Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Financial Aid Information Night 2017

As we all know, money does not grow on trees which is why the Counseling Office sponsors a Financial Aid night each year.  This year a speaker from the Georgia Student Finance Commission will be on hand to explain the FAFSA process and talk through HOPE/Zell Miller eligibility.  There will also be information about the CSS Profile and other pertinent information related to scholarship searching.  It will all take place on October 26, 2017 at 7:00pm in the Auditorium.  We hope you can join us.

Please take a look or print out the attached information prior to arrival.
Financial Aid Night Power Point
Georgia Student Finance Commission Presentation

You can also look at the information from last year's blog:
Financial Info Night 2016-2017 School Year

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Conquer the Application Process!

Senior Year is a busy busy year.  We have begun getting many questions about college application processes.  Please read through this detailed information and flag this page for future reference.  Also, mark your calendars for the following important dates:

August 24th at 7:00pm - a Senior Parent Meeting in the Auditorium.  
September 7th during 4A and 5A lunch - Senior Meeting to explain these processes.  


It is that time of year again when seniors are sending transcripts to colleges, asking for recommendation letters, and finalizing applications.  Let's walk through all the necessary steps!

There are two ways a student can send electronic copies of transcripts.
  • The first way is through PARCHMENT.  After setting up an account, a student is able to send transcripts to any college their heart desires.  Students must make sure to associate themselves with Chattahoochee High School when asked "Where would you like your transcript sent from?"  It is free to send transcripts electronically!  If you look at your "self-view copy" on parchment and it does not look correct, DO NOT PANIC.  It is correct, it only shows the view point from the time you last submitted an order.  Mrs. Jensen always send the most up to date transcript, unless you request to "hold for grades" option, then she will send at the end of the term.

  • The second way is through GA FUTURES.  Students are able to login to their account and send a transcript to any college in Georgia.  Students cannot send a transcript out of state on this portal.  

Students can also request a signed/sealed/official hard copy through Mrs. Jensen.  They must give her at least 24 hours notice by requesting this on their yellow "Recommendation Request Card".  These are located in Mrs. Jensen's office.

Home Access Center is the fastest way to get an unofficial copy of your transcript if you are needing to self report your grades to your college.

Counselors will begin accepting recommendation letter requests after Labor Day.  There are three main steps to Recommendation Letters.  If your college does not require a recommendation letter or school report, then they do not want one and you can skip these steps.
  1. Completing a Senior Profile / Student Information Sheet
    This is a one and done process.  Once you have completed the blue senior profile form and given it to your counselor you can check this part off your list.  You do want to make sure you are thorough in your responses and this is one area where we would say "more is better".  It is better to give us more information than not enough.  Please be thoughtful in your responses.  We are hoping you get into the college of your choice and are actively rooting for you - but we can't do it without your help!  This is your brag sheet!  Let us know all those amazing accomplishments your friends don't care about.  Now is your time to shine.  We can only do so much with one word responses.  Give us something to work with :)

    Here is a link for you to get started:  Senior Student Profile Form

  2. Making a formal request on the Recommendation Request Card
    Counselors do require 10 (ten) SCHOOL days to process recommendation letter requests.  In order to make the request, please come and get the yellow "recommendation request card" in our office.  You will use the same card all year and add on as needed.  This card remains in the counseling office (Mrs. Jensen's office).  You will need to get a one time parent signature allowing us to release your records.  If you need a letter for a scholarship, you must write it on here.  If you want a letter for University of Texas, you must add it on here.  If you want a letter for a military academy, you must add it on here.  For each college, you must list it!  Make sure that you write the name of the college /scholarship on the card for each separate link that you are going to send us.  Sending just the link and not using the recommendation request card is not sufficient.

    Exception to the rule!  The exception is Common Application.  If you are needing a letter to be submitted to Common App, you must add "Common App" this one time to your card.  For Common App users, you do not have to write each college on the yellow card - just a one time "common app" line so that we know to look for your invitation in our email.

    About halfway through the year, you may need a Mid Year Report or at the end of the year you may need an End of the Year Report submitted to your college.  We will not know to send one, unless you complete the Recommendation Request Card.  Please make sure you do this!  We are going to assume you do not need one if we do not get this request.
  3. Sending the link to your counselor OR attaching the paper copy
    This is the last step.  By this point, you have already turned in your blue profile form and completed your yellow recommendation request card to our office.  You now need to make sure you have added your counselor's name and email address to your application in order for us to get a secure link to send your school report and/or letter.  

