College: Make it a Goal (from SHS counselors)
The goal to attend a four-year college is a serious one, and shouldn’t be left to chance.
Hard work, persistence, and a well thought out five-year plan are needed to make it
As you construct your five-year plan it is important to find out what colleges are looking
for in terms of high school course selection, grades, test scores, and community and
school involvement. This knowledge is critical if you wish to be admitted to the school of
your choice, or any four-college or university.
Community College: A step along the way
Since not everyone is ready to attend a four-year college immediately after high school,
community college is a great place to develop the academic skills and obtain the grades
necessary to get to the four-year schools.
Whether or not you are planning to attend a four-year school or a community college it is
important to take math, science, English, social studies, and a world language throughout
high school. College will be more difficult than high school, and the students who acquire
strong reading, critical thinking, math, and writing skills by taking rigorous academic
courses will be more likely to succeed once they get there.
1 ADMISSIONS AT A FOUR-YEAR COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY
In general, colleges use the following criteria to select students:
• Rigor of high school course selection
• Senior year schedule
• Performance in academic classes
• SAT I/ACT scores
• Involvement in clubs, ASB, service, and extra-curricular activities
• Letters of recommendation
Rigor of high school course selection
When a college admission counselor looks at your application materials, the first question
they will ask is if you are a serious student. Their answer will be determined by the
grades you earned in your academic classes and the rigor of your high school course
selection. If you are up to the challenge, Advanced Placement (AP) classes will not only
look good on your transcript, but they will help you acquire many of the skills necessary
to succeed in college.
The following will meet the minimum course requirements at most 4-year public and
private schools in the United States. Keep in mind that colleges are not looking for
students who have only completed the minimum.
• 4 years of English
• 3 years of social studies
• 2 or more consecutive years of the same foreign language
• 3 plus years of math, including algebra, geometry, and algebra/trigonometry
or the equivalent in the integrated math sequence.
• 2 plus years of science, including one year of lab science. Biology, chemistry,
and physics are recommended.
• 1 year of fine, visual, or performing arts. In some instances an academic
elective may be substituted for part or the entire fine arts requirement.
Most four-year colleges require that you list your senior year schedule on their
application. If you have room in your senior year for more mathematics, science, world
language, English, or social studies you better take them if you want to be considered a
No doubt, an A grade in an easy/nonacademic class will improve your overall grade-
point-average and possibly help save money on car insurance, but it doesn’t help you get
into or prepare for the academic rigors of college.
Grades are supposed to be indicative of what you have learned and how hard you have
worked, and that is why colleges are looking for students with good grades in academic
A number of select schools may recalculate GPA’s based on their own admissions
criteria. They may use only the grades earned in academic classes, discount the freshman
year, or consider the performance of past Snohomish High School graduates at their
school, and some give an edge to students who took Advanced Placement courses.
Whether or not a school recalculates GPA is important for you to know before you apply.
Call their admissions office to find out.
Common sense tells you that the higher your scores, the more likely you will get into the
college of your choice. More specific details relating to testing can be found on page
Involvement in clubs, ASB, service, extracurricular activities, etc
Most private schools and some public schools consider involvement in school clubs and
activities, church, and civic organizations when selecting students.
Public schools tend to consider factors other than GPA and test scores only if your
acceptance is marginal and they need more information to decide whether or not to admit
Involvement in clubs and activities and community service is especially important if you
are planning to apply for scholarships.
More often than not, private schools, especially highly selective schools, require an essay
as part of their application process.
Except for Evergreen State College, all in-State public universities require applicants to
complete a “personal statement” or answer essay questions as part of their application
process. Do your best to make sure you use this opportunity to demonstrate your interest
and sincerity in attending those schools for which you are applying. Although, Evergreen
does not require that you write a personal statement, the admissions staff there prefers
that you do.
If a school does not require an essay or a personal statement, do not send them one. They
will not use it if it is not part of their regular application process. They cannot use it to
compare you to other applicants. Unless there are extenuating circumstances that need to
be explained, possibly a period of poor academic performance on your transcript, do not
send extra information. It will not improve your chance of being admitted.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation are not part of the application process for Washington’s
public colleges and universities. Some of the in-state private schools and many out-of-
state schools, public and private require them and provide space on their applications
where the recommendations may be written. There is a more detailed explanation about
letters of recommendation on page 13.
2 COLLEGE TESTING
Students planning to attend a four year college or university directly after high school are
required to submit either an ACT or SAT I test score with their application.
Test scores are used by colleges to compare applicants and to determine whether or not
students have the academic skills necessary to be a successful college student.
Test scores may be needed when and if a student transfers from a 2-year community
college to a four year school, depending on the school and the number of transfer credits
accumulated. Some universities or degree programs may still require a test score even if
the transfer student has earned an AA degree at the community college. It is best to learn
about the transfer policies of the schools you want to transfer to ahead of time.
