focus on the student's preparedness for their intended course of study. Here is a helpful guide 

    Self-Reported Academic Record: In lieu of transcripts, some colleges require students to self-report all of their high school courses and grades in an online form called the SRAR. Colleges will tell you if this is required, so be sure to read your emails from colleges and log in to your portals to see if this is required. 

    • When self-reporting grades on the SRAR or Common Application- students should indicate that WHS reports grades yearly and that we are on an A-F grading scale

     

     

     

     

  • Financial Aid

    College expenses include tuition, fees, room and board, books, incidental expenses, and transportation to and from home. The typical student’s financial resources include savings, summer earnings, awards and scholarships from outside the college, parent support, and loans. The primary source of parental contribution usually comes from savings, and parents are expected to make a maximum effort to assist in meeting the college expenses. In determining the expected family contribution, income, assets, expenses, family size, and special circumstances are taken into consideration.

    We hope you were able to join us for our College Funding Workshop on September 26 at 6:30 p.m. If you missed it, or have follow-up questions you may contact our presenters from Barnum Financial Group 

    How much can I expect to pay?: While there is uncertainty around the net out-of-pocket cost a family will ultimately incur across various institutions, there are tools that can help families prepare and manage expectations. Families are encouraged to use these tools early in their college exploration process in order to make informed decisions when building a college list. 

    • Net Price Calculators- Net price calculators are available on a college’s or university’s website and allow prospective students to enter information about themselves to find out what students like them paid to attend the institution in the previous year, after taking grants and scholarship aid into account
    • CollegeData.com- This website is a wonderful tool that provides extensive information on financial aid practices across institutions. Type in the name of a college and navigate to the Financials tab.   Here you will see what percent of students who demonstrate need receive aid, what percent of need is typically met, what percent of non-need students receive merit money, and how much is typically awarded.
    • EFC Estimator- This Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculator helps in estimating the student and the family’s contribution towards the cost of attending college for an academic year.

    College funding strategies include:

    • Pre-payment of tuition- If the family can pay tuition without assistance, many colleges have an option that will allow parents to prepay all four years’ tuition at the freshman year tuition amount which avoids tuition increases, which average about 6% per year.

    • Applying for need-based financial aid:

      • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required at all schools and can be accessed online beginning in December. This should be filed as soon after it becomes available as possible. This form should be completed by seniors and each year subsequent year that they are in college. The bottom line of the analysis is the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). This figure is the basis for determination of aid from colleges. 
      • The College Scholarship Service (CSS) Financial Aid PROFILE is used by some colleges that require more detailed information than the FAFSA provides. It takes home equity into consideration. The CSS Profile can be filed beginning in October of senior year. Check with each of your schools to learn about their financial aid application deadlines.
        • Financial aid packages include:
          • Grants – money that does not have to be repaid. It is a gift that is used directly to fund college expenses. Grant money may come from the federal government and/or from the college’s private sources.
          • Loans – money that must be paid back.  The interest rates, repayment schedules, and forgiveness clauses vary from loan to loan.
          • Work-study – the student works at a job on campus as part of the “financial aid package”.
    • Scholarships
      • Merit (non-need-based)-awarded by schools, and national, state, or local organizations based on the following qualifications:
      • Need-based -awarded based on financial need which is determined by the FAFSA or CSS PROFILE report. The source of these awards can be from the schools or national, state, and local organizations.Visit www.finaid.org for more information
      • Local Scholarship Opportunities- All local scholarship opportunities that are advertised to the School Counseling Department are posted HERE. Most of these opportunities are for seniors and are posted from late fall to early spring. 
      • Athletic- NCAA Div I and II schools can give athletic scholarships to outstanding athletes. There are some academic requirements as well as minimum SAT scores. Scholarships usually do not continue if the student stops playing the sport due to injury, choice, or academic probation.
      • ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) Scholarships- The four branches of the armed services offer full or partial scholarships. They cover the cost of tuition, books, and fees for all four years at participating schools. Admission is very competitive. There is also an obligation to serve in the military for a designated number of years, which varies with the amount of the award.
      • With some research and time, numerous other scholarships, loans, and fellowship funds can be found for students. There are also numerous Internet sites about these programs. The qualifications for these programs can be as varied as:
        • Intended major
        • Racial /ethnic origin or religious affiliation
        • Fraternal organizations, unions, veterans, or employers of parents
        • Disabilities or other unique applicant characteristics
      • The New England Regional Student Program (RSP) Apple Tuition Savings Plan-  Residents of the New England states pay significantly reduced tuition at out-of-state public colleges and universities within New England if they pursue certain academic programs/majors not offered by their home state’s public institutions. All 80 schools in New England participate voluntarily in the RSP. They offer hundreds of these academic programs and majors at reduced tuition to New England residents. Also, RSP undergraduate applicants receive admissions preference over other out-of-state applicants at the participating schools. Information on this program can be found in the CCC.

