Counseling Center

Counseling Center2019-01-29T21:46:30+00:00

Counseling Center Mission & Services

The mission of the Counseling Office is to provide our students with effective academic, college, career, and personal counseling. We are here to help you navigate successfully through your high school career.

Students are assigned counselors by alphabet and remain with the same counselor throughout their four years. This system allows for a more meaningful relationship between students and counselors. It also makes for more effective recommendations when it comes to college applications or other post-high school plans. The alphabetical arrangement makes it possible to create long-term relationships between counselors and families who send more than one son to Brother Rice. Chances are, you and your brothers will have the same counselor.

Be sure to use the resources your counselor will make available to you and never hesitate to contact your counselor for help with any problem.

Counseling Center Staff

antos-samantha-web

Mrs. Samantha Antos

Counselor

117

Email
patrick-creed

Mr. Pat Creed '06

Director of Counseling

118

Email
jantz-mary-beth

Mrs. Mary Beth Jantz

Office Assistant

116

Email
mcalpin-tim

Mr. Tim McAlpin

Counselor

440

Email
rundh-angela

Mrs. Angela Rundh

Counselor

333

Email

Tools, Services & Resources

Meet with your counselor. Your counselor is ready and willing to help you with the college selection process. Your counselor will make an appointment with you at least twice a year. You are more than welcome to make an appointment with your counselor as well. Fill out an appointment slip in the Counseling office and your counselor will call you in within 24 hours.

Work as hard as you can to earn outstanding grades. Grade point average (GPA) is the most important factor that colleges look at when they are deciding whether or not to admit you.

Your academic transcript will include the grade you earn in every class you take at Brother Rice. You will be required to send your academic transcripts to the colleges you apply to during your senior year. Therefore, it is important for you to earn good grades in all of your classes, all four years of your high school career.

Take classes that challenge you. Whether that is FOCUS, PREP, HONORS, or ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP), the appropriate class placement is one that you have to work hard to earn high marks. If you are earning an A with minimal effort, please consider moving up a level. Your counselor can help you with this process.

If you are an APEX student, consider taking AP European History as a sophomore. If you pass the AP European History test at the end of the year, you may earn college credit.

Develop good study skills. See your counselor for study skills resources.

Use your Crusader Handbook to stay organized. Write down your assignments at the end of each class period. Do ALL of your homework each night.

Take the GAINS test in October. GAINS is a practice test for the ACT test. You will take the ACT test during your junior year. Your ACT score is important to college admission. GAINS testing also guides the direction of Brother Rice curriculum to best prepare our students for college and beyond.

Join extracurricular activities, both inside and outside of school. Remember, quality is more important than quantity. Get involved in clubs, sports, and organizations that truly interest you. These activities are enjoyable and make you a well-rounded student.

Volunteer your time to an organization(s) that is meaningful to you.

Discuss your hobbies, interests, and academic talents with your counselor. These are important factors in deciding your future career.

Talk to your parents about paying for college. Will your parents contribute financially to your college education?

Create a resume to keep track of your academic accomplishments, extracurricular activities, and community service projects. You will need to list these on your college applications, so it is important to update your list.

LIKE Brother Rice College Counselor page on Facebook, and follow BR COLLEGE COUNSELOR @crusadercollege on Twitter to access valuable information about the college admissions, careers, scholarships, etc. If you are not on Twitter, you can access the page at https://twitter.com/crusadercollege.

Crusader athletes…if you think you will be playing a Division I, II sport in college, visit the NCAA Eligibility Center website (www.eligibilitycenter.org) to learn about the academic requirements you will need to meet while in high school to be eligible to play in college. Also, meet with your Counselor to review the classes you will need to take during your high school career to be eligible to play at the college level.

Start to explore colleges. There are a large variety of college information booklets available in the Counseling office. You can also visit the websites of the colleges you are interested in.

Talk with students who are currently in college, or who have recently graduated. Ask them questions about their college and career selection.

During the summer, join a camp or an enrichment program that incorporates your hobbies and interests. This will help you build your resume for college. Information about summer enrichment programs is available in the Counseling office.

Study, study, and study some more! Your Grade point average (GPA) is a reflection of how hard you are working academically at Brother Rice. It is very important to your college admission. Therefore, continue to work hard to improve your GPA. Remember, it’s more difficult to bring your GPA up than it is to bring it down. Therefore, studying and doing ALL of your homework is critical to earning academic success.

Remember, your academic transcript will include the grade you earned in every class you take at Brother Rice. The colleges you apply to during your senior year will see your academic transcript, so it’s important to earn good grades in all of your classes.

Enroll in classes that challenge you. “Strength of Class Schedule” is an important element in the college admission process. You can increase your “Strength of Class Schedule” by taking Honors (H) and Advanced Placement (AP) classes.

Take the GAINS test in October. GAINS is a practice test for the ACT test. You will take the ACT test during your junior year. Your ACT score is important to college admission. GAINS testing also guides the direction of Brother Rice curriculum to best prepare our students for college and beyond.

Sophomore students enrolled in English II Honors will take the PSAT/NMSQT test. This is the “Pre-SAT.” Taking the PSAT test during your sophomore year is good practice for the PSAT test you will take during your junior year. The PSAT test taken during your junior is the qualifying examination for the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Stay involved in your extracurricular activities. Strive for a leadership position in your favorite activities. Also, if your interests change, feel free to join new activities that are in line with your interests.

Continue to volunteer your time to organizations that are meaningful to you.

Update your resume. When applying for college admission and for scholarships, you will need to reflect on what you did in high school, so it’s a great idea to keep your resume updated each year.