Which test should you take?
SAT I and ACT scores are accepted by all universities in the U.S.
All of Washington State’s four-year public and private colleges and universities accept
the scores of either test.
Review practice tests for each of the exams to determine if one test suits you better. If
you are not sure, take them both.
The best way to prepare for the ACT or SAT I is to take rigorous classes throughout high
school and to read voraciously. Include in your reading good literature and journals that
will challenge your thinking, expose you to new ideas, and improve your vocabulary.
Both test companies send Snohomish High School copies of their student bulletins each
year. The bulletins contain practice tests and offer strategies and advice on how to
prepare for their exams. Students who familiarize themselves with test formats, scoring
practices, and do the practice tests generally score higher than students who don’t.
Visit the websites (www.actstudent.org and www.collegeboard.com) of each test
company for useful information and helpful test prep products and test taking tips.
Test prep courses are another option. The SHS parent club offers a low cost course which
is a good buy if you feel the need to go this route. There are other opportunities, but be
forewarned that prep courses can be expensive and claims about how much test scores
can be raised by prep courses is purely anecdotal. Research does not support the claim
that test prep courses by themselves significantly improve test scores.
What do these tests measure? The SAT I test measures a student’s reading
comprehension, critical thinking, writing ability, and math skills involving algebra,
geometry, and trigonometry.
The ACT measures math skills involving algebra, coordinate and plane geometry, and
trigonometry. It also measures your reading comprehension and ability to interpret and
understand content related to the sciences. It also contains an optional writing section.
SAT II: Subject Tests
Subject tests assess a student’s competency in the areas of English, history, mathematics,
sciences, and World languages.
Some colleges require or recommend one or more subject tests for admission or class
placement. Some of the schools in the California system require that 3 subject test scores
be submitted with your application.
The public and private schools in Washington State do not require that subject test scores
be submitted with your application. Don’t send them, they won’t use them.
Subject tests are one hour long and for the most part are multiple-choice tests.
Information about SAT II registration is available online at www.collegeboard.com and
in the SAT Registration Bulletin available in the SHS Career Center.
The University of Washington is the only in-state public school that requires their
applicants to take the writing portion of the ACT if they take the ACT.
Some out-of-state schools may also require the ACT writing section. The College
Handbook, available for student use in the SHS Career Center contains testing
requirements for all of the four-year public and private colleges and universities in the
United States. A school’s website will also list their testing requirements.
Test fee waivers are available for juniors and seniors who are on free or reduced lunch.
See your counselor well before you plan to test. It may take several weeks for your
Snohomish High School counselor to acquire a waiver for you.
Testing accommodations may be possible for specific documented disabilities. Requests
for accommodations must be made in advance to the appropriate test company by
submitting an eligibility form. Eligibility requests are formally reviewed by each test
company before they can be granted. If you believe you have a disability and will need a
testing accommodation see your counselor several months in advance of potential exam
dates to determine the feasibility of receiving accommodations, and/or to obtain the
proper paper work.
How to register for the ACT or the SAT I
Register on-line, by telephone, or by mail. See each test’s registration bulletin for phone
numbers and addresses.
Snohomish High School receives a limited number of registration packets at the
beginning of each school year for students without web access that are available in the
Career Center. If possible, both test companies prefer that you register on-line.
Be aware that there are regular registration deadlines and late registration deadlines for
each of the dates the exams are offered. A late fee is charged in addition to the regular fee
for late registration.
Both companies offer the test at various locations in our area on one Saturday during
specific months of each academic year. The test sites and dates are listed on the test
company websites and in their respective registration bulletins.
Register in advance to ensure yourself a seat at a location near your home and/or to make
sure the colleges you are applying to will receive your score reports before their
Seating is limited at all test sites. Students who register late may have to drive further
from home, or may not be able to reserve a seat for a specific test date.
When you complete the registration forms you are able to indicate four schools where
your score report may be sent. The first four score reports are free. Additional score
reports may be sent for a fee. Information about how to request additional score reports is
in the registration bulletin of each test company, and on their website.
Soon after you register the test company will send you an admission ticket. Keep it. The
admission ticket along with appropriate picture ID will be needed to get you in the door
at the test center.
Acceptable picture ID may include a driver’s license, student body card, passport, or
other state-issued ID. If you do not have suitable ID see your counselor for a Photo ID
Standby: If you miss the registration deadline and the late registration deadline for a
specific test date you may still be able to test. Here’s how: complete a registration form,
show up early at a test site, bring the test fee, late fee, and standby fee, and notify the test
supervisor that you are there. If someone doesn’t show up you might get their spot. See
the registration bulletin for each test to determine exact fees.