Make sure you have some sort of organizational strategy to conquer your applications.  Each college may have different deadlines for admissions, scholarships, financial aid, honors college, etc.  Do not miss them!  You should keep track of what supplemental documents are needed to make a complete admission's file.  Just because you did your application, does not mean your file is complete.  You must make sure you have submitted all pertinent materials in order for them to process your application.  They will not make a decision until they have received everything.  (Application, Essays, Transcript, Test Scores, Teacher Recommendation Letters, Counselor Recommendation letter, Immunization Records, etc.)  Not every school requires everything listed, but some do.  Make sure you have what you need to make the process go smoothly.  Use your resources to get information, such as looking at the admission's website or blog for a detailed list of what is required.  UGA and Georgia Tech both have excellent blogs and have explained their processes quite well.  Check those out on their admissions website!

Here are some quick deadline reminders from your Counseling Team.  Do not wait until the last minute.  
September 28 is the recommendation request deadline for any October 15 deadlines.
October 18 is the recommendation request deadline for any November 1 deadlines.
November 10 is the recommendation request deadline for any December 1 deadlines.
December 8 is the recommendation request deadline for any January 1 deadlines

** Please note: UGA and Georgia Tech have switched to January 1 deadlines.  They are no longer January 15 for regular admission.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Georgia Southwestern State University - College Spotlight


GSW is located in one of the original top 10 cities in the state - Americus, Georgia.  It is rich in culture and history with approximately 400 acres of campus space, including an 18 hole golf course owned by the University. Americus is approximately 2.5 hours away from Johns Creek.  It is a small university with close to 3000 students.  If you are looking for a small environment, this may be the right place for you.  The student to faculty ratio is 17:1 and the average class size is 22.  There are full range of bachelor's degree programs and they are committed to shaping future leaders.  Americus is home to President Carter.  He and his wife have invested a lot of money and time to this institution. A little known fact: Habitat for Humanity was also founded in Americus.   Though it may not be on your radar there are many excellent programs to learn about.  Go visit and discover this gem! 

  • The Business program is the largest major on their campus with Education majors a close second.
  • The Nursing School is fantastic and has a pass rate on the NCLEX above the national average.  The NCLEX is the National Nursing Exam that students must pass in order to be licensed.  They have a Guaranteed Acceptance Program for students to apply to during their senior year of high school and if admitted are guaranteed a spot in the nursing program as long as they maintain a 3.2 college GPA.  This is a great opportunity because nursing programs in the state of Georgia are highly competitive and often many students do not get admitted.
  • The Art School is home to the ONLY hot glass studio in the University System of Georgia.
  • The freshman class is only 481 students.  
  • 85% of students receive financial aid.
  • 69% of freshmen receive HOPE and Zell Miller Scholarships. 
  • It is one of the most affordable college options in Georgia.  

Admission Requirements

  1. Completed application with the $25.00 non-refundable application fee.
  2. Official copy of your high school transcript showing academic achievement in grades 9-11
  3. Official test score results of either the SAT or ACT.
  4. If admitted, the following requirements will need to be satisfied prior to enrollment:
    Official final high school transcript showing date of graduation.Completed health history and immunization forms. Submit a $45 acceptance deposit

    Applicants are evaluated on their academic performance in their high school CPC courses, SAT or ACT test scores, and the potential for completing the requirements for the desired degree. Georgia Southwestern's freshmen class averages in the range 985 - 1000 SAT in Math and Critical Reading and a 21 Composite on the ACT. The average GPA is 3.00 - 3.15. The University System of Georgia requires a minimum of SAT of 400 Math and 430 Critical Reading and a minimum ACT of 17 Math and 17 English for 4-year universities. Students who have taken the "new" SAT, March 2016 and forward, must meet the equivalent to the above requirements using the USG Concordance Tables. According to those tables, students would need a 24 on the "New SAT Reading Test" and a 440 on the "New Math Section" to be considered for admission to Georgia Southwestern.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Georgia Gwinnett College - College Spotlight

Located less than 20 miles from CHS in Lawrenceville is an often overlooked 4 year college. Home to more than 12,000 students, Georgia Gwinnett strives to be a public college with a private college experience. Once on campus, students are given a faculty advisor they will meet with at least once a semester, and they will receive the personal cell phone number for their professors and the College President. Class sizes are small: average is 21 students, and no class has more than 40 students. This means the classes you have here at Chattahoochee are most likely larger than the ones you would have if you attend Georgia Gwinnett.


