Beth Anderson, College & Career Advisor
Be sure to watch for announcements with reminders about the various opportunities and deadlines mentioned below.
Career and College Advisor Notes...September 2020
Welcome back, students and families!
Here we are… our much-anticipated return to school is finally happening. For some of us that means coming back to classrooms and offices that have been re-organized to create physical distance, for others it means coming back to a re-designed virtual space for remote learning. I’ll be here (online and in person) to support career exploration activities that are in line with whichever option works best for your family.
Class of 2021
I know your senior year just started, but now is the time to take stock of your post-high school plans and build a list of tasks/deadlines that will allow you to get wherever you want to go after graduation! Here’s a rough outline, which will be especially helpful for those of you who are thinking about applying to trade & technical schools, community colleges, formal apprenticeship programs, or 4-year colleges & universities:
- Make an in-person or Zoom appointment with Ms. Anderson for a (super fun!) one-on-one discussion about your future plans. I’m excited to talk with each of you!
- Finalize your list of potential post-secondary schools or training programs. Create a spreadsheet or Google doc to track your progress, and use your Google calendar to remember important deadlines.
- Start searching for scholarships and gathering information related to financial aid (2019 tax documents, information about assets, etc.). The 2021-2022 FAFSA will go live on October 1, 2020, and Mrs. Spellman and Ms. Anderson recommend that you fill out the FAFSA no later than November 15 in order to access all the aid for which you qualify.
- Attend this year’s virtual Paying for College Night on Thursday, October 1 (details below).
- Write a draft of your personal essay. Essays are an important component of both scholarship and admission applications, especially in light of test-optional policies. Contact Ms. Anderson if you’re interested in getting feedback on your essay or any other part of your applications — Hilary Kaltenbach, Ms. Anderson, and other community volunteers are available to support you!
- Talk with teachers who know you well to ask if they would be willing to write letters of recommendation for you. Plan to give them at least 3 weeks of lead time and provide each teacher with background information about your academic strengths and best personal qualities so they’re able to write a compelling letter on your behalf!
- Get a strong start on your fall semester coursework. Many schools will ask you to submit mid-year transcripts as part of your application, and you want to let them know you’re still putting in your best effort.
Does Test-Optional Really Mean Optional?
In the wake of SAT/ACT cancellations and a shortage of testing sites, most colleges and universities have decided to make standardized testing optional for the 2021 application cycle. A few have chosen a temporary test-blind policy, meaning that no test scores will be reviewed during the admissions process this year. And some schools, including the UW, have gone a step further to make test scores optional permanently.
Seniors, we know test cancellations and unclear admissions policies can be both frustrating and stressful.
Please reach out to Ms. Anderson and Mrs. Spellman to discuss how to navigate the college admissions process this year. We are both in touch with college admissions offices and other school counselors—we have up-to-date information and we are here to support you!
Fall SAT/ACT Testing Cancellations
Due to logistical issues, as well as health and safety concerns, Liberty Bell will not be available as a test center for October test dates. There are a few test centers offering the SAT in our region, but most locations in Washington state have cancelled testing due to COVID-related restrictions on building usage.
That’s all for now. This year I’ll be on campus (either at Liberty Bell or the ILC) on Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday, and I’ll be working remotely on Wednesdays. Whether remote or in-person, my door is always open!
College and Career Advisor
Methow Valley School District
(509) 996-2215, x4175
Upcoming Career/College Events
Starting Monday, September 21 • Six Colleges Virtual Information Events
Amherst, Bowdoin, Carleton, Pomona, Swarthmore, and Williams will host a series of virtual events for students and families; all are welcome, and topics include financial aid and applying in the time of COVID.
Starting Thursday, September 24 • Society for Women Engineers Mentorship Program
The Society for Women Engineers at UC Davis is hosting a 10-week mentorship program to support underrepresented students who are interested in applying to engineering majors. There will be weekly sessions with UC Davis College of Engineering advisors, professors, current students, and alumni, as well as smaller group mentorship sessions. This program is free, all you have to do is sign up before the first session on 9/24!
Thursday, October 1, 6 – 7 p.m. • Paying for College Night: Zoom Edition
Seniors and their families are encouraged to attend, and all families of 7-11th grade students are welcome to join us for a virtual presentation about the financial aid process and planning for post-high school educational expenses. A couple days before the event I’ll send out a Zoom meeting link via Skyward to all guardians of students in grades 7-12. Note: The 2021-2022 FAFSA opens on October 1, and there will be time at the end of the evening to ask all your burning questions about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. 🙂
Starting Tuesday, October 6, 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. • Virtual Career Expo Series
The Apple STEM Network, North Central Educational Service District 171, Spokane STEM Network, and Microsoft are putting together six weeks worth of career expos! (I’ll send out a link to their online platform as soon as it’s available.) Each week in the series will have a specific industry theme:
- October 6 – Health Sciences
- October 13 – STEM
- October 20 – Business & Marketing
- October 27 – Skills & Technical Sciences
- November 3 – Family & Consumer Sciences
- November 10 – Agriculture
Career/College Exploration Resource List
Explore Washington’s 34 Community & Technical Colleges – search by location or area of study
Find Your Grind
Research careers based on your lifestyle assessment; free to all LBHS students
Naviance Career and college research tools available to all LBHS/ILC students
Career exploration & financial aid resources for students and families
The goal of our College and Career Counseling program is to provide students and their families with the information and resources necessary for them to make well-informed choices about their post-secondary education. Liberty Bell recognizes the diversity in our families and understands that what might be right for one student may not be a good fit for another.
Therefore, we work individually with students and their families to help them successfully develop and achieve their post-graduation goals – whether that is applying to a 4-year, 2-year or technical college, designing a productive Gap Year plan or entering the military or workforce. Some of the specific services that we offer include:
- Educating students and parents about the post-secondary educational choices available to them.
- Meeting individually with juniors, seniors and parents to help them with their college lists, the application process, college essays and financial aid needs, including the FAFSA, the Profile and College Bound Scholarship, as well as with SAT/ACT prep and registration.
- Holding college information evenings for students and parents to make sure that they have all the resources and support they need to reach their goals.
- Working with the guidance counselor to ensure that 9th and 10th graders take the necessary classes to be eligible for college admissions.
Applying to college should be a fun and exciting process; but at times it can be a bit overwhelming. If you find yourself feeling stuck, or if you have questions about any part of the application process, contact our office at (509) 996-2215.
We would like to thank the Public School Funding Alliance for their generous support of this program.
Other Helpful Resources
The College Board website provides you with all the information you need for applying to college. It allows you to compare colleges. It provides you with GPA and SAT information to how you compare with other students. It provides financial information about the cost of schools and how they distribute their financial aid. This website also has a Expected Family Contribution and a Net Price Calculator available. www.CollegeBoard.org
FairTest lists all of the colleges that do not use SAT/ACT scores for admitting students.
List of all schools in the Western Undergraduate Exchange. Students who are residents of WUE states are eligible to apply for a reduced tuition rate of 150% of resident tuition at participating schools.
Start your Common Application.
This is the official site for the FAFSA.
“Looking for scholarships? We connect Washington students of all types with Washington scholarship providers….for FREE.”
“Leading online resource for finding scholarships to help you pay for school.”
“Sign up to get matched to scholarships that are perfect for you.”
Fiske Guide to Colleges
Best guide to colleges and universities.
The College Solution – Guide for Finding the Right School at the Right Price
Great book on the financial aspects of college. Her website is also extremely helpful. www.thecollegesolution.com