The preliminary-SAT (p-SAT) is offered each fall at SHS for college bound juniors. This
is an opportunity for juniors to take practice for the SAT I and to see if they are on the
right track in getting ready for college.
The p-SAT is the qualifying exam for the prestigious National Merit Scholarships.
Registration for the p-SAT will take place in early October after the counselors have
visited all of the US History classes to discuss the merits of taking the test.
3 CHOOSING A SCHOOL
Determine which academic areas you may want to study before applying to a college.
Not all schools have the same programs, nor do they emphasize the same content in a
The services offered are as diverse as the schools themselves and may include academic
advising, personal counseling, career advising, tutorial centers, prevention and wellness
programs, student union facilities, financial aid offices, disabled student services,
veterans’ services, and recreational/intramural opportunities.
For the fall of 2004 the predicted enrollment at the University of Washington was 35,000
students. Washington State University was a distant second at 17,000 students.
Enrollment at Evergreen State College was predicted to be around 4000 students.
Western Washington University predicted about 12,000 students with Central
Washington University and Eastern Washington University both expecting around 8,000
2004 private school enrollments were predicted to be from 145 undergraduates at Bastyr
to over 3500 at Seattle University.
The size of a school can make a difference, but you need to determine if it matters to you.
An important question to ask yourself is whether you prefer attending a school close to
home or far away, in a rural or urban setting, or in a mild or severe climate, or if it even
Tuition varies greatly between private and public schools in the same state.
For the 2006-2007 academic year tuition at the University of Puget Sound was $30,000.
Tuition at the University of Washington was $6000. Tuition at Everett Community
College was $2600 and the University of Oregon was $18,600 for a Washington resident.
Choosing a less expensive school isn’t always a good idea, and an education at a more
expensive school isn’t always better. Ultimately, your success will depend on your work
ethic and people skills, just as it is to make sure a school is a good fit for you.
Don’t forget travel expenses to and from school if you are applying to schools that are out
of state or far from home.
It is important to know if your grades, high school course selection, and test scores will
meet the admission requirements of each school you are considering before you send
them your application and pay the application fee.
You can determine what your chances are of being admitted at a specific school by
comparing your grade point average and test scores with the school’s most recent
freshman class. If you compare favorably, you have a good chance. The College
Handbook has this information. It also wouldn’t hurt to discuss your chances of
admission with your Snohomish High School counselor. They have worked with a lot of
seniors and can tell you if your chances of being admitted are good.
Prior to your senior year: Things you can do to help make up your mind
Visit schools: All schools have visitation programs. Call ahead of time to find out when
organized presentations take place and/or to make an appointment. Many students and
their families combine school visits with family vacations.
Meet with school representatives during their scheduled Snohomish High School visits.
Attend the Fall College and Career Night at Snohomish High School, the Everett
Community College Fall College Conference, and the National College Fair in Seattle in
November. Stop by the Snohomish High School Career Center for details.
Contact out of state schools to find out when their recruitment staff are visiting the
Review in-state college catalogs, The College Handbook, and The Index of Majors and
Graduate Degrees which are all available in the Career Center.
School websites include their course offerings, school services, application procedures,
and financial aid/scholarship information.
Most admissions staff tracks phone calls, visits, and whether or not you have met with
their representatives to determine how interested you are in their school. All things being
equal, an applicant that has shown more interest will receive an admissions offer.
The more time spent researching schools ahead of time, the more likely you are to find a
school that best suits you. A better fit should lessen the time it takes you to earn a degree
and that means less money spent attending school.
The number of applications to submit Four-year Colleges and Universities Your
chances of being admitted are better if you focus on four or five schools that you compare
favorably with the previous year’s freshman class, than you are in submitting a large
number of applications to schools where your chances are in doubt.
If you know the specific community college you want to attend, then you only need to
submit an application to that school. You will be admitted as long as there is room.
Whether or not you are able to get into the program(s) you are interested in is another
4 THE APPLICATION PROCESS
The application materials that need to be submitted depends on the types of schools to
which you are applying, whether they are a two-year, four-year, public or private, or an
in-state or out of state school.
Schools that have firm application deadlines want all of their application materials before
the dead line.
Send only materials that are a required part of the admissions process. If you send
materials that a school does not ask for, they may look at it, but they can not use it to
compare you to other applicants since they do not ask for it from all of their applicants.
The following guidelines can be used to determine the materials that might be expected
from various types of schools:
Two-year colleges/technical schools, in-state or out of state
• Transcript if required
• Application fee if required.
Public in-State four year colleges and universities
• High school transcript
• ACT or SA T I scores • Personal statement if required, but a good
idea even if it is optional.
