Counseling Corner College & Career edition

Upcoming Dates

ACT - September 14, Late Registration Deadline is August 30 - The last ACT offered before November 1st application deadlines. October 26, Registration Deadline is September 20

FREE Scholarship Essay Workshop - September 7, 2:00-3:30PM - The County Library, Whitmore - 2197 Fort Union Blvd, Cottonwood Heights

FREE Resume and Cover Letter Workshop - September 21, 2:00-3:30PM - The County Library, Smith in Millcreek and October 1, 6:00-7:30PM - The County Library, Hunter in West Valley City

RMACAC College Fair - September 7, 12:00-2:30PM - Juan Diego Catholic High School, Draper - Colleges from across the country will be represented.

Parent/Teacher Conferences (PTC) - September 25, 3:00-6:30PM & September 26, 3:30-7:00PM - Counselors are available.

Scholarship Presentation - September 26, 6:00-6:30PM - Highland Library

Utah College Application Week - October 7-11 - Students receive time and help to complete a college application during school. Some colleges waive their application fee during this event.

FAFSA Completion Night - October 10, 4:00-7:00PM - Highland Library- Families can have questions answered or receive help from trained professionals in filling out the FAFSA Application.

Career Pathway

The goal of high school is to prepare students for college and a career. A high school diploma is the first step, but that is just the beginning. The majority of careers now require more advanced education: a 1-year certificate, 2-year associates degree, 4-year bachelors degree or more (college = 1, 2, 4, or More). Every senior should be working to develop a College and Career Plan. This plan should include a career or career pathway, the education necessary, and coursework that will support those goals. Don't wait until you graduate. The path starts now. Work with your counselor and parents to develop a plan that's right for you.

Choosing a College

First and foremost, college choice should be based on career goals. Which career path you wish to pursue will dictate what education you need to attain. College = 1, 2, 4, or more. This means it can include a 1-year certificate, 2-year associates degree, 4-year bachelors degree, or more such as graduate school, law school, medical school etc. It's important to keep in mind that not every college will offer every major or degree program. The links below can help you to find a college program that is right for you. Not quite sure what you want to study in college? Keep in mind that larger universities will have more programs to offer.

College Fairs, Tours & Events

College Fairs are a great way to see what schools are out there and to talk to a representative.

Once you have a list of schools you are interested in, it's a good idea to take a tour or attend an event. Touring a college's campus and attending admission events allows you to get a sense of the school community to see if it's a good fit. If you aren't able to physically go to the school for a tour, many schools have virtual tours available on their website or on youtube.

It is also possible for you to set up a more specific tour or meeting with someone from a program or department of interest. Not every program is the same from school to school. Knowing the pros and cons and what they have to offer can help to inform your decision to apply or attend.


The September 14 ACT is the last national test available before November 1st college application deadlines (e.g. U of U, BYU). Late Registration lasts through August 30. The following ACT is October 26. The registration deadline is September 20. For help registering, students can register with Katie, our College Access Advisor, during lunches. Contact Katie or the Counseling Office for more details. Fee Waivers are available for those who qualify.

ACT Prep

UtahFutures offers free ACT prep through their Learning Express Library.

Shmoop offers an online ACT prep program that is FREE to Utah students. This program includes tutorials targeted toward the specific needs of each student as assessed in an initial practice test. To create an account, click the link below. Magic Word: ZION

If in-person test prep is more of your style, there are classes in the community. Check out the links below.

Get Organized

Once you have found colleges with majors you are interested in, narrow them down to 4-10. You should have schools that fall into three categories: Safety Schools, Good Fit Schools, and Reach Schools. To find out what category the school fits into, use the UtahFutures link below to see how the college's average ACT score and GPA compare to your own.

Next, create a calendar of important deadlines. Deadlines to include are:

  • Application deadlines (Priority vs Final)
  • Scholarship deadlines (General and Department)
  • Financial Aid deadline
  • Audition/Portfolio deadline (if program requires)
  • NCAA deadlines and requirements

Application Process

Understanding what documents to submit for your college and scholarship applications is important to know well in advance. All colleges will require an application and official transcript. Most colleges will require your ACT score. Some colleges and scholarships will require additional materials.

Application documents may include:

  • Application - Each college will require an application; The length of the application can vary. Most applications are now online, allowing you to start, save and edit as necessary. Might as well start early!
  • Transcript - All colleges will want an OFFICIAL copy of your transcript. An official copy means it comes directly from the school. It is a good idea to review your "Historical Grades" on PowerSchool to make sure all grades are included and accurate. You can request an official copy from the Kerry Hardy, the Registrar. Give at least a week for requests to be processed.
  • ACT/SAT Scores - Most colleges will want a copy of your ACT (or SAT) scores. Some colleges use it to accept or decline admission. Others use it for class placement only. Most colleges want scores sent directly from ACT. Use the link below to make a request.

Additional Materials

Letters of Recommendation - Some schools and scholarships require letters of recommendation. Consider a counselor, teacher, coach, supervisor, etc who knows you and can speak to your strengths and character. It is also helpful to provide a resume to the person writing your letter in order to give additional information. You can use the following form. Please give at least 2 weeks notice. Remember - you are not the only one requesting a letter of recommendation.

Essay/Personal Statement - Some colleges, honors programs, or scholarships require an essay or personal statement. This is an opportunity to show the college something special about you and also demonstrate your writing skills. It is recommended that you take your time in developing this piece. Proper use of grammar, punctuation, and spelling are important. When possible, show with examples rather than just telling. Below are some tips and a resource for FREE writing coaching:

Audition/Portfolio/Interview - Some colleges or programs will require an audition, portfolio, or interview. Each program will have specific requirements that may differ greatly from one program to the next. It is very important to start preparing audition and portfolio pieces early. Contact the school or program to learn the details of what is required.

Paying for College

How to pay for college is on everyone's mind during this process. There are a lot of opportunities to decrease the cost of college. Paying attention to deadlines is equally important in this process as in the application process.

Financial Aid

FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Up to $6,200 is available in grants per student. While federal aid is based on need, many colleges require students to fill out the FAFSA in order to be eligible for other scholarships as well. The application opens October 1. It is only necessary to fill out the application one time in order to submit it for all schools, but the deadline varies by school; Some deadlines are as early as February so get it done early!

SLCC will cover the remainder of tuition costs if a student qualifies for any portion of the federal grant. See below:


Scholarships can come from a variety of places and can be awarded for a variety of reasons.

Scholarships may be awarded for:

  • Academics/Merit Based
  • Talent
  • Service
  • Leadership

You can get scholarships from:

  • College/University in general
  • Specific Department at College/University
  • Community Organization

Here are some tips:

For help finding scholarships, contact the colleges and universities of interest. Scholarship bulletins, organized by month, are available on the Highland Counseling website.

Help is Available

See your counselor

  • Claudia Kassner, A-D
  • Mary Akers, E-G and IB Students
  • Mia Naddeo, H-Ma
  • Sierra Collins, Mb-R
  • John Vallentine, S-Z

College Access Advisor - Katie Dickson

Scholarship Coordinator - TBD

Registrar - Kerry Hardy


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