  •       GGC is the #1 Most Ethnically Diverse Southern Regional College for the past 3 years
  •       GGC’s Tuition is capped at $1921.95 a semester, which is why GGC is ranked #2 for Lowest Graduate Debt for a Southern Regional College
  •       GGC is a member of the NAIA and are champions in Baseball, Men’s & Women’s Tennis, and Men’s Soccer
  •       GGC has 15 different majors with 38 different concentrations including Criminal Justice, Education, Information Technology & Nursing. You could also pursue a certificate in Latin American Studies
  •       GGC has over 100 organizations for ways students can get involved, whether it is a service organization, intermural sport, theater, or student government.
  •       GGC’s apartment style resident halls will make students want to live on campus (although it is not a requirement for Freshmen who live within 30 miles of campus).

·       High School GPA of 2.0
·       SAT:  Reading 24; Math 440 (taken after March 2016) OR
·       ACT: 17 English & 17 Math OR
·       Accuplacer- taken at Georgia Gwinnett College
·       Students are not required to take 2 years of the same World Language in high school for Admissions

It’s not too late to apply! Application deadline for Fall 2017 is May 1, so submit yours today!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gwinnett Technical College - College Spotlight

If you think that Gwinnett Tech doesn’t have anything to offer you, think again. There are two campuses, the main branch in Lawrenceville and the new Alpharetta campus, located across the street from Avalon. Gwinnett Tech educates over 10,000 students through their 150 degree, diploma, and certificate programs. Most programs can be completed in 2 years, and with tuition at only $89 per credit hour and fee, this is an extremely affordable opportunity just down the road from Chattahoochee. They have a 99.3% job placement rate within 6 months of graduation, and Gwinnett Tech helps their students find internships and practicums while they are in college.

  • The HOPE Grant will cover a portion (about 87%) of tuition for students pursuing a diploma or certificate programs with no minimum high school GPA. For more information on the HOPE Grant, click here.
  • There are more than 35 transfer articulation agreements with 4-year colleges for students wanting to continue their education beyond Gwinnett Tech. For more information, please visit Gwinnett Tech’s Articulation Agreement page here.
  • Additionally, there are 27 individual courses taught at Gwinnett Tech that schools within the University System of Georgia will automatically accept from schools within the Technical College System of Georgia.  For a list of these courses, click here. 

·       Programs at the Alpharetta campus
o   Accounting
o   Business Management
o   Computer Programming
o   Criminal Justice
o   Cybersecurity
o   Data Center Specialist
o   Early Childhood Education
o   Game Development
o   General Education
o   Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management
o   Logistics
o   Marketing Management
o   Networking Specialist
o   Patient Care Assistant
o   Website Design/Development

  •       Complete the essay-free application and pay the $25 fee
  •       Submit official records including high school transcript and test scores

o   Gwinnett Tech accepts the SAT, ACT, and ACCUPLACER (can be taken at Gwinnett Tech)
Meet additional requirements for your program area, if any
Application deadline for Fall 2017: June 30, 2017

See Gwinnett Tech in Action
·       The Lawrenceville Campus will be hosting an event called “Science Works” on Thursday, March 30, 2017, from 4-8 p.m. You can see every program in action, explore interactive projects, and check out everything Gwinnett Tech has to offer you. Register here.

·       Call 678-226-6751 to schedule an on-campus visit

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hooch Madness is Here!

You may have noticed the giant map of colleges in the main hallway and are wondering what that is all about.  This is a showcase of all the colleges & universities the faculty and staff of CHS has attended.  Over 30 states and 11 countries spanning 5 continents are represented on the board – make sure to check it out and see some of the options you may have for the future!  The Counseling Office is so excited to announce the 3rd annual Hooch Madness program March 20th – 31st! For the next two weeks, we will be hosting a variety of events promoting college awareness.  Be on the lookout for college spotlights on the Counseling blog, teacher questions of the day, and Twitter Challenges (#CHSHoochMadness), as well as the events featured below.

  • Advisement door decoration contest:  Winners will be decided on Friday, March 30th, and the Advisements selected will receive a pizza party when we return from Spring Break!  Get creative!  The theme is “college” so it doesn’t have to be limited to one specific school.
  • Move on When Ready Support Day:  March 20 in G125.  If you need help with any part of the Move on When Ready process, please drop in to see a Counselor during your Advisement.
  • Instant Decision Days: Seniors, if you still need to figure out where you will be attending school in the Fall, we have some great options for you!  Gwinnett Tech will be here on March 23rd, Georgia Gwinnett College on March 27th, and Valdosta State on March 28th.  Come sit down with a representative and receive an admissions decision on the spot! Space is limited, so sign up for an appointment in the Counseling Office.
  • “I’m Accepted. Now What?”:  This event is for Seniors who have been accepted to Kennesaw (on March 21st) or Georgia College (on March 23rd) to find out what next steps they need to take.  You can ask questions about orientation, housing, financial aid, and more!  If you haven’t been accepted but have started your application, you can also submit any of your missing documents at this time.  Sign up on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/chattahoochee-counseling-department-11137741233
  • Financial Aid Workshop for Juniors:  Wanting to get a jump start on scholarships and financial aid?  Sign up for the workshop on March 28th in G125 during 4B and 5A.  Space is limited, so be sure to sign up: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/chattahoochee-counseling-department-11137741233
  • Spring College Fair:  March 24th in the gym during all Advisement periods.  Over 40 colleges will be represented including Albany State, Embry-Riddle, Georgia Southern, Miami, Ole Miss, Toccoa Falls, and more! See the flyer below for the complete list.
  • College Gear Fridays:  Join in on the fun & show your support for your favorite college by wearing college gear on March 24th & 30th!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