• Application fee
Private in-State four year colleges and universities
• SAT I or ACT
• High School Transcript
• Essay/personal statement if required
• Letter of recommendation/Counselor evaluation if required
• Application fee
Out of state public or private four year colleges/universities
• SAT I or ACT, and possibly two or more SAT II (subject tests) particularly
schools in the California system.
• High School Transcript
• Essay/personal statement if required
• Letters of recommendation/Counselor evaluation if required
• Application fee
Application Deadlines at Four year colleges and universities
Most four-year colleges and universities have a firm deadline, and all application
materials must be submitted or post marked by the deadline.
A small number of four-year schools have rolling admissions. In this process schools take
applications until all of their spots are filled, and the registration date you are assigned to
select your classes is often based on the date your application was received. Students who
are accepted in this process and applied early are more likely to get the classes they want.
Two-year colleges and technical school deadlines
Most two-year colleges and technical schools have rolling admissions. And as is true of
four-year schools that use this process, the date you register for your classes depends on
the date that you apply. It is recommended that you apply no later than February to insure
a favorable registration date at community colleges and technical schools.
Schools that require an essay expect the conventions of a well written essay to be
followed. Spelling, grammar, and presentation are as important as it is to write an essay
that is specific to the assigned topic.
Don’t expect that a poorly written essay will be glossed over in favor of high grades or
Letters of Recommendation
Send letters of recommendation only when they are a required. If a letter is required, ask
the letter writer in advance and take the following into consideration:
• Some colleges require that a counselor or a teacher writes the letter and
provides a specific form for them to write on. If you have the option of
choosing who will write your letter, ask an instructor who knows you well,
possibly someone you had the previous year.
• Provide the letter writer a copy of the completed student data sheet (available
in the counseling office or the career center) or your resume. The more
information you give them the better the recommendation they can write.
• A two week advance notice is the expected norm. It takes time to write a good
• If a college provides a form for the letter to be written on, fill it out
completely before giving it to the writer.
• Give the letter writer a stamped and addressed envelope. In most cases it is
required that the letter is confidential and the writer will drop it in the mail.
• Do not ask to see the letter before it is mailed, since showing it to you would
be unethical. Please understand that anyone who has agreed to write you a
letter of recommendation will do everything they can to write you a positive
one, otherwise they would not have agreed to write it.
• Writing a letter of recommendation is not part of the official job description
of school staff. It is a favor. Take the time to say thank you.
How to Obtain an Official (sealed) Transcript from Snohomish High School
• Complete the “Transcript Order Form” that is available in the counseling
office on the small table against the common wall with the nurse’s office.
• Place the completed form in the small wooden box. Be sure to indicate the
number of transcripts you would like ordered and whether or not to include
your class rank and ACT/SAT scores.
• Your Official Transcript should be available within twenty-four hours for you
to pick up.
• If you need to have an official transcript mailed directly to a school
scholarship organization, or other destination, please provide the registrar
with an addressed, stamped envelope.
5 PAYING FOR COLLEGE
Attendance at an in-state community college can exceed $2000 per year for tuition,
books, and fees. In-state public university attendance can top $11,000 per year for tuition,
books, room and board, and fees. Costs at some private schools can reach $30,000 per
College is expensive. It will take careful planning by you and your parents to keep the
Personal savings, scholarships, and financial aid are sources to consider when looking
for college funds.
The internet, the Snohomish High School Career Center, the public library, and book
stores all have information about scholarships and financial aid.
The Career Center is a great place to find information about specific resources. Visit the
Career Center often: it will be time well spent.
Personal savings should be considered above all other resources. It is the only source of
money that is directly related to your willingness to work and save.
It is a good idea to start saving at an early age and put money away on a regular basis. It
is not easy to save, but it is often the only way to reach a long-term goal.
Places to save your college funds
Pass book savings accounts, savings bonds, taxable mutual fund accounts, non-taxed 509
mutual fund accounts, and Washington State’s Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) plan
are some of the places to put college savings. We urge you to look into each of them.
Most mutual fund companies have 509 accounts (college savings plans) and will be more
than glad to answer your questions over the phone and send you information about their
The State of Washington’s Guaranteed Education Tuition Program (GET) can tell
you about their prepay tuition program. Visit their website at www.get.wa.gov.
Both the GET and 509 programs allow your dollars to grow tax free as long as they are
used to pay for specified college expenses. In addition, the GET program allows you to
pay for tomorrow’s tuition at today’s prices.
Banks can also help you purchase US savings bonds that grow tax free when used for
specific college expenses.
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) may be another source of funds.
Whatever option you choose, it is important to research the tax consequences of each
Scholarships are gifts of money given to students for many different reasons, including
but not limited to academic performance, community service, leadership activities,
financial need, athletics, and a special interest in a particular area of study or career field.
Students who earn high marks in high school are at an advantage when competing for
scholarships, but that does not mean that other students should not apply, or that a high
grade point average guarantees a scholarship.
