As this school year continues to be challenging in so many ways, the BHS Counseling/Guidance Dept and BHS College Counselor, Lenny Libenzon, wanted to offer you continuing information, resources, and opportunities to ask questions/ advice before summer vacation is here.
1) On Thursday, June 11, at 3 pm, the UMass Amherst Assistant Admissions Director responsible for our area will host a zoom information session specifically for BHS juniors. Please register for this session here. Your information will be stored in the UMass Amherst admissions system. Below is the session information:
Registration link, open until 11:00 am on June 11:
Students who register will automatically be sent the Zoom link.
Zoom link: https://umass-amherst.zoom.us/j/92671180818.
Meeting ID is 926 7118 0818, phone number is 1-646-876-9923 for those who prefer phone.
2) After the UMass presentation, Mr. Libenzon will stay for the Q&A session with juniors and their parents (June 11, 4 pm); Please use the same link for the session (or stay with us after the UMass session)
The latest from College Board: Registration opens to all students this week. This year, many centers will have fewer seats because of social distancing guidelines and may encounter unexpected closures. The College Board continues to do all it can to expand availability of the SAT at in-person test centers. We're providing additional SAT administrations every month, beginning in August. There’s higher demand for the August administration, and importantly, in certain areas, August and September already are full or nearing capacity. Certain states have lower capacity, for August in particular, including Massachusetts (at 75% capacity).
Please note that more and more schools are becoming test-optional for the next year and beyond. You do have to check with each school for their requirements, as they tend to change. For the complete list of test-optional schools, go to fairtest.org
4) Common Application is keeping the same essay prompts for the next year, so you can start working on your essay (remember, 650 word limit). If you or your family have been impacted significantly by COVID-19 pandemic, common app is adding an optional 250-word essay response: “Community disruptions such as Covid-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. Colleges care about the effects on your health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces.”
If you need help with the essay, I like the FREE resources available here.
5) Ross Wolfson, the Guidance Coordinator of Westborough HS, conducted two webinars with various college admission representatives to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 on admissions:
Mass State Schools Webinar
Private Schools Webinar
6) TeenLife's Guide to Online Summer Programs includes several that are eager to enroll students. More online summer programs are listed on our website. Our hope is that this Guide to Online Summer Programs will spark or deepen an interest that can become a lifelong passion. Please download a copy https://guides.teenlife.com/online-summer-programs-02.
7) Please fill out the Self-Description Form before school ends on June 23. It can be found in Naviance, under About Me: Surveys or a paper copy was part of your Junior Seminar packets handed out before the school building closed. Your counselor needs it to complete your college recommendation so please forward a copy of the form to your counselor by email or send them a quick email so they know you’ve finished the form on Naviance.
8) Parents of Juniors: We need the Brag Sheet from you! You can find the form at this link
Please complete and forward to your junior’s counselor before June 23, if possible.
9) Now is a good time to ask two teachers for a recommendation. Please note that you only need 2 letters. Most colleges will not accept more than 2, and if you ask for more, we can not regulate which letters will go to college and which would not. As you build your college list, you will notice that some colleges only require 1 letter or none at all. These recommendations from both your counselor and teachers will be especially important as we enter into the 2020-21 college application season since this year’s grades and GPA, along many colleges going test-optional, will make recommendations all the more important.
10) RESEARCHING COLLEGES REMOTELY
COVID-19 has caused campuses to cancel classes, tours and admitted students days. There is no substitute for visiting a campus while it’s in session, attending a class, and talking to current students. However, there are a lot of online resources available to learn as much as you can in the meantime. It is comforting to know that colleges are being really flexible in their typical expectations and policies during the year of COVID-19.
What you can do now from home:
- Sign up for college newsletters and updates
- Open every email from the colleges you are interested in and click on the links
- Reach out to your admissions officers to establish contact and get any questions you have answered
- Attend Upcoming Virtual College Admission Events including tours and information sessions - Click on this google doc to view a growing list of colleges who have moved their tours and/or information sessions online in the coming weeks.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your school counselor via email. Counselors are available through June 23 and will be on summer vacation too from the end of June through the end of August and won’t be accessing email during that time.
BHS College Counselor
And the BHS Counseling/Guidance Counselors