FAFSA Friday!

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid opened on October 1, 2016 for current seniors who plan to enroll in college for Fall 2017.  We hosted a Financial Aid Information night at the end of January.  If you missed it, here is the link to that blog post:  Click here for the Financial Aid Information Night Blog Post

However, today, the counselors visited with Gwinnett Technical College at the Alpharetta location.  If you haven't checked out this gem of a school, you should.  They have great programs for all types of students.  Get all the scoop at the Gwinnett Technical College Website

While we were there, they told us about this AMAZING opportunity for students.  They are hosting an event called FAFSA FRIDAY!!  It will be held on March 24 from 12 - 3pm.  ANY current senior or senior parent is welcome to attend.  You do not have to be a student at Gwinnett Tech OR even plan on enrolling there next year to come to this event.  It is open to anyone!!  This is where you cheer that someone who actually knows the in's and out's of Financial Aid is willing to help you! They have this fabulous Financial Aid Specialist, Atua Emu, who is willing to help you complete your FAFSA.  Do you have questions?  You should attend this event.  It is a drop in event, but you need to come prepared with all of the documents.  Don't delay!  One caveat....March 24 is a Friday, so if you plan to miss school to attend this event, make sure you submit your documentation for a pre-approved absence in advance, or be prepared for an unexcused absence.  If you have questions about this particular event, please call them directly.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Fall Forward!

This is an awesome speech from Denzel Washington about opportunities that come from failure. Learning comes from failure.  Choose to fall forward.  Take risks.  It's excellent. He says, "you will suck at something." How true.  But, you'll never know how to overcome obstacles until you choose to stick with it.  Don't quit.  Don't give up.  You are worth it!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Course Verification Process

The new year may have already come and gone, but next school year is right around the corner!  Let's talk logistics.  Let's plan for what's to come!!!  Everyone has received a copy of their course verifications for the upcoming school year.  It seems there are many questions about the process to take certain classes, so here are the basics!