Criteria other than grade-point are at times weighed more heavily in the selection process.
How to get scholarships
It shouldn’t have to be said, but in order to receive scholarships you must apply for them.
Applying for scholarships is a lot of work but there is no way around it.
Scholarship money is limited and the selection process is often competitive.
Students who are academically strong and involved in leadership and service activities
are more likely to receive one. But again, that doesn’t mean only those types of students
The only way to know if you should apply for a scholarship is to read the criteria! A few
words of advice; be persistent, expect rejection, and don’t give up.
Where to look for scholarships
Places to look for scholarships include your employer, your parent’s employer, your
church, civic organizations, the colleges you plan to attend, scholarship websites, and the
Snohomish High School Career Center.
Throughout the school year, corporations, foundations, colleges, and individuals send
Snohomish High School information about scholarship opportunities. The information is
published in a bi-weekly bulletin and posted in the Career Center. Check it regularly.
Most scholarships are for seniors, but there are some that sophomores and juniors can
apply for as well.
Local scholarships are awarded by the Snohomish Foundation and private citizens from
• To apply for local scholarships students must complete the Scholarship
Notebook during their senior year. The notebook is best described as a seven
to eight page scholarship application. If you start the scholarship search early
you will have most of the information needed when it comes time to
complete the notebook.
• The local donors are generous, but they are more interested in recognizing
students for hard work and special contributions to SHS and or the
community than they are in paying for a significant portion of any one
individual’s college expenses. Therefore, if you need scholarship money to
help pay for college it is wise to broaden your search.
College academic scholarships are offered by most educational institutions, especially
to quality incoming freshman.
• Academic scholarships are a great recruitment tool for institutions looking for
highly capable students.
• Contact the financial aid office of each school you are planning to apply and
ask them to send you their financial aid and scholarship information.
• To qualify for scholarships and financial aid from a given institution you may
need to send in your regular application sooner. Contact each school to be
When to apply for scholarships
Do not wait until your senior year to look for scholarships. If you do not land a
scholarship as an under classman, you will learn how the process works and it could pay
off later on.
Regardless of when you start applying for scholarships provide the donors with all of the
information that they ask for. Scholarships are not awarded to students who turn in
incomplete applications. Do it right the first time to give yourself a chance.
Athletic scholarships are the only scholarships where donors seek out the recipients. The
college coaches who do the recruiting are looking for individuals with exceptional
athletic ability, outstanding personal character, and strong academic skills.
Very few students receive athletic scholarships. High school athletes considered a star by
some, and who may have received all-league or even all state recognition may never be
recruited to play college sports.
College athletic programs are looking for athletes with ability in the upper fraction of the
top one or two percent and they recruit all across North America.
Counting on athletic scholarships to pay for your college is a lot like counting on the
lottery for financing your retirement. It is probably not going to happen.
Be realistic and appreciate the opportunities you have had in high school to participate in
school athletics and understand that the objective of high school sports is not to groom
you for an athletic scholarship, no more than the purpose of your high school courses are
to groom you for an academic scholarship.
The Myth of the Full Ride:
There are not many. The following chart lists the number of full ride scholarships offered
at each school for the 2004-2005 academic year.
Sport UW WWU SPU SU
Men’s Basketball 13 9 8 8.15
Women’s Basketball 15 6 7.35 8.15
Men’s Soccer 9.9 5 6 4.7
Volleyball 12 3 4 2.75
If you are serious about being a walk-on athlete or are being recruited by Division I or II
schools, you will need to register with the NCAA Clearinghouse after your junior
year. Specific details regarding the Clearinghouse are discussed below in section 6.
Financial aid is another possible option for acquiring college funds and the least
understood of all the options. The best place to acquire information is from the financial
aid offices of the schools you plan to attend, www.studentaid.ed.gov, or the Federal
Student Aid Information Center at 1800-4-FED-AID. Your high school counselor’s
office and the reference section of your local library may also be valuable resources.
A quick summary is provided here:
Financial aid is offered from Federal and or state governments and colleges in the form of
or combination of loans, work study, and grants.
Loans are exactly that, whereas grants are free gifts of money for those who are truly
needy, and work study is either an on or off campus job provided by a college or a
Applying for financial aid The Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA) must be
completed and turned in on or after January 1 of your senior year to qualify for
government aid, and resubmitted each year that you attend school.
The FAFSA is mailed to Snohomish High School about the first week of December and
is made available to seniors at that time.
The FAFSA may also be completed on line at the government’s website:
Regardless of whether you choose to complete your financial aid information online or
mail in a hard copy, submit the information as soon as it is allowed. All financial aid is
awarded on a first come first serve basis, and there is a limited amount.