LIKE Brother Rice College Counselor page on Facebook, and follow BR COLLEGE COUNSELOR @crusadercollege on Twitter to access valuable information about the college admissions, careers, scholarships, etc. If you are not on Twitter, you can access the page at https://twitter.com/crusadercollege.

Start using the web-based program Naviance to explore colleges and careers that are a good fit for you. Your counselor will provide you with your login information and teach you how to use the valuable tools on the Naviance website.

Crusader athletes…if you think you will be playing a Division I or Division II sport in college, visit the NCAA Eligibility Center website (www.eligibilitycenter.org) to stay current on the academic requirements you will need to meet while in high school to be eligible to play in college. Also, meet with your counselor to review the classes you will need to take during your junior year to be eligible to play at the college level.

Consider taking SAT Subject Tests in May or June. It’s often best to take these types of tests while the material is still fresh in your mind. SAT Subject tests are an admission requirement for some highly selective colleges and universities.

During the summer, join a camp or an enrichment program that incorporates your hobbies and interests. This will help you build your resume for college. Information about summer enrichment programs is available in the Counseling office.

Get a summer job. Working a steady job over the summer will strengthen your college resume. It is also important to start saving money for college.

Junior year is the most important year in the college selection process because you will be researching colleges to create your college list, taking standardized tests (ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests), visiting colleges, and learning about financial aid.

Continue to take challenging classes (Honors and AP classes). Remember, your “Strength of Schedule” is a key factor that college Admission Counselors look at when they are deciding if they want to admit you.  Taking a challenging class schedule can improve your chances of being admitted to your top choice colleges.

Continue to work hard to raise your GPA The higher your GPA, the better your chances for college admission and the better your chances for earning college scholarships. If your GPA is not as high as you would like it to be, it’s not too late to improve. Colleges like to see an upward trend in your grades, so keep giving your best effort.

Attend the Brother Rice/Mother McAuley College Fair in the fall. Approximately 200 colleges attend our College Fair. This is a great opportunity for you and your parents to pick up information booklets, speak to college representatives, and learn what each college has to offer you.

Throughout the school year, over 100 colleges visit Brother Rice to promote their schools and to recruit you. During your lunch, stop by their table to pick up information booklets and ask questions you may have about their school. This is a great way for the college representatives to get to know you as well.

You and your parents should attend the College Financial Aid Night in October at Mother McAuley. The presentation will guide you through the financial aid process, from selecting affordable colleges to completing the FAFSA.

AP English Language and English III Honors students will take the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) in October. This is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship program, National Achievement program, and the National Hispanic Scholar Recognition program.

LIKE Brother Rice College Counselor page on Facebook, and follow BR COLLEGE COUNSELOR @crusadercollege on Twitter to access valuable information about the college admissions, careers, scholarships, etc. If you are not on Twitter, you can access the page at https://twitter.com/crusadercollege.

Use Naviance tools “Super Match College Search,” “College Lookup,” and “Scattergrams” to research colleges that are an ideal fit for you. Create a list of “Colleges I’m thinking about” in Naviance using college selection criteria that are important to you (for example…location, academic major, GPA and ACT/SAT score requirements, tuition and fees, school size, extracurricular activities, campus setting, financial aid, etc.).

Every college in the United States has a “Net Price Calculator” available on their website. Use the “Net Price Calculator” to get an estimate of how much it will actually cost to attend each college on your list. The Net Price Calculator gives you a net price for a single academic year, after subtracting scholarships, grants, and loans.

In Naviance, complete the career questionnaires “Career Interest Profiler” and “Personality Type.” After completion, Naviance will you provide you with a list of careers that are a good fit for you based on your interests and personality. Research these careers in Naviance using the tool “Explore Careers & Clusters”, as well as other careers you may be interested in. Discuss the results of your career questionnaires with your counselor. Your counselor wants to help you select a career that you will find most enjoyable, interesting, and that will pay you well.

Find out if the colleges that you are interested in require the ACT, ACT + Writing, SAT, and/or the SAT Subject Tests for admission.

Visit ACT’s website (www.actstudent.org) for information about ACT test dates, registration deadlines, test fees, etc. We recommend taking the ACT test in April and June of your junior year, and if necessary, in September and October of your senior year. You are responsible for registering for the ACT test online at www.actstudent.org. Your Counselor is available to assist you with this process.

Visit College Board’s website (www.collegeboard.org) for information about SAT test dates, registration deadlines, test fees, etc. If you decide to take the SAT test, we recommend taking the SAT test in May and June of your junior year, and if necessary, in October of your senior year. You are responsible for registering for the SAT test online at www.collegeboard.org. If you choose to take the SAT Subject tests, we recommend taking them in May or June. Again, you are responsible for registering for the SAT Subject tests online at www.collegeboard.org. Your counselor is available to assist you with this process.

Practice, practice, and practice some more for the college entrance exam(s) that you will be taking (ACT, ACT + Writing, SAT, SAT Subject Tests).  See your Counselor for college entrance examination prep information.

Students should plan on taking some sort of ACT preparation class, as the average student will increase their composite score over two points as the result of taking a prep class. Brother Rice & Mother McAuley are proud to partner together to over our junior classes prep courses. Information will be distributed to parents and students in November regarding our offerings.

Stay committed to your extracurricular activities. Colleges look for consistent participation from one year to the next, and they are impressed when you take on a leadership role. Also, remember quality over quantity. Colleges want to see a strong commitment to one or two extracurricular activities that truly interest you. These activities can be at school or in the community.