    Other Options to Defray the High Cost of Education:

    • Community College- In CT, students may qualify for PACT Funding, which can mean free tuition. Complete your freshman and sophomore years at a nearby community college, then you have the option to transfer to a four-year school for junior and senior years if you want to continue your education. 
    • Acceleration- Pick up college credits through Advanced Placement, Proficiency Examinations, or CLEP programs. Take four years of studies in three. You’ll save on the lower summer tuition and avoid the four-year inflationary cost increase.
    • Co-op programs- Alternate a year/semester of studies with a year/semester of work (related to your major).
    • Becoming a Resident Assistant (RA)- Most colleges will provide free room and board for students who serve as RA’s. The average annual cost of on-campus room and board ranges from $10,216 to $11,945, which could be a significant savings. Check with your college to learn about their requirements and how to apply. 
    • Explore Colleges Abroad- In some cases, international universities are less expensive than private institutions in the United States. Universities in the UK, for example, charge international students between $16K and $32K a year for tuition. 
  • PSAT- Sophomores and Juniors take the PSAT in school in October. Students are automatically registered by WHS. Scores are typically released digitally in early December. Students may sign into their CollegeBoard account to view scores. Check your email for updates from the School Counseling Department. Visit the Guide on How to Review PSAT Scores to learn more. 

    SAT Test Dates- Visit CollegeBoard for SAT dates and registration deadlines

    ACT Test Dates- Visit ACT for test dates and registration deadlines

    AP Exam Schedule- Visit the School Counseling page for detailed information on AP testing and registration. Visit AP Central section of CollegeBoard for the full 2024 AP testing schedule. 

    Test-Optional- Standardized testing might not be a reflection of a student’s true ability, or a student's transcript and GPA might be stronger than their standardized test scores. Fortunately, students have the option to apply to many colleges without including their test scores. While many colleges have been test-optional for years, COVID resulted in most colleges going and remaining test-optional or test-flexible. Visit Fairtest for the most comprehensive list of test-optional/test-free colleges. 

    Sending Scores to Colleges- 

    • For students opting to submit test scores as part of their application to college, it is important that you know the score reporting requirements for each of the schools to which you are applying. 
    • Some colleges will accept self-reported scores on the Common Application or through the college's applicant portal, while others require students to send official scores reports directly from the testing agency, which requires a fee for each report. 
    • If official scores are required, they must be sent by logging into your CollegeBoard or ACT account. 
    • AP scores can be self-reported and official score reports are often not required until a student enrolls at an institution. 
    • Review your college admissions websites carefully for their most up-to-date requirements.
  • College Rep Visits: Between early September and mid-November, Weston High School welcomes admission reps from across the country to WHS to meet with juniors and seniors. This is a great opportunity to learn more about a school, meet the admissions rep who will be reading your application, and demonstrate interest in an institution. Students must register at least 24 hours in advance in SchooLinks.

    • To do this, login to SchooLinks via the icon in your ClassLink, and at the top of the page click School Events. Click the Register button next to any visit you'd like to attend.
    • These are updated daily so be sure to check back.
    • The list of scheduled visits can also be viewed on the School Counseling Calendar

    ***Students may miss a class to attend these meetings with their teacher's permission. You must ask your teacher at least 24 hours in advance and have them sign a College Rep Visit pass beforehand and bring it with you to the visit in order to be let into the visit. Blank passes can be picked up in the Guidance Office. (Students may not miss a test or quiz to attend) ***

     

    Attention Admissions Representatives- Interested in scheduling a visit to Weston High School? We use SchooLinks’ Event Scheduler to coordinate the scheduling of college rep visits. Here is a quick video walkthrough of how to sign up and book an event with us: https://www.loom.com/share/7c88ae9c33af4e80956dadbe9edd7638 

    If you haven't already done so, you can create your account here: https://app.schoolinks.com/onboarding. Once you have created your account, click the button to add a college as your employer. Then you can start scheduling events. If you cannot find your college in the search, reach out to SchooLinks and they’ll get it set up for you. If you have questions about SchooLinks, the signup process, or booking events, you can reach the SchooLinks team for help at membersupport@schoolinks.com

  • Senior Parent Coffee- September, 29 at 9 am. In the meeting, we reviewed details about the college admissions and application submission process. See recording in presentations section above.

