March & April 2018

Monthly Newsletter


Congratulations on the fast-approaching conclusion of your college search process! Questions and concerns from a year ago were soon replaced by growing confidence and competence as you researched schools, took ownership of your applications, met deadlines, and waited patiently for decisions. We could not be more proud of how each of you has managed what we know can feel like an arbitrary process, one which requires a certain degree of vulnerability as you self-reflect and present your "best self" for review by admission committees. We are excited for your futures and know that you will continue to build upon your many experiences in and out of the classroom during the past four years to further explore your talents, interests, and all that the world has to offer. Again, congratulations!

Senior To-Do List:

  • Deposit – You need to deposit at one school prior to May 1. You may not deposit at more than one school.
  • Waitlist – Be sure to reach out to the schools where you have been waitlisted to let them know of your level of interest. Follow the guidelines provided to ensure that the school receives your response. However, you should wait until mid-April to write to your admissions counselor to re-affirm your interest and send any updates.
  • Final Transcript – Once you select your school and send the deposit, you will begin receiving requests for a final transcript. Please do not worry; final transcripts will be available after graduation and will be sent to each senior's selected school by the College Counseling Office in early June.
  • Celebrate! – Please be on the lookout for an email from the College Counseling Office inviting you to a congratulatory celebration in recognition of a great year!


Though a busy spring for the junior class, our juniors have been wonderfully proactive about meeting with us and reaching out when they have questions.
  • Student-Parent Meetings – Students, reach out to Barb Sanford if you have not yet scheduled this meeting.
  • Parent Questionnaire – Thank you to those who have already taken the time to complete the junior parent questionnaire available on Naviance. Since parents know their child best, we truly value and appreciate the insight you provide. If you are having trouble accessing Naviance, please let us know.
  • Teacher Recommendations – All juniors need to complete the Teacher Recommendation form and ask two teachers to write on their behalf. Forms will be provided to juniors at the junior meeting held during the last week of March; they are due in College Counseling by Tuesday, April 24. If needed, extra forms are available in our office.
  • Information Release and FERPA Waiver – This form will be sent home with juniors in late March, to be signed by parents and returned to College Counseling by Tuesday, April 24.
  • Summer Essay Writing Workshop – If interested in getting a head start on your college essay, Dr. Simeone is offering two essay writing workshops this summer.
  • Cheat Sheet on Financial Aid – Courtney Blauvelt, a former financial aid officer who now works in college counseling at an independent school, has compiled a useful cheat sheet that outlines important steps in the financial aid process.


College counseling assignments are shared with sophomores in late March. We are excited to get to know the Class of 2020 and have invited our sophomores to come and meet with us for an informal introductory conversation. The focus of these meetings is to introduce students to our offices and to begin learning about what matters to each student and his/her individual academic and extracurricular interests.  

Optional Practice SAT/ACT Test - Sunday, May 20
We are offering sophomores the opportunity to take a practice hybrid standardized test (half of the test will be an ACT test and the other half will be an SAT test) on Sunday, May 20 at 1:30 p.m. in the SAC. The exam will be administered by Clayborne and will last approximately three hours. This test is offered at no cost to you. Within a few weeks of taking the test, Clayborne will provide you with a detailed breakdown of the test results. This will help determine whether your son or daughter should take the ACT or SAT. Students who currently receive extended time from the College Board will also receive extended time for this test.

Please note that this is an optional test. If your child chooses not to take the practice test or a conflict prevents your son or daughter from taking the test, you can schedule a diagnostic exam at your convenience at Clayborne, Champion, Georgetown Learning Centers, Kaplan, or with a test prep agency of your choice. Regardless of when your child will take his/her first SAT or ACT, having a diagnostic exam in hand will be helpful. Please note that in the fall and winter of the 2018 - 2019 academic year, we will offer SAT and ACT test prep classes on the Greenway Rise campus. We will share information about these classes in the fall.

Selected Blog

For the adults reading this newsletter, this month's blog, How Much Should Parents and Counselors Oversee Students' College Applications?, is a little bit like looking in the mirror. Author Will Dix highlights the importance of letting students "be themselves" when crafting their essays and completing their college applications, and he identifies many of the "traps" we adults (parents, teachers, and college counselors alike) fall into with our well-intentioned efforts to support our children and students during the college application process.

Upcoming Opportunities

PVCC Job Fair – Check out PVCC's Annual Job Fair on Wednesday, March 28, if you are a senior interested in finding employment in the Charlottesville area, particularly if you are thinking about a gap year and want to stay in the area or attending PVCC before heading to a four year college. 

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards – It isn't too early to start thinking now about taking part in next fall's Scholastic Art & Writing competition. Students can apply in one of 28 categories to earn a scholarship and have their artwork exhibited or writing published. Awards range from $500 - $2,500. New submissions are typically accepted beginning in September each year, and deadlines vary by region and contest.
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