Crusader athletes…if you think you will be playing a Division I or Division II sport in college, visit the NCAA Eligibility Center website (www.eligibilitycenter.org) to stay current on the academic requirements you will need to meet while in high school to be eligible to play in college. Also, meet with your Counselor to review the classes you will need to take during your senior year to be eligible to play at the college level.

Parents should complete FAFSA4caster. To access this valuable tool, go to FAFSA forecaster and it will estimate your eligibility for federal student aid.

Update your resume throughout the year. Be sure to include all of your extracurricular activities, honors, awards, accomplishments, paid work experience, volunteer experiences, community service experiences, etc. When applying for college admission and for scholarships, you will need to reflect on what you did in high school, so it’s a great idea to keep your resume updated each year. You may also want to include your resume in your college applications next year. It’s a great way for Admissions Counselors to see all of your activities and accomplishments in one easy to read document. Reminder: Naviance has an excellent resume builder tool.

Familiarize yourself with the Common Application (www.commonapp.org). The “Common App” is a universal college application that is accepted by hundreds of colleges. You fill out the application once, and then you can submit it to any of those participating colleges.

Start working on your college essays. Many colleges require you to write an essay(s) as part of their application process. These essays are a critical piece of your application. Your essay(s) will allow your prospective college to see how well you write, but more importantly, it gives them an opportunity to get to know you better. Your essay can make or break your application, so be sure you put extra effort into your essays. Counselors and English teachers can assist you in writing and editing your essays.

Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation are often required for college admission. Start thinking about whom you would like to ask to write you a letter of recommendation. It is important to select teachers, counselors, coaches, employers, etc., who know you the best. Please give your recommender plenty of time to write for you. A minimum of 4 weeks notice is best. You should ask your recommender in person to write for you at the end of your junior year, or at the beginning of your senior year.

Get a summer job or an internship related to your career interests. Also, consider applying for an enrichment program on a college campus. See your Counselor or see “Enrichment Programs” in Naviance for program ideas.

Visit your top choice colleges over the summer. You can register for a tour on most college websites, or you can call the Admission office to schedule a tour. Strive to visit at least 5 colleges over the summer. Talk to your tour guide, professors, and current students during your visit.

Talk to friends and family members about their college experiences, especially if they attended a school on your list.

Start searching for college scholarships. Use the following websites to conduct your search:

www.fastweb.com

www.collegeprowler.com

www.cappex.com

www.scholarshipexperts.com

Be sure to see your Counselor for more scholarship resources.

You will be completing your college applications in the fall of your senior year, but find out the application deadlines now. This will allow you to prioritize the order that you will complete your college applications in the fall. Also, take a look at the applications you will be completing to identify how much work is required per application. Applications can be found on the college website, or on the Common Application website.

Welcome to your senior year! This is the year you will be applying to colleges, getting accepted to colleges, and deciding which college you will attend. It can be an exciting but stressful process for you and your parents. Please remember your counselor will be there to help you through the entire process. Be sure to make an appointment with your counselor when you need assistance.

Attend the Brother Rice/Mother McAuley College Fair in the fall. Approximately 200 colleges attend our College Fair. This is a great opportunity for you and your parents to pick up information booklets, speak to college representatives, and learn what each college has to offer you.

Senior year grades do matter… a lot! When you apply to a college in the fall of your senior year, you will need to send your official transcript to the college after you submit your application. Your official transcript includes your GPA, class rank, a list of all the classes you took (freshman through junior year) and the semester grades you earned in each class. Although your senior year grades are not on the initial transcript you will send, most colleges ask to see your 7th semester grades. Therefore, it is important to strive for excellence in the classroom your senior year. Your 7th semester grades can lead to an admission offer if they are good, and also, your 7th semester grades can lead to a rejection letter if they are poor.

LIKE Brother Rice College Counselor page on Facebook, and follow BR COLLEGE COUNSELOR @crusadercollege on Twitter to access valuable information about the college admissions, careers, scholarships, etc. If you are not on Twitter, you can access the page at https://twitter.com/crusadercollege.

Stay committed to your extracurricular activities. Colleges look for consistent participation from one year to the next, and they are impressed when you take on a leadership role. Also, remember quality over quantity. Colleges want to see a strong commitment to one or two extracurricular activities that truly interest you. These activities can be at school or in the community.

Crusader athletes…if you think you will be playing a Division I or Division II sport in college, visit the NCAA Eligibility Center website (www.eligibilitycenter.org) and complete the application process early in your senior year. After completing the application, you must send your official transcript to the NCAA Eligibility Center. Your Counselor can assist you with this process. Also, meet with your Counselor to make sure that you have all the core courses and ACT/SAT test score required for eligibility.

Attend the Brother Rice/Mother McAuley College Fair in September. Approximately 200 colleges attend our College Fair. This is an excellent opportunity for you and your parents to speak to college representatives from the colleges that interest you the most.

Throughout the school year, over 100 colleges visit Brother Rice to promote their schools and to recruit you. During your lunch, stop by their table to pick up information booklets and ask questions you may have about their school. This is a great way for the college representatives to get to know you as well.

You and your parents should attend the College Financial Aid Night in October at Mother McAuley. If you attended the session last year, please go again. Things are ever changing in the world of financial aid. The presentation will guide you through the financial aid process, from selecting affordable colleges to completing the FAFSA forms.

If necessary, register to take the ACT, SAT, and/or SAT Subject Tests in September, October, December. To register for the ACT, go to www.actstudent.org. To register for the SAT and/or SAT Subject Tests, go to www.collegeboard.org.

