Covenant Christian Academy College Planning and Resources
CCA students in 8th and 9th grade will take the PSAT 8/9, the first in the College Board’s suite of preparatory materials for the SAT. The test is given each October (alternate date in November). The cost is $15.
CCA students in grades 10 and 11 will take the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). While the test only counts towards the scholarship contest in the junior year, both sophomores and juniors benefit from taking this test which measures grade-level benchmarks according to a national standard and allows students to see how they would score on the SAT. The test is given each October (alternate date in November). The cost is $15.
College Board/Khan Academy partnership
Students who take any of the PSAT suite of assessments can link their results to Khan Academy which creates a study plan specific to that student’s test. This allows for personalized, targeted practice. For free! CCA will help students connect their test results and guide students in personalized SAT practice.
The SAT is given 8 times per year. This national college-entrance exam is given at regional test centers, most often a county public high school. The cost varies, but is around $50 per test, without the essay portion, which most colleges no longer require. Students are guided to take the SAT in the late Spring of their Sophomore year, again in their junior year, and if needed to boost scores for scholarship potential, again late in the junior year or the fall of the senior year. SAT test results are available to students 25 days after the test was completed. The best score from each attempt at the SAT is combined into a “superscore.” Test dates are posted at the College Board and will be announced by CCA Guidance as well.
The ACT is another national college-entrance exam, also given at regional test centers on established test dates. The ACT tests students in different ways than the SAT. The questions may appear less analytical and more straightforward to students. The ACT includes history and science sections and includes trigonometry in its math test. About 50% of college-bound students take the ACT and 5 0% take the SAT.
Personal Family Meetings
CCA’s Guidance Counselor will meet individually with each family to get to know the family and help guide the college process for each student.
CCA utilizes a tool called Overgrad (similar to Naviance) for students to search out colleges that are a fit for them according to their academic standing, career goals, and location preferences. Students can use this tool to find colleges which are a match or “reach” schools to gauge the strength of their admission chances.
Colleges and universities understand that not all high schools throughout the country offer the same courses. Competitive colleges may ask if a student has selected the courses with the most rigor offered at their school. If a student is able to work at an Honors level, they should consider selecting that course. Honors courses are weighted and carry the potential for earning additional qualitative points towards a student’s GPA.
CCA will offer AP English beginning with the 2017-2018 school year. AP courses offer students the opportunity to study at a more advanced level while preparing for an exit exam that can earn a student college credit. AP Exams, offered in May each school year, are scored on a scale from 1 to 5. Colleges award credit for students scoring 3, 4 or 5. Check with the college your student plans to attend to see what standard they require for that institution. AP courses also offer students the potential to earn additional qualitative points.
CCA parents and students are invited to attend bi-annual presentations by our CCA guidance counselor to learn about the many aspects of preparing for college including: what to do during each year of high school, choosing a college, visiting colleges, college testing, paying for college, NCAA compliance, scholarships and more. Our programs emphasize helping students find the program that is right for them.
Road Trip Nation
This innovative website allows students to explore careers through the lens of actual people working in every field imaginable. Students choose three areas of interest which generates a portal of career options. Students can watch video interviews with real professionals to learn what they actually do in their careers!
NCAA and NAIA
If you are a student who plans to play sports in a Division I, II or III school, or an NAIA school, you must register for the appropriate clearinghouse. Specific standards are set by NCAA for both the number of courses (similar to standard diploma requirements) as well as academic standards (cumulative GPA of 2.3 or greater). It costs $65 for a student to register with the NCAA Clearinghouse and $80 to register with the NAIA Eligibility Center.
CCA has a number of college materials available in our “College Cubby” located around the corner from the Admin Office. While college materials are readily available online, these print materials can help gain a student’s interest.
CCA announces regional college fairs held in October each year. Attending a college fair is another great way to be introduced to colleges by meeting actual representatives from various schools. Both Christian and secular college fairs are held in our area each fall.
Golden Eagles Guidance Blog
CCA’s guidance counselor will post up-to-date news on the Golden Eagles Guidance blog. Check it out at: https://goldeneaglesguidance.wordpress.com/