The college admission process is an exciting, challenging time in the lives of students and their families. It can be filled with adrenaline and disappointment, tedious work and patient waiting, dreams of the future and memories of the past.
It is a time to get your plans in order knowing that:
1) God is with you
2) God has a plan for you
3) God will direct your steps.
Take the proper perspective and walk confidently through the college admission process knowing that God already has a plan for you. This information has been prepared by Gateway Christian School to assist students and their parents through the college admission process. It is designed to maximize options and minimize stress.
We are honored to work with each of you individually. It is truly exciting to discover the plans that God has for your future. Walk boldly during this college journey knowing that you are in HIS hands!
Please read below to learn about various standardized testing requirements for college entry.
Gateway Christian School Code: 320-547
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Qualifying Test is given to sophomores and juniors. Many schools offer this test to younger students as well. It measures critical reading, math and writing skills. When students take the PSAT/NMSQT in their junior year, they enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporations competitions for recognition and scholarships. Learn more about the PSAT.
This is a reasoning test consisting of two sections measuring critical reading and mathematical reasoning ability. SAT includes a mandatory writing portion to its exam. The SAT is taken in the junior year and may be taken again during the senior year. The score is based on the number of questions answered correctly minus points for incorrect responses. Scores on each section of the SAT range from 400-800 with a maximum score of 2400. Learn more about the SAT.
Online SAT Prep Assistance:
SAT Subject Test
These achievement tests are one hour tests on a specific subject. The best time to take individual subject tests is at the end of your study in that subject. Up to three tests can be taken at a time. Call the specific colleges in order to obtain details.
The ACT's are usually taken in April or June of the junior year. Colleges usually take the highest test score. The test contains four 35-60 minute tests in academic areas of English, mathematics, reading and science reasoning. There is an optional writing test. It reports the sub-scores for four areas, plus the writing, if taken, and a composite score. The ACT has traditionally been most heavily used in New Mexico (NM) and the Midwest. The maximum score on the ACT is a 36. Learn more at these sites: ACT, Student ACT Info.
Online ACT Registration and Prep Assistance:
Additional Test Prep Resources:
More helpful test preparation ideas:
Go to www.freevocabulary.com for a list of 5,000 vocabulary words that may be on the SAT Varsity Tutors web site
Read, read, read
Buy some flash cards and use them
Learn dictionary.com’s “word of the day”
Read the newspaper
Visit a news website and read the top stories
Do crossword puzzles
Write in a journal
Solve logic problems
Answer the SAT question of the day on-line
Take practice tests on-line, at school, etc.
Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation Scholarship for High School Seniors
GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program
NFIB Young Entrepreneur Award
www.hsf.net (hispanic scholarship fund)
For general scholarship help, please visit the following sites.
Imagine America Scholarships (career & technical colleges)
From the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Education
Scholarship search services and financial aid advice services are common these days. Unfortunately, too many of these for-profit companies charge high rates to provide information that can be found elsewhere for free.
Spotting Online Scholarship Scams
Fraudulent scholarships can take many forms: some of the most common types of scholarship scams include scholarship for profit and guaranteed scholarship search scams. The first type charges an application fee for scholarships that never materialize or are less than advertised, or disburses less money in the scholarship than is received from application fees. The second type charges a fee to match student information against databases of scholarships and guarantees that the student will actually receive money.
Can You Spot a College Scholarship Scam? Be a Smart Consumer
Scholarships are an attractive way to help manage college costs. You won't have to repay them (like loans) or work to maintain them (like work-study). Since students and parents are so eager to find these funds, it's no wonder that they become easy targets for financial aid con artists.
The FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) process can be overwhelming and downright scary. We've collected a few tips and additional resources to help guide you through the process.
1. Start Early!
Plan for the unexpected. As with any application, FAFSA can sometimes have a long processing time or additional information could be needed after you’ve submitted your application. Starting early will help ensure you’re ready in time for your class.
2. Fill Out the Correct FAFSA application
The federal financial aid year does not run the same as a calendar year - this is important to know, if you fill out the wrong FAFSA application it can delay your awards process.
If you plan on beginning in classes BEFORE July 1 of the current year, then you will need the previous year/current year FAFSA application. If you're enrolling in a class that begins after July 1 of the current year then you need to start filling out the current year/future year FAFSA application.
3. Know What You Need
Heading into the process prepared will help it feel less daunting.
You will need the following in order to complete the application:
Student's Tax Returns & W2 (if they worked, they should have these)
Parent/Guardian(s) Tax Returns and W2 forms (parents will have to include their financial information for students under 24 years of age)
Be sure to enter the school code of EVERY school you're thinking of attending. This way each school has your application and there won't be any delays at the school you choose.
4. Where to Fill Out the FAFSA
You can fill it out online at FAFSA.ED.GOV ---> Remember to enter the school codes.
5. You're Not Obligated to Anything
Filling out the application doesn't automatically mean you're taking out loans, it simply shows the college what funding you are eligible for, whether it's loans or grants. You can choose to accept or deny any of the awards you're offered.
Helpful Financial Aid & Grant Information:
Seniors will be assessed a $30.00 fee at the beginning of the school year. The fee will cover all transcript requests during their senior year as well as after graduation. This fee will also help cover costs associated with graduation (i.e. diplomas). Request for transcripts must be made thru the high school office.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
At the beginning of your senior year, you should make arrangements with one or more people to get the recommendations you will need to accompany many of your applications.
Generally, you should choose a person who not only knows your abilities and personal qualities, but who likes you and you like, as well. A bad recommendation can really hurt you. A generic “he is a nice guy and a good student” recommendation will not help. But a strong recommendation from someone who knows you well can make a positive difference. The individuals listed below may serve as your recommender(s). It is important to select recommenders in the following order:
1) Teachers from core subjects such as English, math, history, science or foreign language.
2) Teachers in other subjects, such as fine arts. (If you are applying for an arts scholarship, then a teacher from this area should be one of your primary recommenders.)
3) A coach or sponsor.
4) An adult who has worked with or supervised you in an activity outside high school (e.g., Youth pastor or employer).
5) A student at the college who knows you, or an alumnus of the college who you or your parents know well.
Guidelines to Follow
Give the recommender at least two to three weeks of lead time.
Provide a stamped envelope with the college address on it and a “post it” note reminding the recommender when it is due. Some colleges request that recommendations be returned to you and mailed with your application.
Give a copy of your resume to the recommender.
Let the recommender know if you will need further letters of recommendation so he/she can save it.
Follow-up with a thank-you note to the recommender.
Check back politely with the recommender before the deadline to verify that your letter was mailed.
You will need to prepare resumes and letters as you seek scholarships, honors, and college admissions. The following documents can serve as resources.