Visit the colleges on your list. On your visit, talk to current students, professors, and Admission Counselors. Also, try to sit in on a class or two.

Early in your senior year (August, September), ask your teachers, coaches, counselors, bosses, community member etc., for a letter of recommendation if it is required for admission. Please ask them in person. DO NOT ask them in an email. Ask them in person. It is the professional way to do it. Prior to asking your recommender in person, you should complete the “Information for Recommendation Letter” questionnaire in Naviance. The information you provide in this questionnaire will help your recommender write a quality letter for you. If your recommender works at Brother Rice, he or she will be able to view your responses online in Naviance. However, we advise you to print out your responses and provide it to your recommender when you ask them in person to write for you. If your recommender agrees to write for you when you ask them, the next step is to add them in the “Recommender” section in Naviance. In this section in Naviance, let the recommender know the colleges you would like them to send your letter, and the deadline it needs to be submitted by. See your Counselor if you need help completing this step in Naviance. Remember, faculty members at Brother Rice get overwhelmed with letter requests, so please provide at least 4 weeks of notice. Also, it is your responsibility to follow up with your recommenders to ensure that they send your letters prior to your deadlines.

You have done the research on the colleges you are interested in using Naviance. You have narrowed down your choices using the criteria most important to you and your family (for example…location, academic major, GPA and ACT/SAT Score requirements, tuition and fees, school size, extracurricular activities, campus setting, financial aid, etc.). You have visited several colleges over the summer. You have used the Net Price Calculators to make sure you can afford to pay tuition, room & board, fees, etc. Now is the exciting part…it is time to start applying for admission. We recommend applying to at least 5 colleges.

Complete and submit your college applications early senior year (August, September, October). You will complete your college applications for most schools online on the college’s website, or using the Common Application online. There are very few colleges who still require a paper application. Be sure to pay attention to application deadlines. Deadlines will vary by college. Early Decision, Early Action and Priority Admission deadlines are typically November 1st or November 15th. Regular Decision applications are typically due by December 15th or January 1st. See your counselor for an explanation of the different types of college application options (for example, Early Decision, Early Action, Priority Admission, Regular Decision, etc.), and to discuss which application option is best for you.

After submitting a college application, your official transcript must be sent to the Admission office at the college. The Counseling office will send your transcript for you, but you must fill out and turn in (to the Counseling office) a paper Transcript Release form. Important***A Transcript Release form is required for every college you apply to (e.g. If you apply to 5 colleges, 5 Transcript Release forms are required…one per college). A parent signature is required if you are under the age of 18. Transcript Release forms are available in the Counseling office or you can download the form from our website. There is a $2 charge to send a transcript. ***Electronic transcript requests in Naviance are not accepted at this time.

After submitting a college application, your college entrance test score (ACT, SAT, SAT Subject test) must be sent to the college. This is your responsibility. To send your ACT Score, go to www.actstudent.org. It costs $12 to send your ACT score to a college. To send your SAT or SAT Subject Test score, go to www.collegeboard.org. It costs $11.25 to send your SAT score to a college.

COLLEGE APPLICATION TO DO’s SUMMARY:

Step 1: Complete and submit college applications online.

Step 2: Send your transcript to the college.

Step 3: Send your ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Test score to the college.

Step 4: Follow up with your recommenders to make sure they submitted their letters of recommendation for you.

Colleges typically will not make a decision on your application until they receive all required documents listed above.

If you applied Early Decision, Early Action, or Priority Admission, you should receive your admission decision prior to Christmas break. Getting an acceptance letter is an exciting time. Congratulations!!! You earned it. We are very proud of you! If you receive a rejection letter, please do not take it too seriously. Keep your head up and move on. If you are Deferred or Waitlisted, you still have the possibility of gaining admission. Admission counselors will look at your application again with the Regular Decision pool and you should receive a decision by March or April. See your counselor if you are Deferred or Waitlisted. There are things we can do to help you gain admission.

If you applied for Regular Decision, you should typically find out if you were accepted within 6 to 8 weeks of submitting your application. At the latest, you should get your admission decision by March/April.

Continue to apply for scholarships. Use the following websites to conduct your search (Fastweb.com, CollegeProwler.com, Cappex.com, ScholarshipExperts.com). Listen for scholarship opportunities in the Brother Rice daily announcements. Look at the “Scholarship List” in Naviance. Check the websites of the colleges you are applying to for scholarships you can apply for. Also, check Brother Rice’s website in the Counseling Center tab for additional scholarship opportunities. Finally, be sure to see your counselor for more scholarship resources.

Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) in January/February. You and your parents must file your taxes before you can officially complete and submit the FAFSA. Complete the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Regardless of your family’s income level, you should complete the FAFSA. You will not receive a financial aid package from the college(s) you applied to until you complete the FAFSA.

Your financial aid packages from the colleges you applied to should arrive in the mail/email sometime in March or April.

Compare the financial aid packages from each college. If you have any questions, or need further explanation, please see your Counselor or call the Financial Aid office at the college. Remember, you are not obligated to accept all/any of the pieces of the financial aid package. You can accept the pieces you want and turn down the pieces you do not want.

DECISION DEADLINE – MAY 1st: The time has come for you to make your final decision about the college you will be attending next year. You will need to complete paperwork and send in your deposit to accept your admission offer by May 1st. Please notify the college(s) you will not be attending as well. It is the respectful thing to do.