    Junior College Kickoff- The Counseling Department will be holding our Junior College Kickoff on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, at 7 p.m. It will be held virtually, and here is a LINK to the presentation.

    This program formally kicks off our post-secondary planning program for juniors at Weston High School. Attendees will be given important information on how to conduct their college search while managing their junior year effectively and review timelines, tips, guidelines, processes, and procedures for navigating the college application process. All juniors and a parent(s) are expected to attend, and attendance will be monitored so that we can best support families during your one-on-one college meetings. The meeting will also be recorded and posted on the website before the holiday break.
    Post-Secondary Planning Meetings- Junior families may begin scheduling post-secondary planning meetings with their counselor and Ms. Green, our College & Career Counselor, after the December break. You may schedule these meetings by emailing your counselor and Ms. Green directly. It does not matter who you meet with first, but we encourage families to schedule meetings with both their counselor AND Ms. Green between January and June. We can also accommodate joint meetings with Ms. Green and your counselor if that is your family's preference. Priority in scheduling appointments between January and March will be given to families who attended the Kickoff. We are extremely excited about the upcoming college planning season and we look forward to assisting you to find the right fit!

    Sophomore Mock Admissions Activity- Counselors will facilitate a mock admissions event with all sophomores during the in-school SAT on March 20

    Sophomore Parent Coffee- Counselors meet with sophomore parents to provide an introduction to junior-year and the post-high school planning process. Date in April TBD.

    Camp College- Summer college application workshop for rising seniors. Dates in August TBD

  • Teacher Letters of Recommendation: Starting in the spring, we encourage juniors to ask two teachers for college letters of recommendation. It’s preferable that these teachers be from core academic subject areas. 

    Teacher Recommendation Brag Sheet: Though not required, this questionnaire can be used to help guide your teachers in writing your letter of recommendation. Some teachers also have their own questionnaire they will ask you to complete.

    Submitting Teacher Letters of Rec to Colleges: 
    • Seniors must request teacher letters in SchooLinks at least 3 weeks before their earliest college application deadline.
    • You must do this for every college to which you apply. 
    • If you add more schools to your list at a later date, you have to remember to go into SchooLinks and request teacher letters for those schools. 
    • You do not need to request counselor letters in SchooLinks. 
    Transcript Requests: 
    • Seniors must turn in only one orange transcript request form at least 3 weeks before their earliest college deadline. This is what lets their counselor and Mrs. Cross know when they need to have their letter of rec and transcript uploaded.
    • If seniors have an October 15 deadline, the form is due Sept. 24, if they have a Nov. 1 deadline the form is due Oct. 11. 
    • Once uploaded for a student’s earliest deadline, the transcript and counselor letter will then be sent to all of their colleges. 
    • It does not matter if a student submits their Common App before or after we upload and submit our school documents, as long as they are all submitted by the college's deadline. 
    • If seniors are applying earliest to a rolling decision school, they should list their target submission date as the deadline. 
    • Transcript forms are available at Mrs. Cross' desk in Guidance.

    Self-Reported Academic Record: 

    • In lieu of transcripts, some colleges require students to self-report all of their high school courses and grades in an online form called the SRAR. They will tell you if this is required. Be sure to read your email from the colleges you're applying to.
    • Students typically have access to the SRAR AFTER they have submitted their application to the college. 
    • Students must use their transcripts and list courses, final grades, and credits exactly as they appear.
    • Some examples of schools that require the SRAR include Clemson, Penn State, Northeastern, NYU, Texas A&M, Florida State, Rutgers, U of Delaware, Virginia Tech...
    • It is important that students review the requirements for each of the colleges to which they are applying.
    • If a student is applying to multiple colleges that require the SRAR, they only need to complete the form once and then link it to each of their college accounts once they have applied.
    • When self-reporting grades on the SRAR or Common Application- students should indicate that WHS reports grades yearly and that we are on an A-F grading scale

