School Counselor

General

Q:How can I schedule an appointment to see you?
A:See me before school, after school, or between classes to request a pass. I prefer to see kids during their study hall, lunch time, before or after school and not during their class time. However, sometimes teachers will let students leave class towards the end of the period. If I am not available, email me or leave a note on my chair and I will call you in.
Q:I received a letter in the mail from an outside source saying that I'm invited to attend a presentation on how to apply and pay for college. What is this and should I go?
A:These are common presentations that will provide you with some general information. Whether you go or not is your decision. However, note that most often these people will request that you can receive additional information and services for a fee. Please note that any information you require can be accessed for FREE from either your school counselor, college of choice, or some other source. You should never pay money for something you can get for free.
Q:Where is the school counseling office located?
A:You may find my office two ways. My office can be accessed by going to the main office or by entering the door next to D1 (the hall connecting to the A pod).
Q:Why would I want to see you?
A:Students see me for a variety of reasons: troubles with classes, college applications, scholarships, post high school plans, relationship issues, family issues, and scheduling issues are the most frequent reasons. Sometimes I may refer a student to the school psychologist or school nurse depending on the concern they bring to me. We work together to help students.
Q:Will you ever need to see me?
A:Absolutely! I will see you in classes for a number of activities such as course selections. I will also want to conference with you and your parents or guardians with regard to your post high school plans. These are fun and informational meetings where you get loads of information and I get to learn more about you.

College apps/visits/testing

Q:I've applied online to a college, now what?
A:You need to tell me so I can send your transcript to that college or write a letter of recommendation. Remember, no application is complete without the application itself, a transcript, and application fee (if applicable).
Q:When should I apply to a college?
A:Most colleges begin accepting applications after September 1 of the student's senior year. The UW system begins processing apps after September 15; however their online system will 'bank' them after September 1 and begin processing September 15. Apply early during the senior year - many schools have programs that fill early. My rule of thumb is to apply before the end of October - then focus on scholarships.
Q:I'm going to Blackhawk, can't I wait to apply?
A:No - apply early in the senior year. Programs fill early!
Q:How can I visit a college and when should I begin doing this?
A:Visiting colleges during the junior year is encouraged as applications begin early in the senior year. Why spend money on an app only to find out later you don't like the campus? College visits require pre-approval. That means, bring in a note from a parent before your visit. Follow up with a note when you return.
Q:Do I need to register in advance in order to visit a college?
A:Yes, most colleges have wonderful campus preview days. Most will have an online registration form on their website. Look at the college's website for a link that says 'prospective students' or 'visit us'. If you don't see something like this, see me. You can also call the college directly.
Q:What test should I take if I'm going to a 4-year college?
A:Look at the college's website. 4-year colleges will accept either the ACT or SAT. The tests differ in the subjects tested and the scoring system. More selective/competitive colleges may require SAT subject tests. Again, check out their websites and see me.
Q:What are SAT subject tests and why should I care?
A:If you're thinking about a super competitive college, e.g. Harvard or Northwestern University, then you will have to take these tests. You should begin taking them during your junior year and after you have completed the course for which you are being tested. They are put out by the College Board. See me.
Q:What test should I take if I'm going to Blackhawk Technical College?
A:You may take either the Compass Test or ACT. The Compass Test will test your abilities in writing, reading, and mathematics. It is less expensive than the ACT and can be taken at either the Janesville or Monroe BTC campus.
Q:What's the difference between a campus preview day and a tour?
A:Tours are just that - a tour. Someone will show you around the campus and show you various buildings, the dorms, the union, cafeteria, offices etc... Campus preview days provide you with cafeteria style information. Various departments and organizations are present in one room with representatives. They will highlight special programs and answer questions such as 'what can I do with a major in your department?' Preview days tend to have sessions on how to apply, how to pay for college, parents sessions, and a panel of student reps who will answer prospective student questions. Tours are included with campus preview days. I would encourage any interested student to attend at least one preview for the college of their choice.
Q:What questions should I ask when visiting a college?
A:Click on the link above 'College Visit Questions' and write down those that you think are important. If you don't want to ask them all, have your parent or guardian ask for you.

Scheduling and changes

Q:May I change my schedule?
A:Schedule changes are made either prior to the start of the semester, or during a brief time once the semester has started (typically a week). Changes to core academic classes require a parent note or phone call. All changes require a good reason - seriously.
Q:May I move classes around in order to be with my friends?
A:No.
Q:May I flip my lunch time due to (name your reason)?
A:No.

Financial aid/Scholarships

Q:What is financial aid?
A:Financial aid is money that is allocated to you in order to help you pay for college. It comes from the college or the government. In order to receive financial aid, and in order to qualify for some scholarships, you must complete the FAFSA form. There is a link on the 'home' page.
Q:Does it cost money to apply for financial aid?
A:No. There is no cost to apply for financial aid. In fact, if you see that you are on a website that asks you to pay a fee, delete all information and log off. It is a scam.
Q:What forms of financial aid are available?
A:Financial aid comes in three forms: grants (free money that you don't have to pay back), loans (you must pay these back), and work study (an on campus job). These all require that you complete the FAFSA form.
Q:When do I apply for financial aid?
A:As early as January 1 of your senior year.
Q:What about scholarships and where do I find these?
A:Scholarships are available in a variety of ways. You should begin looking for scholarships no later than the start of your senior year. A list will be available in the counseling office organized by due date. Scholarships are also available from your college of choice - you will need to speak with someone at the college or check out their website (do this early in order to learn about deadlines). Scholarships are also available through websites such as www.fastweb.com.
Q:Is there a cost to apply for scholarships?
A:No. If there is, it is most likely a scam.
Q:How can I apply for grants?
A:You must complete the FAFSA form.
Q:What are Local Scholarships?
A:These are scholarships for Brodhead High School seniors only. There are many, each with their own criteria and selection committee.
Q:How and when do I apply for local scholarships?
A:Seniors apply in March of their senior year. They need to complete one local scholarship application and the checklist attached. We will then forward a copy of their application to each scholarship committee. No late applications will be accepted.