After you accept your admission offer, you will be able to select your housing and summer orientation date. If possible, select one the earliest orientation dates offered. Classes tend to fill quickly at some colleges. The earlier you attend orientation, the better your chances of getting into the classes you want to take.

Complete the Senior Exit Survey in May at Brother Rice. You will do this in a computer lab during your English class. In Naviance, update whether or not you were accepted at each college you applied to. Also in Naviance, update which college you will be attending next year. We will use your answer to send your final transcript to your college after you graduate from Brother Rice.

Congratulations! You have completed the college selection process. We wish you the best in college. Remember to always “Act Manfully in Christ Jesus” and to work extremely hard academically. Your GPA in college will be key to gaining employment after graduating from college.

Brother Rice High School is using Naviance to assist our students in managing their post high school plans. Naviance is a comprehensive website that students and parents can use to plan for college, as well as research future career opportunities.

We are pleased to make this resource available to our students and parents in addition to individual appointments, counselor presentations, College Fair, Financial Aid Night, College Information Night, and visits from college representatives to Brother Rice.

We encourage our students and parents to use this valuable website throughout their high school career.

How to Login:

Step 1: Click Naviance

Step 2: Enter Username & Password

Step 3: Click on Colleges, Careers, or About Me tab to begin using the Family Connection tools.

Features to Explore in College Tab:

College Search; provides comprehensive information about thousands of colleges, including data on academic standards for admission, cost and financial aid, academic majors offered, extracurricular and athletic programs, etc.

SuperMatch; allows you to narrow your college search by school location, academic major, academic standards (e.g. GPA and ACT Score) for admission, size of school, price of tuition, athletic programs, special services, etc.

Scattergrams; visually displays the college acceptance history of graduated Brother Rice students based on their GPA and ACT Scores.

Scholarship List; scholarship opportunities are updated daily.

Features to Explore in Career Tab:

Explore Careers & Clusters; research hundreds of careers by viewing job descriptions, earnings potential, and the academic degree(s) required to earn employment in particular career fields.

Career Interest Profiler & Personality Type Career Questionnaires; identifies the career(s) best suited for a student based on his overall interests and personality type.

College Application Process:

In your personal accounts, Family Connection allows you to organize personal data, lay out a game plan, maintain a list of prospective colleges, and track the application process.

Important information from the Counseling department will periodically be posted, such as college planning timelines, reminders about special events, transcript request deadlines, scholarship deadlines, etc.

Targeted emails will also be sent to subgroups of students (for example, all students applying to a particular college) to remind them of deadlines, college visits, and other important information.

College Visit Schedule:

As college representatives schedule information sessions at Brother Rice, they are posted online.

The ExcelEdge ACT 36 program is a traditional 9 week course that includes 14 hours of instruction and two full-length practice tests.  Brother Rice and Mother McAuley juniors can enroll at the location of their choice.  The cost of includes a textbook and four authentic ACT tests.  For more information, see the attached flyer.  Register online at www.exceledgeinc.com.

The Academic Approach program is a traditional 13 week course that includes 24 hours of instruction and one full-length practice test.  Brother Rice and Mother McAuley juniors can enroll at the location of their choice.  This course will be FULLY funded by the Title 1 Program in collaboration with Chicago Public Schools for the Mother McAuley and Brother Rice students who reside in a Chicago zip code.  Students that do not reside in a Chicago zip codewould have to pay for the course.  Again, this is offered at no cost for Chicago residents.  While we would like to provide this opportunity for all of our students, this initiative is funded by Chicago Public School, not Brother Rice.  For more information, see attached flyer. Visit www.academicapproach.com for more information.

Act Up Speed Reading – Offered at Brother Rice to students of all grade levels. The ACT is written as a 4 hour test but they allow just 3 hours to finish. Because of this most students rush through and their scores suffer as a result. In our single, three hour session we will give your student the ability to raise their reading speed to a level that allows them to navigate the test far more comfortably, resulting in better success. On average, our students’ speeds are raised by 100 wpm by the end of class. This skill will also energize them with their current homework as well with the amount of work that awaits them in college.

This program was designed and is taught by state certified reading specialists and costs $189.00. To register or to learn more about us, our teachers and to see testimonials from students and parents visit www.actupspeedreading.com.

ACT Online Prep – Offered online at www.actstudent.org/onlineprep/. This online resource includes two scored practice ACT tests, one scored practice Writing test, content review for the four required sections of the ACT (English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science), test taking strategies, and a diagnostic test and personalized study path. The cost for a one-year subscription is $21.95.

The Real ACT Prep Guide – This book includes 5 practice tests used in previous test administrations, explanation for right and wrong answers, test-taking strategies for each section of the ACT test (English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, Writing), preparation techniques, etc. The cost of The Real ACT Prep Guide is $30.95. Order at www.actstudent.org/testprep/book.html.

ACT Question of the Day – A new ACT test practice question is posted each day at www.act.org/qotd. There is no fee.

REVOLUTION PREP – Offers a variety of ACT Prep courses, available online or in person (individual, small group and classroom). Each course includes 18 hours of live instruction, 5 full-length practice exams, Revolution’s curriculum guide, full score improvement guarantee, and unlimited access to PrepFest. Courses start at $599. For more information, visit Revolution Prep’s website at www.revolutionprep.com.

Number2’s “ACT Companion” – The ACT Companion is offered online and it is free. The ACT Companion tutorial teaches the student how to approach each kind of question, lets the student practice questions at his own pace, and monitors the student’s progress. The site automatically adapts to the students skill level. For more information, visit Numbers2’s website at www.number2.com.

