High School offering aid on college applications

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High school students in Port Washington have the chance this summer to alleviate some of the stress senior year brings when dealing with college applications, transcripts and financial aid.

On Aug. 24, Paul D. Schreiber High School’s guidance department is offering sessions for upcoming seniors and their families to help with the Common Application, which is the main college application students fill out.

The Application Help Day, which will consist of a morning and an afternoon session, will allow students and their families to begin their applications in one of the school’s computer labs with the help of  guidance counselors.

“Our main goal is to help the students and their families get the applications done,” said Hank Hardy, the Port Washington director of guidance for kindergarten to 12th grade. “We stress to the students to get their applications done in a timely matter.’’ 

Begun three years ago, Hardy said,  the program usually assists  50 to 60 students, and over 60 students have signed up for this year’s sessions already.

The first session will run from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and the second from 12:30 to 3 p.m.

“We want to eliminate the questions students and their families usually have,” Hardy said. “Instead of them having to contact a support service or a live chat, we want to be that support service. We want them to ask us those questions.”

These sessions are important, because there’s information that students and their families don’t have, Hardy said, such as their overall GPA, school information and class size.

According to The College Board, an information resource for students applying to college, students should start the application process the summer before senior year, and Hardy said that this program is designed to keep up with those dates. 

Addressing questions early, Hardy said, is important not just for students but for counselors, too, because it allows them to have time during the school year to focus on other responsibilities, including course enrollment, financial aid applications and students’ college decisions.

Throughout the year, the guidance department offers other sessions to help students stay on track with application deadlines. On Sept. 14, a College Scholarship Service profile session is being held, offering information on setting up a financial aid profile.

Then, on Sept. 20, representatives from Adelphi University are giving a presentation on filling out the FAFSA, the federal student aid form. Finally, on Oct. 26, the department is hosting a session that will instruct students and families about Naviance, a college preparation program that matches students’ strengths and interests with different goals. 

“We look at ourselves as part of a team with these families,” Hardy said. “It’s important to inform them as much as possible and let them know about the support they have here. We want students to take advantage of the best opportunities available to them. At the same time, we want to help alleviate some of the stress of the application process. I think guiding them along and being physically present through the process helps a great deal.”

Seats are still available for the Aug. 24 sessions. To attend, contact the guidance department  at (516) 767-5810.

By Stephen Romano

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