College Counseling

College_Counseling
The Maine Girls’ Academy CEEB CODE # 200825

The Guidance Department at MGA is designed to help students navigate through the college search and application processes. It is very important for families to strive for “good matches” between their daughter’s interests, abilities and talents and their college or university choices. Counseling is provided in order to make appropriate and realistic college selections. The Guidance Department strives to educate families regarding the college admission process, as they, with their daughters, are the most integral parts of this process.

Students receive comprehensive information and counseling in all phases of the college admission process, which includes:

  • Career exploration through speakers, online resources and immersion activities
  • Dissemination of information for standardized tests (PSAT, SAT I and II, ACT, etc.)
  • Instruction on computerized college and career search programs (the Common Application and other internet resources)
  • Evening programs for families on the college process and speakers on financial aid
  • Junior and senior classroom presentations on the college process
  • One-on-one meetings with a counselor to discuss goals and plans
  • The College Admission Handbook, updated and revised each year for the junior class
  • Online listings of college representative visits to MGA, college open houses and scholarships

MGA Profile for Colleges, available in August 2016

For more in-depth information on the information presented above, please access the following links:

Career Exploration:

Self-knowledge is the first step in the career planning process. The Guidance Department provides several opportunities to support students in this process.

The CHOICES program is available to all MGA students and parents. This program includes several activities that can be completed individually and then merged to create a comprehensive Career Portfolio. Please contact the Guidance Department for access information.

The PSAT test, administered in the sophomore and junior years, provides valuable insight into skills and interests.

QUICKSTART is a free service available through the College Board for students who have taken the PSAT. Quickstart provides students with an online score report, SAT study plan, college matches and major and career matches.

Junior Career Experience (JCE) – This self-directed required career immersion allows juniors to take responsibility for their own educational objectives by shadowing a career professional.

Senior Service Experience (SSE) – MGA’s Senior Service Experience is a self-directed opportunity for our seniors to make real their concern for the needs of others through the gift of themselves, their time and their talents.

Standardized Testing – SAT, ACT, etc.:

Standardized testing can be a confusing aspect of the college process. Tests have rigid registration deadlines and might require students to register as much as six weeks in advance. Registration and study materials are available both online and in the MGA Guidance Office. MGA maintains a list of test prep centers and tutors.

Standardized Tests available:

  • PSAT/NMSQT: Typically given to sophomores and juniors in October, this test parallels the SAT and provides an excellent practice for an understanding of what is expected on the SAT.
  • SAT Reasoning Test: This test measures developed verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities, as well as writing skills related to successful performance in college. It is intended to supplement the secondary school record.
  • SAT Subject Tests: These one-hour tests are designed to measure knowledge about a particular subject area.
  • ACT: Measures knowledge, understanding and skills in English, Mathematics and Scientific Reasoning and used by colleges to compare applicants.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Measures a student’s ability to use and understand the English language as it is read, written, heard and spoken in the university classroom.
  • ASVAB or Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery: This test is administered to all prospective recruits to help with training and career placement.

For Further Information:

Financial Aid:

“Need” is the basic consideration in colleges awarding financial aid. Financial need is the difference between what it will cost a student to attend a college and the family contribution, often referred to as the EFC – Expected Family Contribution. The family contribution includes a parent contribution, student income contribution and student contribution from assets and/or benefits. A student’s family’s income, assets, debts, family size and extenuating circumstances are considered when determining the EFC.

After need has been determined, most colleges will award financial aid as a “package.” The package may include a combination of scholarships or grants (money that does not have to be paid back), loans (to be paid back) and campus employment (money earned while in school and sometimes related to the student’s field of study).

Applying for Financial Aid:

Applying for aid requires completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Aid). Students will need to request a PIN # for both the STUDENT and PARENT/GUARDIAN. Many private colleges also require the CSS PROFILE. To find out what is required, check the college website under Financial Aid or ask during a college visit.

Other Helpful Sites:

NCAA Clearinghouse (for prospective college athletes):

The NCAA Clearinghouse Eligibility Center has a wealth of information for prospective college athletes. Please click here to access the site.

Please click here to download an important pdf document about the NCAA.

For more information, please contact Marie Eschner, Director of Guidance, at (207) 797-3802 ext. 2060.