Strategies for Financing College
Nathan Birney, a financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial Advisors, will conduct a seminar for the SAA and SJ parent community on Wednesday, September 10th at 6:30 pm in the Fleming Room located across from the counseling suite in the Clay Center for Sciences and Academic Services. This informative session will help you understand financial aid calculations, analyze college costs, evaluate your savings and investment vehicles, and explore a variety of tax implications. This seminar is open to all our parents regardless of the grade level of your daughter. Our counseling departments have found that planning early for the cost of a college education allows families to position themselves more effectively. We hope that you can join us for this presentation.
Getting In – The Knowledge to Get Into College
Strake Jesuit College Preparatory and Princeton Review, Inc. are pleased to welcome Rob Franek to the Parsley Center at Jesuit on September 9th at 6:30 pm. As The Princeton Review’s chief expert on higher education issues, Rob has many responsibilities and a wealth of information to share with our families. This evening’s target audience is sophomore and junior families. For more information, please click here.
Freshman Parents: First Counselor Meeting
This week, ninth grade counselors began meeting with each of our freshman in one-on-one meetings. The purpose of this meeting is to check in, see how things are going academically and socially, and deal with any concerns the student might have. These meetings generally take place during their PE class or open lab. We anticipate the meetings to take place through the middle of October. However, if any freshman has a particular concern before their meeting, they may email their counselor to set up a time to visit. We look forward to meeting each of our students. This is a great time for us to get to know them, and for them to put a face to our names, too!
Here is another reminder about this time of transition. Keep in mind your freshman are still getting used to their teacher’s expectations along with becoming familiar with the social climate of high school. Freshmen are developing new friendships and navigating through what can be a challenging social time in high school. They are in need of your ear and support. Also, remember the importance of them eating a good breakfast each morning and getting a good night’s sleep without cell phone or computer distractions as fatigue and growling stomachs can make for a challenging day ahead of them as they adjust to their new school.
The PSAT/SAT and Prepping
As your daughters prepare for the required testing needed for admission to colleges and universities, it is important to note that there is a natural progression to when we recommend starting standardized test prep and test sittings. All of our students will register and take the SAT and ACT in the spring of their junior year. There are a couple reasons for this:
1. The PSAT, which will be given on October 15, 2014 to the sophomore and junior classes at St. Agnes, is a practice test for the SAT and the National Merit Qualifying Test for juniors.
2. We realize that your daughters took the PSAT in the sophomore year, but much academic maturation has transpired since then. When your daughter receives her junior PSAT results in December, it will allow her to understand areas where she needs to focus as she prepares for spring.
3. Although the math section on the SAT consists of algebraic and geometric concepts, it also includes topics that are emphasized in Algebra 2. By the time your daughter takes the SAT and ACT in the spring, she will be better prepared for this section of the tests. In addition, students are also learning how to better use the graphing calculator and apply it to their testing.
4. We believe the timing of the spring test dates allows the students exposure to concepts and materials that will better prepare them for the SAT and the ACT.
Although St. Agnes’ counseling department does not recommend any particular test prep company, we have found that over the years our students have done better when they have prepped with Kaplan Test Prep, Testmasters, Princeton Review, and Advantage Tutors. We are well aware that there are many choices out there and that companies that do “prepping” exclusively have been the companies that have helped our students improve the most from an October PSAT in the junior year to the spring SAT.
For students wanting an inexpensive and time efficient way of prepping for either the SAT or ACT, Sycamore Learning Company will be offering an SAT test prep seminar at St. Agnes on January 25, 2015 and an ACT Test Prep seminar on February 8, 2015. We have worked with this company for years and our girls give them extremely high marks for their program. More detailed information will be sent to junior families in December.