The Whitestone Academy's college counseling process is an individualized experience. Our college counselors are professional and passionate about our students and their futures.
The process begins in the students junior year and gives students the opportunity to learn more about themselves as thinkers, academically and as young adults. Our students are responsible for deadlines, researching colleges, registering for tests and setting up meeting times with our counselors. We are active supporters in our students choices as they begin to learn about college life and what is offered at different colleges and universities. The student and their families is our main focus and ensuring that the student is keeping an open mind and patience throughout the process is of great importance. Meeting the students needs and expectations while collaboratively choosing an academic program that fits the student is important for all of us.
Our goal is to ensure that our students continue to take their enthusiasm for learning, their academic skills as well as their acquired life skills with them on their next great adventure.
WHAT TO EXPECT EACH YEAR
Students will become accustomed to classes and the educational system. We encourage our students to pursue their interests and find what invigorates them as learners. We encourage them to get to know their classmates and enjoy learning.
College counseling is not necessary for freshmen.
Students focus on sharpening their academic skills and excelling to the best of their ability in their classes. Students are encouraged to become involved in activities that interest them and bring them inspiration. This year we recommend students challenge themselves in the balance of coursework and activities.
College counseling is not necessary for sophomores.
This is the year that college counseling begins! In the fall a private meeting will be set up with the student and a college counselor. The college counselor and the student will begin looking and scheduling test dates and researching colleges and universities of interest. Individualized help and contacts between the student and college visits will be set up this year. The student will explore the college essay and will receive guidance and feedback to their writing.
Students will benefit from their work they have completed from their junior year. Their research and writing will come into use this year. They will finalize their essays, finalize their list of colleges and universities and file their applications. By winter break the students will have their applications completed. They wait and receive their decision letters.
College Financial Aid
Please take a look at the general information below:
- Substantial financial aid is available.
- Students should apply for financial aid even if they aren’t certain they’ll qualify. Financial aid certainly will not be offered unless an application is submitted, and often students and families are surprised by what they may qualify for.
- Most financial aid is awarded on the basis of need (this is called "need-based aid"). Academic scholarships get the most publicity, but the bulk of financial aid goes to students who can demonstrate "financial need": financial need is simply the difference between the amount your family can pay--as calculated from the financial information in the application--and the cost of attendance.
- Family income is not the only factor used in determining how much a family can pay. How much the family can pay depends partly on family income, but other factors such as family size, number of children in college, and other expenses also are considered.
- Students should not eliminate any college from consideration based on costs alone. Because eligibility for aid is determined by subtracting the amount the family can pay from what it costs to attend the college, the amount a family can pay stays the same regardless of how much a college costs. A student usually will be eligible for more aid at a higher-cost college.
- Colleges expect both students and parents to contribute toward college costs. Financial aid is intended to supplement, not replace, a family’s own resources. Families should be prepared to help themselves and should start planning to meet their share of college costs well in advance.
- Students may receive different amounts or types of financial aid from different colleges. Even colleges that cost about the same may offer a student different types and amounts of aid, usually because their policies for awarding financial aid differ.
- The college that offers the most aid, or whose award letter arrives first, may not be the best one for the student to attend. Educational, not financial, considerations should remain central factors in selecting a college.
The most important things to remember are: 1) even if you don’t think you are eligible, consider applying for aid; and 2) the definition of financial need is simply the difference between what you and your family can afford and what the college you wish to attend costs. This means the net cost of attending an expensive private college or a lower cost state university may end up being about the same.
Financial Aid Links
- A website that may be helpful for you as you complete the FAFSA
- Calculate your expected family contribution (EFC): College Board
- Scholarship directories: These websites may also be useful to students and parents regarding scholarships: fastweb.com/highschool, click on "Resources" and then click Student Bulletins." Also check Fastaid and College Quest.
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund and United Negro College Fund: Specific scholarship opportunities available for students of color.
- Athletic Scholarships and NCAA registration: NCAA website