On behalf of Pikesville High School and the School Counseling Department, congratulations for taking the SAT today!
Thanks to the vision of our school system’s leadership, this opportunity affords thousands of BCPS juniors the chance to apply for admission at any of our nation’s (and state’s) many four-year colleges. While I recognize that approximately 40-45% of our graduates attend 2-year college or enlist in the military, I want to make sure that everyone knows that they have the choice to apply for admission to four-year colleges, should they wish to investigate those choices.
First of all, know that for students who will be applying to colleges in the fall, it will be their responsibility to send the SAT scores directly from his/her www.collegeboard.org account to those colleges. If you did not write any college codes on your pink and white form, the College Board will charge about $12 per recipient. We expect to have additional fee waivers for students who qualify (those who are in AVID, receive free/reduced meals, qualify for government benefits, or who live below the federal poverty line), and they are usually available for distribution in the fall. I must be clear about this: parents should not make an account at www.collegeboard.org on behalf of their children. Ask him/her to log in with you and explore the site together. If there are multiple accounts for a student, that will complicate things and the only way to resolve the matter is for the student to call College Board directly at 410-756-7346.
Having taken the test today, remember that this is not the only SAT. Registration is available (at www.collegeboard.org) for the June 4 test until May 20. The cost to register for the SAT with Essay is $54.50. We have fee waivers for that, as well.
By the way, the SAT is not the only admissions test that colleges accept. Even though it was not as popular for our parents’ generation, the ACT – www.actstudent.org is accepted by just as many colleges as the SAT, and many students report feeling more confident on that test than the SAT. An equal number end up scoring higher. It really is a matter of personal preference. The cost for that test is comparable, and registration for the June 11 ACT with writing will be $56.50 until May 6. Likewise, we have fee waivers for the ACT with the same qualifying criteria as above.
In mid-May, school counselors will visit English 11 classes to help them create, and get familiar with the Common App (www.commonapp.org), one website that is used by hundreds of colleges for applying for admission. After that activity, the juniors will begin working with their English 11 teachers on their first drafts of their admissions essay. Students who attend the BCPS College Application Boot Camp will be given feedback on their essays, which makes it to their benefit to start early.
You should also know that we will also mention a change (at least to those who have older students) to the process of applying to the University of Maryland. The University of Maryland is one of 90 colleges who have joined the “Coalition for College Access & Affordability.” The “Coalition App” should open soon, and this will allow students to save their best school (and creative) work from school and save it to their account in what the Coalition calls their “locker,” as a way for colleges to evaluate students’ college readiness that goes beyond the traditional formulaic system of comparing GPA and test scores. Please start looking through 11th grade work and saving it for the Coalition App if the University of Maryland (or the other 89 member colleges) are in your future.
Don’t forget to go on college visits (and help me grow my window decal collection J) to make lasting and valid impressions of the colleges your student is considering.
Lastly, prospective student athletes will need to register for the NCAA clearinghouse by the summer time and request that we send their 11th grade transcript to the NCAA this summer. Registration is at www.eligibilitycenter.org.