College Counseling - FAQ
What should I do to prepare for high school?
Read through the College Handbook to find out what to do before starting 9th grade year. Such topics as what to do each year of high school, writing an activities resume, when to take the SAT/ACT, and visiting colleges are discussed.
When should I take the SAT?
Students are strongly encouraged to take the SAT Reasoning test if their PSAT scores are stronger than their ACT Aspire scores. Dates for the test and registration information can be found
on-line or in the College Placement and Guidance Office.
What is the SAT Subject test?
The SAT Subject tests are generally required only by the more selective colleges; students should check individual requirements of each college they are considering to see if the Subject tests are necessary and, if so, which tests are required. Three Subject tests may be taken at one testing time. The test dates are the same as the SAT Reasoning Test.
Should I take the ACT also?
We encourage students to take the ACT if their ACT Aspire scores are higher than their PSAT scores. The ACT is an achievement test measuring English, math, reading, and science skills. Some students perform better on the ACT than the SAT. Dates for tests and registration information can be found online or in the College Placement and Guidance Office.
How is my GPA calculated?
Grade Point Averages are calculated at the end of each semester using the attached scale. Keep it mind that secondary schools do not always calculate the GPA using the same format. The Georgia Student Finance Commission re-calculates the GPA for determining eligibilty for HOPE as do most colleges for admission purposes.
How can I benefit from the Georgia Hope Program if I did not graduate from high school with a "B" average?
Although a student is not eligible for the HOPE Scholarship as a college freshman, he may be able to enter the program as a college sophomore or above, if he earns a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or greater at the college level. In addition, he may benefit from the HOPE Grant, which does not require a certain GPA. The HOPE Grant assists students seeking a technical certificate or diploma, rather than a college degree.
How do I apply for the HOPE Scholarship?
To apply for the HOPE Scholarship:
A student must complete a Georgia Student Finance (GSFAPPS) electronic application, or a paper HOPE Scholarship and Grant Application (printable from www.GACollege411.org ), or a current year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be considered for HOPE Scholarship payment. It is only necessary for a student to complete one of these three applications and no other form or application can serve as a substitute. In addition to one of these three applications, an Eligible Postsecondary Institution may require students to complete the institution’s application for student financial aid or other forms to provide supplemental information for the purpose of determining HOPE Scholarship eligibility.
For eligibility requirements or to apply, visit www.GACollege411.org and click the "HOPE Information" link found on the right-hand side of the page.
Any qualifying student who will attend a private college or university in Georgia, should also submit the application for the Georgia Tuition Equalization Grant (e-TEG).
To apply for the HOPE Grant:
Georgia residents meeting HOPE’s citizenship and residency requirements and who are attending a Georgia public technical college or public college or university and enrolled in a certificate or diploma program are eligible for HOPE assistance regardless of high school graduation dates or grade point averages. You apply for the HOPE Grant either by completing the FAFSA or the GSFAPPS application.
What is FAFSA?
The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. As the name implies, it is free to apply. To receive any government aid (including Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, etc.), families must complete a FAFSA. Most colleges use the FAFSA in order to award need-based institutional aid as well. Aid is determined based upon a family's previous year tax returns, and the FAFSA is to be completed annually for every year of college. Most colleges require that the FAFSA be submitted by March 1, but the deadlines vary from school to school in Georgia.
The Web site for the FAFSA is www.fafsa.ed.gov. Do NOT visit any similar sites that end in .org, .edu, or .com as these sites do not represent the federal government aid programs. Even if you don’t think your family will receive need-based aid, complete the form anyway!
If you are going to a private college, you may need to complete the CSS Profile. Consult your college’s web site to see if this form is required. If so, visit www.collegeboard.com to complete this form. It is very similar to a FAFSA, but requires some additional information. Some private colleges use the CSS Profile to determine how they should allocate institutional need-based money. There is a fee to submit a Profile.
What do I need to know if I am an athlete?
Student athletes who plan to enroll in a Division I or II college should register with the NCAA -Clearinghouse to determine academic eligibility. Students should register at the end of the 11th grade after completion of six semesters of high school coursework. Please be aware that online summer school courses taken for credit recovery are not approved for eligibility. If a core course is failed, it must be repeated in order to meet eligibility guidelines. The clearinghouse registration form and eligibility guidelines are available online. (Note* - when taking the SAT or ACT, enter the code "9999" to have scores automatically sent to NCAA Clearinghouse).