College & Career at MCS Student Services:
Meadowbrook employs a Director of Student Services who assists students in college and career guidance.
Throughout the school year, the Student Services Director will meet with all High School students individually to explore their unique gifts and interests and help them set short and long-term educational, college, or career goals.
Future planning, whether that be a traditional college, a post-secondary program, or the following steps to a career path, it is a collaborative effort. The MCS Student Services Director provides resources; students are encouraged and expected to take ownership of the process by researching options, registering for necessary tests, completing applications, and meeting deadlines.
Some of the goals in working with students are:
- to assist them with educational, career, and goal planning
- to coordinate referrals to student school and community programs
- to serve as a resource to students, parents, teachers, and administrators
Some reasons students may meet with Student Services:
- Connect with Learning support if or academic skills support.
- Credit Recovery
- Career exploration
- Transcript request
We look forward to partnering with families to help students with academic college/career needs. I am available to meet with parents and students. Please feel free to contact Beth George anytime at email@example.com.
9th Grade College & Career Timeline
- Begin to create a four-year high school plan and work hard to do your best. Now that you are a freshman, everything starts to “count.” Your grades will determine your GPA, and all your classes, grades, and credits will now be part of your official transcript. This transcript will be the document of your academic history.
- Start thinking about your life after school, including the jobs that interest you.
- Meet with Student Services to discuss goals. This meeting will be scheduled during the second quarter.
- Participate in activities. Colleges and employers are looking for students who are active and involved in their school and community. They also seek students with leadership abilities, unique experiences, and an interest in community service.
- Explore summer opportunities (camps, volunteering, job shadows)
10th Grade College & Career Timeline
- Select classes that best fit you and will best prepare you for college, considering Honors, Advanced Placement (AP), Dual Enrollment courses (11th and 12th), and hands-on electives.
- Meet Student Services to discuss your career interests and the college major(s) associated with those interests. This meeting will be scheduled during the second semester.
- Attend the Christian College Fair hosted by MCS and other local college and career fairs. It is still early enough to start familiarizing yourself with the process.
- Participate in extracurricular activities such as sports, chorus, clubs, and community service.
- Go on a few college campus visits to see what they are like and learn what to expect from a college/university.
11th Grade College & Career Timeline
- Attend college fairs, including the Christian College Fair hosted by MCS.
- Learn more about colleges by researching online and talking with college reps visiting MCS.
- All juniors will take the PSAT/NMSQT in October. This will help you prepare to take the SAT in the Spring.
- Plan to visit your top choice colleges. Look on their websites to see when they offer fall or spring open Houses and/or make an appointment for a campus visit.
- Review your PSAT/NMSQT results. Top scores could be eligible for specific scholarships.
- Choosing an area of study or a major is an essential first step to post-secondary planning. Think about your interests, values, and abilities.
- Register to take the SAT in the Spring at least one month before the exam date.
- Start to narrow down your college choices.
- If you are taking an AP class, ensure you are beginning to prepare for the test.
- Create a college file to keep brochures, notes on college visits, and other valuable information.
- Begin visiting colleges that interest you. Many colleges will have visit days primarily geared toward juniors, so this is a great time to get on campus, meet with professors, and get a feel for the campus while students are still there. Students are permitted two excused absences for college visits.
- Meet with Student Services to discuss your college/career plans and set up a summer plan. This meeting will be scheduled during the first semester.
- Ask for letters of recommendation from teachers, coaches, employers, or community mentors you know. This way, they will be done when you return in the fall.
- If you are an athlete who plans to play a sport in college, you will need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center
- Find a full-time or part-time job or participate in a summer camp/volunteer experience to help build your resume.
- Create a resume to give to prospective references.
- Visit college websites if you are unable to visit in person.
- Visit college campuses throughout the summer to help narrow choices to your top 3-5 schools.
- Look into overnight or weekend college visitation programs.
- Take note of upcoming SAT registration and test dates.
12th Grade College & Career Timeline
- Schedule your senior interview during the first quarter.
- Create an overview or calendar that includes college application due dates, financial aid application forms required, and their deadlines. Review if SAT scores are required or not.
- If you would like to increase your score, register to retake the SAT.