Princeton Review – Offers a variety of ACT Prep courses, available online and in the classroom setting (Private Tutoring, Ultimate Courses, Fundamental Courses, SAT/ACT Dual Mastery, Self-Paced Study, and Books). Prices for each course vary. For more information, visit Princeton Review’s website at www.princetonreview.com.

Jeanius Prep – Offers ACT Prep courses throughout the year at multiple locations (south suburbs). The course will prepare students for the four sections of the ACT (English Mathematics, Reading, and Science). Courses are also available for the optional Writing section of the ACT test. The basic course lasts 7 weeks; the student attends a two-hour class each week. The student is expected to complete take-home ACT work. The current cost of a course ranges from $180 to $370. For more information, please visit Jeanius Prep’s website at www.jeaniusprep.com.

Kaplan Test Prep – Offers four ACT Prep courses, available online and at Kaplan (ACT On Demand, ACT Classroom, ACT Classroom Anywhere, and Unlimited Prep). Prices for these course options range from $299 to $1,099. Individual tutoring is also available. Prices start at $2,699. For more information, visit Kaplan’s website at www.kaptest.com/College/ACT/index.html.

Huntington Learning Center – Offers three ACT Prep courses at Huntington Learning Center (Premier Program, 28-Hour Program, and 10-Hour Program). Individual tutoring is also available. Prices for each course varies. For more information, visit Huntington’s website at www.huntingtonhelps.com/program/act.

Varsity Tutors – Offers private-in home ACT Tutoring by highly credentialed tutors in Chicago, IL. For more information, visit Varsity Tutor’s website at www.varsitytutors.com/chicago-act-tutoring.

Study Point – Offers individual tutoring for the ACT test. For more information, visit Study Point’s website at www.studypoint.com/chicago-act-tutoring.php.

McGraw Hill – Offers two free online practice tests with explanations for every question. Also offers problem-solving videos. For more information, visit McGraw Hill’s website at www.mhpracticeplus.com/act.php.

Free Test Prep – Offers hundreds of free ACT practice questions. Each practice quiz has video solutions in which an expert ACT test preparation tutor provides in depth explanations to the test questions you missed. For more information, visit Free Test Prep’s website at www.freetestprep.com.

G.P.A. (Grade Point Average)

Colleges are most interested in your high school G.P.A. Your grades are the best indicator of your work ethic and your commitment to academics. Your G.P.A. in high school is also a sign of how well you will perform academically at the college level. Performing well in Honors and Advanced Placement classes can improve your G.P.A., because your grades in these level classes are weighted.

Strength of Class Schedule

Taking college preparatory classes, such as Honors and Advanced Placement classes is highly valued. Colleges are also impressed by students who consistently increase the strength of their class schedule from one year to the next.

Standardized Test Score (ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests)

Your ACT/SAT test score is important, especially to top-tier colleges. However, there are now over 800 colleges across the country that are “test-optional,” meaning the colleges do not factor your test score into their admission decision.

College Essay

The college essay allows admission officers to get to know who you are, beyond your G.P.A. and test scores. This is your chance to show your personality, how you think, and what you truly care about. This is your chance to tell your story. The college essay for some colleges is optional. However, it is highly recommended if you are on the border of their admission requirements.

Extracurricular Activities at School

It is beneficial for you to get involved in activities at Brother Rice and in the community that are important to you. Remember quality over quantity. Colleges are looking for students who are highly dedicated to a couple extracurricular activities. Demonstrating leadership and initiative within your activities is appreciated.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation from your teachers, counselor, coaches, boss, and/or extracurricular activity moderator are an important element in the admission decision. Your recommender should be a person at Brother Rice or in the community that knows you the best. College applications will inform you if letters of recommendation are required, and if so, how many.

Demonstrated Interest

College admission officers like to know your level of interest in their college. You can show your interest by scheduling a campus visit, taking a tour of the college, participating in recruiting events for high school students, and by communicating with the college admission officer by phone or through email.

1. Regular Decision (RD)

  • Most common type of application
  • Deadline typically around January 1
  • You will receive RD admission decisions typically by March

2Early Decision (ED)

  • You can only use this method of application for ONE college
  • It must be your absolute first choice dream college
  • ED applications are contractually binding
  • If accepted, you must attend that college and forfeit all other apps
  • Deadline typically November 1st  or November 15th
  • You will receive ED admission decision typically by late December
  • No easy way to back out of ED acceptance

3. Early Action (EA)

  • Gives you the benefit of receiving an early admission decision (just like Early Decision) but it is non-binding
  • Deadline typically November 1st or November 15th
  • You will receive ED admission decision typically by late December

4. Priority Admission (PA)

  • Same as Early Action…it just has different name…University of Illinois uses the term Priority Admission instead of Early Action.

5. Rolling Admission (RA)

  • Applications accepted all year long
  • You will receive RA admission decision typically 6 to 8 weeks after submitting your application

What are Study Skills?   Study skills are techniques that students use to effectively learn.

Why do I need Study Skills?  Effective Study skills are essential to do well academically, get good grades, and learn throughout your life.  Techniques to study vary from person to person based on their learning style and preferences.  What works for one student might not work for another.  It is important to discover what study skills work for you now so good study habits are developed and in practice for college and learning in future careers.

How do I develop effective Study Skills? 