If you do not receive the Student Aid Report (SAR) approximately three weeks after
submitting the FAFSA check online at www.fafsa.ed.gov or call 1-800-433-3243. The
SAR indicates your expected family contribution (EFC) which is used to determine the
level of financial aid you qualify to receive.
Since schools disperse the funds and connect students and or their parents to the loan
providers which could be the school or a financial institution, submit the SAR to the
financial aid offices of the schools you are applying to. The FAFSA allows you to send
six SAR directly to schools that you are applying to when you fill out the form, or you
can hand carry or mail a copy of the report that you receive.
Financial aid awards can be appealed; especially if the school’s financial aid officer did
not have all of the information affecting your family’s finances.
Many students and their families shy away from financial aid since they will not qualify
for grants or work study, and prefer to not be burdened with debt. This is understandable.
However, it is recommended that you first apply for financial aid to see what level you
qualify for before you decide if you want to continue the process. There is no obligation
for applying, nor do you have to borrow the entire cost of attending college if you have
Some private colleges have their own form or use the CSS Financial Profile for non-
government student aid. It is best to contact the financial aid offices of all the schools you
are applying to and ask for information regarding forms and deadlines.
There are a number of ways that the IRS may be able help you. The following are
mentioned as places to begin your research. It is recommended that you refer to IRS
Publication 970 and or your tax advisor for more details.
• You or your parent may be able to claim up to $1500 for qualified education
expenses paid for each eligible student.
• Available only until the first 2 years of post-secondary education are
• For students pursuing an undergraduate degree or other recognized
Lifetime Learning Credit
• You may be able to claim a lifetime learning credit of up to $2000 for
qualified educational expenses paid for all students of any age enrolled in
• Available for all years of postsecondary education, and you do not need to be
pursuing a degree.
Student Loan Interest Deduction
• This deduction is taken as an adjustment to income.
• Up to $2500 of loan interest can be claimed against your income even if you
do not itemize deductions.
Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA)
• The ESA is a trust or custodial account created for the purpose of paying
qualified education expenses of a designated beneficiary.
6 THE NCAA CLEARING HOUSE
Who should register with the Clearinghouse? Students who are being recruited or plan
to be walk-on athlete at a NCAA Division I or Division II school are required to register.
Student athletes attending NAIA or NCAA Division III schools are not required to
When do you register? Register after you have completed your junior year in high
school. Students who register before then may have to register and pay the fee again.
There is no advantage to registering early because the Clearinghouse will not process
your paper work until well into the fall of your senior year.
How to register
• Visit the NCAA website at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net .
• Have a credit card handy to pay the fee. You will need to provide your legal
name, address, SHS school code (481-210) and select a personal
identification number (PIN). The PIN allows you to gain access to the status
of your records and to verify if all of the pieces have been received.
• You need to have your SAT I/ACT scores and your high school transcript
sent to the Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse Code is 9999.
• SAT I/ACT test scores can be sent by requesting a score report be sent to the
NCAA Clearinghouse when you register for the test or by contacting each
test company if you have already tested. You will need to provide the test
companies with the NCCA code (9999) regardless of how and when you
request your scores be sent.
• To have your transcripts sent from SHS download the two student release
forms from the Clearinghouse website and give them to the SHS registrar.
When the registrar receives the release forms she will send a copy of your
current transcript. At the end of your senior year and after second semester
grades are posted to transcript she will send your final transcript to the
Clearinghouse. If you have fulfilled the necessary core, grade point average,
and test score requirements, you will be certified by the Clearinghouse to try
out or participate in Division I or Division II sports.
Why are the Division I and Division II athletes required to register with the
The purpose of the Clearinghouse is to ensure that student-athletes are academically
qualified to attend college.
If I fulfill the Clearinghouse requirements will I automatically be admitted to a
college that is recruiting me? No! Meeting the NCAA standards does not mean that you
will be automatically admitted. In most cases student-athletes must meet both the
Clearinghouse requirements and the school’s admission requirements to be admitted to
How do I know if I have met the NCAA requirements? The graduating classes of
2005 through 2007 need 14 core courses with a specific number of classes in particular
academic areas and have obtained a 2.00 minimum core grade-point average with at least
a 1010 on the SAT I or a 86 on the ACT. The class of 2008 and beyond will need 16 core
classes with a specific number of courses in the required academic areas. Since test score
and grade-point averages are determined on a sliding scale it is best to visit the NCAA
website early in your high school career to determine what you will need to do to meet
7 GLOSSARY OF IMPORTANT TERMS
ACT..............................................A test designed to measure how well you can perform
the skills necessary for college work in the areas of English, mathematics, reading, and
Admission Index ..........................A selection tool used by some Washington State public
universities to determine admissions offers.
The Index is a numerical value that is determined by a formula which gives core grade-
point-average a 75% weighting and pre-college tests a 25% weighting in obtaining a
number from 1 to 108.