- Visit websites for free test prep and practice exams for the SAT, or enroll in an online class.
- Continue to visit or give a second look at college campuses.
- Try to finalize your college choices and begin completing college applications.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after October 1; this must be considered for most federal, state, and college-based aid. The FAFSA serves as the application for the Pennsylvania State Grant Program. You can access the FAFSA online.
- If you still need to, request recommendation letters from teachers, coaches, school counselors, and youth leaders. Give them at least two weeks to complete.
- Request transcripts from your counselor. Allow 7-10 school days for your transcript to be sent to colleges, even if you have applied online.
- Learn about college financial aid and FAFSA by attending the Christian College Fair and the step-by-step guide provided to you and your parents.
- If needed, take the SAT you may have registered to take again.
- For early decision or early action deadlines, your materials will be due between November 1 and November 15
- Complete at least one college application by Thanksgiving; this is an excellent time to complete it.
- Let the counselor know if the colleges you applied to require mid-year grades.
- Explore scholarship information online and check out the scholarship page of MCS’s website.
- Complete all college applications by Christmas break.
- Contact the college’s financial aid office to see what student aid programs exist on a state or campus level.
- Check with the financial aid offices to see if they have specific financial aid requirements and/or deadlines.
- Continue to do your best for the second semester – accepting colleges, do look at your second-semester senior classes and grades, which will be on your final high school transcript.
- Submit all the necessary paperwork or applications for any private or outside scholarships you may have identified.
- Be sure you have submitted all required forms: the college admissions application, the FAFSA, any private scholarships, and any state or school-specific forms necessary for financial aid.
- Watch your email for your Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is the U.S. Department of Education’s reply to your submitted FAFSA and summarizes your financial aid eligibility for federal programs.
- You should have received your admission letters and financial aid packages by mid-April.
- Make a final enrollment decision and submit an enrollment deposit, if requested
- If a school accepts you, but you will not be attending, notify the school of your decision not to attend.
By May 1
- You should send your deposit to the college that you are attending.
- If you are waitlisted, contact that school’s admissions office to find out what you can do to strengthen your application.
- Request the guidance office to send your final high school transcript to the college you are attending.
- The Pennsylvania State Grant (FAFSA Application) deadline is May 1; check with the college financial aid office to see if they have specific FAFSA application requirements and/or deadlines.
- Take any A.P. exams you signed up to take.
- Remember to request your final transcripts. Your school will need to see these to verify your performance during senior year (Student Services automatically mail official transcripts to colleges one week after graduation)
- Plan for college orientation, transportation, and housing for the fall.
What do you want to do after you graduate from school?
All high school students eagerly anticipate graduation, and why not? It is essential and a milestone. But then they are faced with the question, “What do you plan to do after you graduate?” Being asked to decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives can be overwhelming to 18-year-olds, but it does not have to be. Beginning in middle school, we encourage students and their families to think about and explore career options and the path(s) required to get there. This is why we have an annual Career Day that alternates with a Leadership-based Institute annually. The more information students have, the better equipped they are to make wise decisions when the time comes.
Below are helpful and free websites that help students explore careers that will match their skills and interests and research programs and narrow their focus to find schools that are a good fit for them.
Taking an intentional gap year is becoming a more popular option for many students, whether they get accepted and then ask the college, in writing, to hold their place. At the same time, they defer admission or pursue another track while deciding whether to apply (or reapply) to colleges. Below are links to mission-minded gap year programs that MCS students have participated in or considered.
Many careers require education beyond high school. The links below can help students research the college, university, or other post-secondary program that is right for them. Some of these sites also provide career information.
Scholarships are financial aid awards designed to help students pay for an undergraduate or graduate degree. Sometimes a scholarship comes in a one-time check. Other renewable scholarships provide students with money each semester or school year.
These financial awards differ from student loans because they don’t have to be repaid. So, to answer a question we often hear, you do not have to pay it back if you get a scholarship .
Students might receive the money directly as a check in their name. In other cases, the money is given to the student’s school. When that happens, the student would pay the school for the difference in any money owed for tuition, fees, room, and board. If the scholarships and other forms of financial aid are enough to cover the direct college costs, the excess money is refunded to the student.
Director of Student Services, Beth George
Director of Student Services