If you have High School or Middle School Students, please read!

In the July 2013 Newsletter, I wrote an article titled, “Empowering Our Students.”  Now, I want to follow up with another article about empowering the parents.

Many of you parents with high schoolers do not realize the power that we at HomeLife Academy have placed in your hands! I am referring to our High School pages that we are continually updating and improving so that you will have the latest information at your disposal in a clear and easy-to-find and understand format.

If you have a high schooler or even a student in middle school (or junior high), our High School pages need to be your Best Friend – OK, maybe your Guidance Counselor needs to be your BFF, but the High School pages are a close second! Whether you have questions about the PSAT, ACT, or SAT, including our school code, or need to know if your student is missing any graduation requirements, it’s all on the High School pages. Everything is listed alphabetically, and if you don’t see the specific thing you are searching for, try clicking on a similar tab. For example, if you need a recommendation letter, click on Fin. Aid/Scholarships and you will see that information. And remember, if you want a really quality recommendation letter or scholarship application filled out for your student, we have to know about your student! So, it’s very important that when you make a request through the Request Manager that you follow up with the information we need to complete the request.

In your student’s senior year (I recommend by January 31), you will apply for FAFSA, the Federal Application for Free Student Aid. It doesn’t matter if your student will actually qualify for financial aid or not, you still have to apply online. Also, you do not have to wait until you have filed taxes for the current year, as you can use last year’s tax information and then update it when you file for the current year. This gets your student in the system early for grants and scholarships that they may qualify for, even if the numbers need to be adjusted later.  For more information about FASFA, you will click on Fin. Aid/Scholarships.

I want to also talk about Transcripts and Portfolios. When your high schooler is a junior or senior, you will start the process of applying to colleges if your student is college-bound. This can be done all at once through the Common Application or your student can apply to each college individually. You will need to make sure that your student’s Transcript and Portfolio is up-to-date so that you can request these to be sent to the colleges your son or daughter has applied to.  And again, all the information is on our High School pages under Transcripts & Portfolios. I have seen that the Portfolios are very important in receiving scholarships, so please enter extra-curricular activities, achievements, and awards into your student’s Portfolio in AppleCore.

There is SO much information in the High School pages of our website to help you navigate through your student’s high school years! I hope that each of you parents with older children will take a moment to check out our website, click on the High School tab, and then scroll through each subject. Then, if you have any questions, feel free to call or email one of the high school Guidance Counselors; we’re also listed on the High School page under……yep, you guessed it – Counselors!

 By Lani Carey, High School Guidance Counselor –