AP Program..................................(Advanced Placement Program) Rigorous high school
courses with for fee end of course exams, which may allow students to earn college credit
or gain placement to advanced college courses depending on their score.
Associate of Arts Degree .............A 90-credit transfer degree offered at community
colleges that fulfills the general education requirements for most four-year degrees in arts
Bachelor of Arts Degree ..............A degree granted to students by four-year colleges and
universities upon completion of a specific academic program.
College Board ..............................A non-profit organization whose mission is to connect
students to college success. College Board programs include the SAT, the
PSAT/NMSQT, and Advanced Placement.
Common Application...................An undergraduate application developed and used by a
number of participating schools. This application can be filled out once and photocopied
and sent to participating schools. The application may be downloaded or completed
online at www.commonapp.org. Some participating schools require a hardcopy. Check
requirements for all schools.
Community College .....................A two-year college capable of granting the Associate of
Arts Degree and offers certificate programs in a host of vocational and adult education
CSS Financial Profile...................A form produced by the College Board and used by
some colleges universities to collect information on students for nonfederal student aid
Early Action .................................An application process that allows students to apply
early, generally by November 1st, and receive the admission decision early, usually prior
to mid- December. Not all schools offer Early Action.
Early Decision..............................An application process which generally requires a
binding commitment from students who accept the admissions offer. The application
deadline for Early Decision generally ranges from November 1 to the 15th depending on
the schools. Not all schools offer Early Decision.
FAFSA .........................................The Free Application for Federal Aid that students
must fill out to be considered for government financial aid in the form of grants, work
study, or loans.
Federal Pell Grant ........................Financial aid grant awarded by the Federal Government
primarily to students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. Grants do
not have to be repaid. Grant money is paid directly to your school. Maximum grant
amount for the 2003-2004 academic school year was $4,050. Completion of the FAFSA
Federal Perkins Loan ...................Low interest loans for undergraduate and graduate
students. The school is the lender and the loan is made with government funds.
Completion of the FAFSA is required.
Federal Work-Study.....................Part time jobs provided for undergraduates with
financial need, allowing them to earn money for college expenses. Completion of the
FAFSA is required.
Master’s Degree...........................A degree earned for continued study at a four-year
college or university after completing a specific academic program beyond the
Midyear Report ............................Some schools require a midyear prognosis of your
academic progress. Requested information often includes a mid-year transcript, class
rank, second semester schedule, and/or a written evaluation of your academic and
National Merit Scholarships ........Highly prestigious scholarship awards with the PSAT
score from your junior year being the initial qualifier, and then based on a subsequent
SAT I score, academic achievement, and essay.
NCAA Clearing House ................A branch of the National Collegiate Athletic
Association responsible for determining if prospective Division I and Division II athletes
meet certain minimum academic standards with regards to courses taken, academic
performance, and SAT I/ACT scores.
PLUS Loans .................................Loans a parent may take out to pay for their student’s
educational expenses. To apply parents must obtain a PLUS loan application and
promissory note from the school you are planning to attend. The amount of the loan is
limited to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you may have received.
PSAT............................................Commonly know as the preliminary SAT, the PSAT
provides juniors and accelerated sophomores the opportunity to practice for the SAT I in
the fall each year. The PSAT is the initial qualifying exam for the prestigious National
Merit Scholarship Program (NMSQT).
Rolling Admissions......................An admission process where a school doesn’t have a
definite application deadline and will accept applications and offer admission to qualified
students for as long as there is room.
SAR..............................................Otherwise known as the Student Aid Report. The SAR
is sent to students after the FAFSA has been processed and indicates whether or not a
student has qualified for government aid and in what form, as well as the family’s yearly
expected contribution (EFC) to the student’s educational expenses.
SAT I............................................A test published by the College Board used to assess
your ability to reason and perform skills in the areas needed to be a successful college
student. The tests measures skills in the following three areas: critical reading, verbal
reasoning, and mathematics.
SAT II.................................Subject tests which assess a student’s competency in English,
history, mathematics, sciences, and World Languages. Some schools require them as part
of the admissions process.
Stafford Loan ...............................Loans made through Federal programs through your
school with funds provided by private lenders. Loan amounts depend on your year of
study and other financial aid you have received. Completion of the FAFSA is required.
Transcript .....................................An official record of classes taken and grades received
while in high school or college.
Uniform Undergraduate Application.....A general application used for admission to the
public baccalaureate colleges and universities in the Washington State, except for the
University of Washington.
WASL.................................The Washington Assessment of Student Learning is a test
given to public school students in grades four, seven, and ten in Washington State.
Beginning with the class of 2008, along with other graduation requirements students must
pass the math, reading, and writing sections of the WASL to graduate from high school.