Your next verification will go home on March 3.  They are due back with corrections by March 9.  Final course requests will go home on March 15.  
  • We've said this before, and we're saying it again - if you are not on the "Class of..." Edmodo pages, you should be.  We post a lot of information for students there.  If you are a parent, you must have your student send you the link to add you.  If you are a student and have not joined your Class page, you need to stop by the counseling office and get the most up to date Edmodo code.  Once you join, you will receive information through your senior year.  It's one and done!
  • If you had more than 6 credits listed on your verification it is because teachers gave you multiple choices for courses.  For example you may have been recommended for 2 sciences or 2 social studies courses.  You must scratch out the classes you do not wish to take, keeping in mind you must have the required courses for graduation and a total of 6 need to be listed.  You are welcome to write "alternate" down for any extra classes in the event something does not work out logistically. Gotta make some tough choices or the scheduling team will do it for you. 😊
  • If you wrote any course on your verification form that requires an application such as: 
    • Teacher Aid, Office Aid, or Work Based Learning - You must complete the interest survey & then if deemed eligible by Ms. Crockett you will receive a formal more lengthy application to complete.  Until all of those steps are complete, it will not be added to your course requests.  Here is a link to the WBL interest survey: Interest Survey for WBL (TA, Office Aid, Off Campus Employment) 
    • There are 2 Advanced Placement courses that required an application no later than February 21st.  AP Capstone and AP Computer Science Principles.  You cannot write these on your verification form, you must complete the online application AND be accepted into the class before it will be added.  Advanced Placement Applications and Information
    • Any other Advanced Placement course or Honors course that you were NOT recommended for and did not appear on your verification but you want to take, you can scratch out a course on your verification and ADD the AP or Honors course you wish to take.  Your parent and you must sign the bottom of the verification form.  The course will only be added IF you meet the district placement guidelines.  You can check out the placement criteria for individual courses in the Course Directory.  Hooch Course Catalog for 17-18 school year
    • Classes such as Internship, Musical Theater, Yearbook, Newspaper, Directed Study etc will not show up on your verification form until the scheduling team receives approval that you can take that course.  We will typically receive one list from the teacher in charge of that area and move all students at one time. Here is the Directed Study application that needs to be submitted to Ms. Pair:  Directed Study Application
  • If you want to take an online course during the school year (fall or spring semester), you cannot write that on your verification form.  You will need to follow the online course registration process which will be available in the counseling office on March 1st.  It will be first come, first serve and spots are limited.  Deadline to submit contracts is March 9.
  • If you want to take a class over the summer in order to make room for something else in your schedule.  The required course will not be deleted from your verification until we receive proof that you completed and passed the course over the summer.  Your courses will not change until then.  You can sign up for summer classes starting on March 1st through Fulton Virtual School or Georgia Virtual School.  Counselors will still have to approve those, but no contract is required to turn in.
    Link for Fulton Virtual School: Fulton Virtual School
    Link for Georgia Virtual School: Georgia Virtual School
  • College courses will not be added until the student has been accepted to the college AND has registered for courses at the college.  You leave on your current recommendation and then once you are registered/accepted at the college, the counselor will make the change.  If you have any questions about the MOWR process there is an AWESOME website that details the steps and answers all frequently asked questions. MOWR Information Website
  • If you did not indicate alternatives to your application driven courses, or if you did not select classes adding up to 6.0 credits, the scheduling team may select high school courses for you. You can update your corrections during the second round of verifications.
  • Keep in mind BALANCE is key.  It does you no good to take a ton of rigorous courses and then get below average grades.  It will only hurt your GPA and impact college admission chances.  Be smart!  Take what is appropriate for YOU and what you can realistically handle.  Best fit for you may be different than someone else.  That is OK.  It is best to take less rigor and get A's then take a lot of rigor and get C's.  Choose wisely!
  • Counselor SUPPORT DAYS!!!  Got a question??  Students can drop in to get their questions answered on March 6 & 8th in G125 during all lunch periods. Note: even if you meet with your counselor during those dates, they cannot add an "application" course to your schedule.  We have to wait for you to be approved before adding anything, so make sure you select alternate, non-application/audition based electives for your verification. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Common Application Essay Prompts for 17-18 School Year

You are in luck!  The Common Application Essay prompts for the upcoming school year have been released for viewing.  Check out the 17-18 Essay Prompts

Please take a look at this site if you are applying to any school that utilizes this process.  Almost 700 colleges and universities use Common Application - check out the list of schools here: Click here to explore colleges who use Common Application

There are many helpful videos that Common Application also showcases on their website - take a look here:  Common Application Helpful Videos

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Financial Aid Information

Each year the Counseling Office hosts a Financial Aid Information night.

The biggest thing to know is to get started early and don't miss deadlines!  Deadlines for admission may be different than deadlines for financial aid.  

Both presentations are on the Chattahoochee High School website.  Here they are as well:

Financial Aid Information Part 1: GSFC Presentation click here
Financial Aid Information Part 2:  CHS Presentation click here 

There is some overlap in the presentation, but all good information.

On the CHS counseling page, there are scholarships that are posted.  The nominated scholarships are very specific and competitive.  Any student interested must complete the information by the deadline.  Here is the link for nominated scholarships:  Nominated Scholarships Link

Here is the list of all scholarships that are sent to us in Alphabetical order: Hooch Scholarship List

We highly recommend joining the Hooch Twitter, Facebook, and Edmodo pages.  All information is posted on social media as soon as it becomes available.  If a student has not joined the "class of..." Edmodo page which is structured through the counseling office, they should do so.  The codes are located in the counseling office right in front of Mrs. Cochran's desk.  They change every two weeks.  Edmodo codes cannot be sent via email.  Once a student joins a group, they will remain a member through graduation.  They do not have to rejoin each year.  If a parent would like to be part of their child's Edmodo group, the student must send the link to their parents for them to join as well.  A lot of information is sent through Edmodo.

Other helpful information (image below).  When thinking about "financial aid", it is not just loans.  Any money given to a student to assist in paying for college is considered financial aid such as loans, grants, institutional aid, HOPE, Zell Miller, other scholarships, etc.  This is also an excellent resource for scholarship information:  College Scholarships Link

Please reach out to your child's counselor if you have questions.  Some things we can answer, some things you really need to talk directly to the college financial aid office or directly to Georgia Student Finance Commission.