College Counseling Info

Academics

Counseling Office

College Counseling Philosophy 

Welcome to the world of College Counseling at Mount de Sales Academy.  The journey in preparation for selecting a college for each student here at MDSA is a partnership venture, one in which each of us plays a vital role. Throughout the process we help students to look within themselves for clues as to what will be important in the search for an appropriate post-high school experience.  Our objectives are to address individual college needs and ensure that each Mount de Sales student is an active, energetic and investigative participant in the process. By helping students realize that they have the power to define and meet their own challenges, we use the college process as an educational tool to develop skills that will be valuable even in the years beyond college. We believe that the information compiled here will help you better understand your role as well as the way the college counseling process works at Mount de Sales Academy.

There are more than 4,000 institutions of higher learning in the United States, and even more worldwide. Deciding where to apply, and eventually, to enroll can be a daunting process. This guide provides a general overview of the college search and admissions process. Familiarity with our Guide to College Counseling will reduce anxiety and bring a greater sense of control and success in the college admissions process. The Guidance Office expectation is that we will all be active participants in this process. Regular communication between counselors, students and parents is the key to a successful experience. Although this information should provide you with answers to many of your immediate questions, we in the Guidance Office want to assure you that our office maintains an “open door” policy.  We welcome your calls, your e-mails, and your scheduled visits.  We urge you to take advantage of Naviance Family Connection as well as our scheduled informational activities. Our goal is to make you educated consumers of this highly publicized, somewhat complex topic.  

Class of 2018 College Acceptances

2018 MSJ/MDSA College Fair - click to visit site


College Application/Transcript Requests

Each senior needs to let the Guidance Office know to which schools they are applying at least three weeks before the deadline. This process is completed online through Naviance Family Connection. If you have questions about the Naviance Family Connection website, please contact the college counselor.  

College Visits

If you are planning to miss a day of school to do a college visit, you need to get a permission form signed by your teachers and by the Guidance Office.  You can find forms in the Guidance Office or print the College Permission Form from this web site. Note: Seniors are allowed three College Visit Days and juniors are allowed two College Visit Days. Junior college visit day is mandatory for all juniors. It will be held on November 9.

Teacher Recommendations

All teacher recommendations must be completed through Naviance Family Connection. We expect that each student will have a conversation with the teacher with whom they are requesting a recommendation. Students are expected to request two teacher letters in the spring of their junior year.

Researching Colleges

Trying to figure out which colleges are right for you? Look for information online at:

The CollegeBoard – Search for colleges that meet your criteria:
http://www.collegeboard.com/

Catholic Colleges Online:
http://www.catholiccollegesonline.org/

Campus tours – Visit colleges without leaving home:
http://www.campustours.com/

Colleges that Change Lives:
http://www.ctcl.org/

Online College Database - Research colleges that fit your needs:
http://www.onlinecollegesdatabase.org/about-us/

Peterson’s Review – Reviews of colleges and universities:
http://www.petersons.com/

Princeton Review - Reviews of colleges and universities:
http://www.princetonreview.com/

Accredited Christian Colleges:
http://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/online-christian-colleges/

Financial Aid for College

Deciding how to pay for college is often as stressful as deciding which college is right for you.  Below is a list of websites with helpful information as well as information on scholarships and grants you can apply for.  You may always talk to the College Counselor as well.  You should also talk with the financial aid offices at the colleges you are interested in to discuss the financial aid options available to you.  Also, many colleges & universities have separate applications for the scholarships they offer.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):  All seniors applying to college who wish to receive any financial aid from colleges or the state (including scholarships, grants and loans) must complete the FAFSA.  The FAFSA is available starting on October 1 and the deadline for completing the form in order to be eligible for Maryland state financial aid in March 1.  You will need to gather your families’ tax records and financial records form the previous year before completing the FAFSA.  You can complete the FAFSA on line at: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

For information on the types of financial aid available, visit the following websites:

U.S. Department of Education:  Information on financing a college education as well as information on loans & grants.
www.ed.gov/finaid.html

Federal Student Aid:
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/

Maryland Higher Education Commission: Information on financial aid in Maryland including state scholarships & grants, Delegate & Senatorial Scholarships, and information on colleges & universities in Maryland.
www.mhec.state.md.us

GoodCall Scholarship Search Engine: One of the largest databases of scholarships:
www.goodcall.com/scholarships/search

Fast Web:  Information on scholarships.
www.fastweb.com

FinAid:  Information on scholarships and loans.
www.finaid.org

Student Scholarship Search:  Information on scholarships & grants.
www.studentscholarshipsearch.com

Student Loan Network:  Information on financial aid, loans, & scholarships, & grants.
www.studentloannetwork.com

Ultimate Guide to Student Loan Resources
www.smartscholar.com/student-loan-guide

Broadening Options and Opportunities for Students Today (BOOST) Program

RaiseMe: RaiseMe partners with universities to offer students scholarships for their achievements during high school and community college.
https://www.raise.me/

Cappex: Has a directory of more than $11 billion in scholarships.
https://www.cappex.com/

Counselor Contact Information:

Erinn McConville
College Counselor

ext. 116