8 HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR COLLEGE APPLICANTS
- Comprehensive Guides -
␣ADVENTURES IN EDUCATION www.adventuresineducation.org College
planning information for high school and middle school students.
␣GOCOLLEGE.COM www.gocollege.com Comprehensive college search
engine. Also included, a reliable and free database for scholarship searches.
Updated test dates for SAT and ACT and practice tests for both tests available.
␣PETERSON’S EDUCATION & CAREER CENTER
www.petersons.com/ugrad Campus news, advice on writing application essays,
and an engine for college searches.
␣THE COLLEGE BOARD www.collegeboard.com A lot of useful information
about campus visits, interviews, and other parts of college search process.
Downloadable applications for over 800 colleges and a solid, comprehensive
search engine. There is also an abundance of information on the SAT, including
SAT registration on-line.
␣U.S. NEWS COLLEGE AND CAREERS CENTER www.usnews.com
College rankings, advice from high school counselors and financial aid experts,
a comprehensive college search engine, and college links galore.
- College Search Sites –
␣EMBARK www.embark.com A search engine with variables such as school
size, but few campus life variables such as diversity. A good search able
scholarship database, for which you must register, plus articles and chat forums.
␣COLLEGENET www.collegenet.com CollegeNET allows borrowers to search
its database for information on four-year schools, community and technical
colleges. If the borrower wants to attend college in a particular state, the site
allows a search performance by state map.
␣COLLEGE VIEW www.collegeview.com One of the most detailed search
engines on the Net, with wide ranging criteria that includes diverse fields of
study, religious affiliation, athletics, and services for disabled students.
␣COLLEGEZINE www.kaplan.com Extensive links to colleges and
universities. Advice on interviews and admission.
␣MAPPING YOUR FUTURE www.mapping-your-future.org This site has
information to help borrowers plan their career, select a school and pay for their
␣PRINCETON REVIEW www.review.com This site provides results of a
survey in which college students rate the schools they are attending. Individuals
can also receive guidance on going to college, choosing a career, and access to
Princeton publications on college and financial aid choices.
- Financial Aid –
␣COLLEGE SAVINGS PLANS NETWORK www.collegesavings.org This
site provides information on state sponsored prepaid tuition and college savings
plans throughout the U.S.
␣FAFSA ON THE WEB www.fafsa.ed.gov Interactive web version of the Free
Application for Federal Student Aid.
␣FASTWEB www.fastweb.com This is a free, searchable scholarship database
that enables you to locate sources of financial aid.
␣THE FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION PAGE www.finaid.org Sponsored
by the National Association of Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). This
site has information regarding financial aid and interactive calculators that allow
potential borrowers to estimate their financial need and expected family
␣INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE www.irs.ustreas.gov This IRS site
provides detailed information regarding new tax laws, answers to tax- related
questions, and allows for the on-line filing of income taxes.
␣MONEY MAGAZINE ON-LINE www.money.com Money Magazine’s site
allows individuals to calculate how much they need to save to pay for college.
An interactive guide helps students and parents find the best college deals and
ranks U.S. colleges nationwide.
␣REPAYMENT CALCULATORS www.nela.net Many sites offer interactive
repayment calculators as a means for students to estimate their monthly
payment amount based on their overall indebtedness.
␣U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION www.ed.gov From the Department
of Education’s home page, borrowers can find out specific information
regarding financial aid programs. Borrowers can also complete the FAFSA on-
- Other Useful Resources –
How to Pay for College or Trade School
The Student Loan Handbook Fellowships and Other Aids for Advanced Work
Handbook of Scholarships
Pacific Northwest Scholarships Options Guide
Pacific Northwest Scholarship Guide Scholarships, Fellowships and Loans
Financial Aid Financer: Expert Answers to College Questions
Winning Scholarships for College: An Insider’s Guide
Funding Your Education
Financial Aid for Dummies
Employee Tuition Aid Plans
“The College Money System”
“The Road to College: A Financial Aid Primer for Parents”
For Fee College Planning Services
College Planning Solutions www.collegeplanning.com or 425-455-4272
2004-2005 Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete, NCAA
2005-2006 Application for Freshman, University of Washington
2005-06 CSS/Financial Aid Profile Registration Guide, the College Board
2005-2006 Funding Your Education, Department of Education
2005-2006 Undergraduate Application for Admission, Washington State University
ACT 2004-2005 Registration Packet, ACT
College Handbook 200, the College Board
Fall 2004 High School College Conference, Cascadia Community College
IRS Publication 970, Internal Revenue Service
November 2004 National College Conference, Seattle, Washington
Preparing for the ACT 2004-2005, ACT
Register for the SAT 2004-2005, College Board
Taking the SAT Reasoning Test 2004-2005, College Board
The 2003-2005 Higher Education Book, the Washington Council for High School-