  1. Figure out what kind of learner you are: Visual, Verbal, Bodily-Kinesthetic (Tactile).
  2. Get organized: Have a notebook and folder for each subject (color-coded and labeled), keep your locker and backpack clean, use your assignment notebook!
  3. Find a good place to study: Quiet with few distractions, comfortable, uncluttered space.
  4. Schedule time specifically for studying: Start studying for tests at least three days before a test or quiz. Make sure to take breaks every 20-40 minutes.
  5. Discover and practice ACTIVE study techniques that work for your learning style. If something doesn’t work, try something else until you find what works for you.  Just reading over your notes is not enough!!
  6. If you are having trouble with any part of this process, see your counselor for help.

Study Skills Techniques for Specific Learning Styles

  • Visual Learners: Learn best with pictures, diagrams, films, and demonstrations
    • Color code notes with highlighter by topic
    • Write things down, re-write notes
    • Underline main points in your notes and reading assignments
    • Make colored flashcards
    • Verbal Learners:  Learn best through listening and hearing information
      • Recite out loud the things you want to remember, read notes and assignments aloud
      • Make note cards and review aloud
      • Underline main points in notes and review underlined portions aloud
      • Read your notes aloud, and repeat
    • Bodily-Kinesthetic Learners:  Learn best through doing, touching, hands on activities
      • Write things down to remember them better
      • Rewrite your notes
      • Make note cards
      • Pace or walk around while trying to memorize or review note cards
      • Do something with your hands while studying, tapping a rhythm on your desk, eat, drink or chew gum
      • Underline and highlight reading materials and notes
      • Review underlined/highlighted portions aloud

Study Skills Resources

  • Education Corner
    Study skills guide for students to help discover ways to effectively learn.  Some of the topics included are: active listening, reading comprehension, note-taking, stress management, test taking, time management, memorization, and studying resources by subject
  • Get Smarter
    Tools to help improve math and science skills.  This website includes interactive quizzes, games, and tutorials to help students learn more about specific math and science topics and improve their skills.
  • How to Study.com
    This site offers articles, tips, and assessments regarding learning, studying, test taking, and much more.
  • How to Study.org
    This site offers tips, articles, and resources covering topics such as: learning, time management, organization, study skills, note taking, test anxiety, and memory.
  • Shmoop
    This site offers learning guides for most subjects and common books read in high school, test prep material for standardized and AP tests, and college readiness resources.
  • Study Guides and Strategies
    This site covers topics including but not limited to: study preparation, note taking, effective study habits, testing techniques, writing and reading skills.  It may be especially helpful for bilingual students, as many of the study guides and strategies are offered in different languages.
  • Study Stack
    This site features a flash card approach for many different academic areas and AP and standardized tests.
  • Effective Study
    Effective Study is a website armed with efficient and effective study tips founded by Edward Khoo. This platform is intended for students like you who will be entering into a new chapter in high school and college.
  • Norwich University Study Skills
    Juggling classes, study time, and a personal life can prove difficult for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. They can easily feel as if there just isn’t enough time

1. Accepted – Congratulations!!!

2. Rejected/Denied – Keep your head up…most students will receive at least one rejection letter, especially if you apply to highly selective colleges.

3. Deferred – If you apply Early Decision or Early Action, if you are not accepted right away, colleges may defer judgment of your application. They will review your application again with the Regular Decision pool and then make a decision.

4. Waitlisted – You are not accepted nor rejected. You may receive an acceptance letter at a later date if space opens up in your admission class.

After submitting your college application, your official Brother Rice transcript must be sent to the college’s Admission office. The Counseling office will send your official transcript to the college (electronically or through the mail) after you complete and turn in a Transcript Release Form to the Counseling office. One Transcript Release Form is required for each college you apply to. Therefore, if you apply to 5 colleges, 5 Transcript Release Forms must be turned in. If you apply to colleges via Common App, only one Transcript Release Form is required, no matter how many schools to which you are applying. A parent signature is required if you are under the age of 18. There is a $2 fee per transcript request. Transcript Release Forms are available in the Counseling office or you can download it here. Students must allow 10 days for the Counseling office to process Transcript Release Forms.

Toward the end of your junior year (April, May), or early in your senior year (August, September), ask your teachers, coaches, counselors, bosses, community member etc., for a letter of recommendation if it is required by the colleges you will be applying to. Please ask your recommender to write for you in person. DO NOT ask them in an email. Ask them in person. It is the professional way to do it. Prior to asking your recommender in person, you should complete the “Information for Recommendation Letter” questionnaire in Naviance. The information you provide in this questionnaire will help your recommender write a quality letter for you. If your recommender agrees to write for you when you ask them, the next step is to add them as a recommender through Common App, Coalition App, or Naviance. See your Counselor if you need help completing this step. Remember, faculty members at Brother Rice get overwhelmed with letter of recommendation requests, so please provide at least 4 weeks of notice. Also, it is your responsibility to follow up with your recommenders to ensure that they send your letters prior to your deadlines.

1. In Naviance, click the “about me” tab.

2. Click “information for recommendation letters.”

3. Complete the questions.

4. Print a copy of your responses so you can provide it to your recommender when you ask them to write for you.

1. In Naviance, click on the “colleges” tab.

2. Under the Teacher Recommendations heading, click “add/cancel requests.”

3. Click on the “select teacher” from the drop-down menu and then select your recommender by clicking on their name.

4. In the clear box to the right, inform your recommender of the colleges that you would like them to submit your letter, and the deadline it needs to be submitted by. Also, please take the opportunity to thank your recommender for writing for you.

5. Click “Update Requests” at the bottom of the screen. An email will then be sent to your recommender containing the text you wrote in the clear box.