    Q1 Grades to Colleges:

    • We will be sending Q1 grades to all colleges in your SchooLinks application list between Nov. 15 and Nov. 17.
    • We send these automatically, so you do not need to request them.
    • Colleges expect to receive these grades after their early application deadline, so don't panic about the timeline.
    • If you don't want Q1 grades sent due to a concern over your grades, because you are aware of a pending grade change, or due to an incomplete, you must contact Mrs. Cross (alanacross@westonps.org) by Friday, Nov. 10 to request that they be withheld. Note- if any of your colleges contact us to request Q1 grades, we must send them even if you asked to withhold them. If you have questions about whether or not to send your grades, please contact your counselor for guidance.

    Mid-Year Grades to College: 

    • We automatically send Semester 1 grades to all colleges in early February. This is required by colleges and students may not opt-out. 
    • You do not have to request mid-year grades. 
    • Though your colleges will start asking for them earlier, you do not need to worry. We send them as soon as they are available and colleges will wait to receive them.
  • There is no right way to spend a summer. Students should simply be thinking about what they enjoy doing or learning about and what they would find meaningful. For example, students can:
    • go to camp
    • read books
    • get a job (babysitting, dog walking, lifeguard, camp counselor, ice cream shop, sailing instructor)
    • engage in service/volunteer opportunities
    • environmental conservation 
      • For example- Click HERE for many opportunities on the LI Sound
    • work with animals
    • participate in the arts 
    • play on club athletic teams
    • explore thousands of career courses for high school students at hundreds of colleges 
    • conduct research (typically later in high school) 
    • travel
    • get an internship (typically later in high school)
    • take part in one of hundreds of pre-college programs on a college campus (typically later in high school)
    • apply for competitive summer programs focused on a specific academic area of interest  
      • Click HERE and HERE for a list of competitive summer programs
  • Thank you for your interest in the Weston High School Senior Internship Program. Nearly all Weston High School seniors participate in our internship program in May and June with companies and organizations throughout the Tri-State area and beyond, and we believe that this is a wonderful opportunity to build their workplace skills while exposing them to career areas of interest.

    Important Details:

    • Internship Program Dates: May 20-June 7. You are not expected to work on Memorial Day.
    • Compensation: Internships are unpaid
    • Hours: Students must complete a minimum of 70 hours total by the end of their internship, which averages out to 5 hours a day.  Missed hours due to illness or college orientation must be made up.  
    • Requirements: In order to participate you may not be in danger of failing any senior year course for the year, must be in good behavioral and attendance standing, and cannot have any outstanding financial balances with the school. 
    • Forms: In addition to entering your employer information in SchooLinks by April 12, a waiver form and sign-out sheet will be emailed to you in the spring and must be turned in by May 15 confirming you have completed all school-related requirements for the year. 
    • Confirmation of Hours- Each week, you will enter your hours into SchooLinks by Sunday and your employer will log in and verify them.
    • Journals: You will complete a weekly journal entry about your experience in SchooLinks and a faculty advisor will review it. 
    • Final Evaluation: Your employer will complete an online form evaluating your work. Poor evaluations can jeopardize your ability to walk at graduation. 

    Securing an Internship:

    • Students will secure an internship on their own. Many students utilize local businesses and organizations, friends, and family members to help them find positions (students may not intern directly under a parent). Do not delay! Sites fill up quickly, as you are competing with students from all area high schools.
    • Internship placement information is due by April 12. 
    • If you hope to intern with a specific teacher at a school, please email a teacher directly and copy the school's principal on your email. 
    • If you run into any issues or have difficulty securing an internship on your own, please make an appointment with Ms. Green to go over some options. Please do not wait until the last minute to seek help. 

    SchooLinks:

    • Once you have reached out to a company and received confirmation of your placement, you will enter the organization name, your supervisor's name, and their email address into SchooLinks. They will then receive an email asking them to confirm your placement and enter your job description information. Once that is complete, your internship placement can then be approved by WHS. This feature will open in SchooLinks on Feb. 28 and you may begin working on it in PACT that day.

    • During the internship program, you will also log your weekly hours and journal entries in SchooLinks.