Brother Rice students are highly encouraged to apply for scholarship dollars using the FREE online scholarship search engines listed below:

FASTWEB

Fastweb’s database contains 3.4 billion dollars worth of scholarship dollars. You must register and create a profile to access the scholarship database.

ZINCH                                   

Zinch’s database contains over 1 billion dollars worth of scholarship dollars. After registering and creating a profile, Zinch will link you to scholarships to apply for that are a good fit for you.

CAPPEX                                   

Cappex’s database contains over 11 billion dollars worth of scholarship dollars. After creating an account, Cappex will match your strengths and skill set to scholarship opportunities.

COLLEGE BOARD’S SCHOLARSHIP SEARCH                 

College Board’s database contains nearly 6 billion dollars worth of scholarship dollars. After completing a questionnaire/profile, College Board will narrow down scholarships that you can apply for that match your financial need.

COLLEGE NICHE

College Niche’s database contains 3.2 million scholarship opportunities. You can search scholarships by categories (ex. career, interest, major, race, religion, sports, etc), or you can complete a profile and College Niche will match you up with scholarship opportunities for which you are eligible to apply.

SCHOLARSHIPS.com

Scholarships.com’s database contains nearly 19 billion dollars worth of scholarship opportunities. You can search for specific scholarship opportunities by your academic major, year in school, and location

Brother Rice student athletes who wish to play a Division I or Division II sport in college must go through an eligibility certification process with the NCAA (National College Athletic Association).

To be eligible to play in college, Brother Rice student athletes must meet specific academic requirements outlined by the NCAA. These requirements are specifically related to the classes you have taken at Brother Rice, your ACT test score, and your Grade Point Average (GPA) in core subject areas.

Student athletes must register with the NCAA and complete an eligibility application online. The application is available on the NCAA Eligibility website. This should be done during your junior year, or early in your senior year.

The websites below provide detailed information about the NCAA Eligibility process.

NCAA Eligibility Center Website
NCAA Eligibility Center Quick Reference Guide
2013-2014 Guide for the College Bound Student-Athlete
NCAA approved courses offered at Brother Rice
Division I and Division II Eligibility Worksheets

Please see your Counselor if you need tutoring services. Your Counselor will refer you to the appropriate tutoring service. Tutoring options include:

1. RESOURCE CENTER– Experienced teachers provide tutoring in the Resource Center 5 days a week, during most lunch periods and 8th period.  The Resource Center is located in Room 105. Students may receive services in the Resource Center by teachers, counselor, or parent recommendation only.

2. PEER TUTORING – National Honor Society students provide tutoring services 5 days a week, from 1st Period through 8th Period in the Resource Center.

3. CATAPULT – Students who live in Chicago (certain zip codes only) who qualify for Catapult services can receive tutoring in the Catapult Center 5 days a week, from 1stPeriod through 8th Period. The Catapult Center is located in room 105. Students who qualify for Catapult services will be mailed a letter at the beginning of the school year.

4. TEACHERS – Many Brother Rice teachers provide tutoring to their students before and after school, if their schedule permits.

Scheduling Appointments

Counseling appointments will be made in two ways. Conversations between counselors and students are confidential. Don’t be afraid to come to your counselor with anything you feel you may not be able to handle. And, always remember – you are not alone! If you ever have a question or problem, your counselor is here to help.

1. Your Counselor will make an appointment with you:

At least twice a year, a notice will be delivered to you. Runners from the Counseling Office give these slips to your teachers who relay them to you. Please try to be prompt for your appointment. Your counselors will appreciate these considerations.

2. You can make an appointment with your Counselor:

Fill out a “Request for Counseling Appointment” slip available in the Counseling Office. Your counselor will contact you, usually the same day or the very next day. If the problem is urgent, write the word “URGENT” on the request slip.

Services for Students with Disabilities

Brother Rice High School has a long and dedicated tradition of developing each student’s potential for learning. Our goal is to meet the needs of students with documented learning disabilities or special education challenges who demonstrate the potential to succeed in a college preparatory curriculum. Both our FOCUS Program and our Individual Catholic Education Plans (ICEP) seek to help each student identify his strengths and become an advocate for himself as a student. Our ICEP’s are designed to assist students with a wide variety of challenges, including learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and a variety of psychological and emotional disorders.

We are happy to review materials for students who have a current Individual Education Plan (IEP), Individual Catholic Education Plan (ICEP), 504 Plan, or an individual neuropsychological report completed by a qualified neuropsychologist or a qualified licensed practitioner. Once we have evaluated the paperwork, we will be able to advise the student and his family regarding any accommodations we will be able to provide.

Please view the Brother Rice High School Accommodation Handbook to see a sample copy of a Brother Rice ICEP, as well as an explanation of each of the accommodations listed on a Brother Rice ICEP.

Students who have been accepted into our FOCUS program do not automatically qualify for a Brother Rice ICEP. Admission to the FOCUS Program is based on the results of our placement exam in January, review of the student’s grammar school academic record and interviews with the student’s grammar school teachers. The development of a Brother Rice ICEP is based solely on the student’s current IEP, 504 Plan, and/or neuropsychological report, and is not related to the student’s performance on the entrance exam in January or his grammar school academic record.

For students without a current IEP, ICEP, 504 Plan, or neuropsychological report, we are happy to provide referrals to parents who feel their son may benefit from an evaluation. If you are planning on having your son evaluated, or are currently in the evaluation process, please be aware that we are unable to provide accommodations until the evaluation is completed and the professional report has been submitted to us for review.

For further information, please contact our Director of Counseling, Patrick Creed (773.429.4300 ext. 118 or pcreed@brrice.org).