Welcome

Welcome to the Office of Academic and College Counseling at Dallas Christian School. Planning the high school and college career is an exciting but anxious time for students and parents.

This planning process begins early in a student’s high school career. In early spring, we meet with every underclassmen to review course requests for the following school year. This helps ensure each student is following the four year-plan in order to meet the goals set for graduation. With the variety of dual-credit and AP classes offered at Dallas Christian, we know the planning can be a bit overwhelming. In order to help alleviate confusion, we hold informational parent meetings and morning coffees at various times throughout the year. These meetings address AP classes, as well as the process of enrolling in dual-credit courses.

Dallas Christian School understands the importance of helping students find a college that will help them achieve their spiritual and academic goals as they prepare for the next step in life. In order to make this transition as smooth as possible, we begin working with our juniors in early spring to begin planning courses for their senior year, as well as exploring colleges and careers. Each student is encouraged to use Naviance, a program for college and career readiness solutions, to help connect academic achievement to post-secondary goals, and to improve college and career planning.

The Office of Academic and College Counseling at Dallas Christian High School welcomes all DC students and parents to partner with us in preparing each student for a successful high school, college-prep, and college experience.

Sincerely,
Tammy Seabourn
Tammy Seabourn, Academic Advisor
Dallas Christian School

Planning By Year


Freshman Year:
  • Plan your high school program. Decide on Advanced Track (29 credits) or Distinguished Track (31 Credits). Certain courses are required for entrance to college.
  • Sign up for strong classes and make studying your number-one priority. Participate in extra-curricular activities and begin crafting your resume.
  • Become a well-rounded individual. Develop hobbies and participate in school, community, and church activities. Broaden your fields of interest through reading and contacts with individuals. Stay involved. Colleges look strongly at your involvement in extracurricular activities like community service, sports, volunteering, apprenticeships, work, etc.
  • Work to your potential because the grades that you earn become part of your grade point average (GPA).
  • Make your summer "significant." Consider collegiate summer programs, a part-time job, volunteer work, and enrichment opportunities. Stop by the counseling office for additional information or consider a Study Abroad Program.
  • When on vacation, drive through and walk around college campuses just to get the feel of a large school, small school, private school, public school, or different types of campuses.
Sophomore Year:
  • Continue to take strong courses and continue to work to your full potential. 3rd Year of Foreign Language? Physics? Fine Arts?
  • Be a self-advocate. Attend tutorials and do not fall behind in classes. Meet with teachers, when needed, to review course work, tests and other academic work to learn from your performance.
  • Begin to consider the various types of colleges available and the types of programs that they offer.
  • Use the results of the PSAT to determine strengths and weaknesses in writing, verbal, and math skills.
  • Begin to visit colleges informally whenever you are near one during a family trip or vacation. Be your own best advocate.
Junior Year:
  • Focus firmly on grades. This is the last year to acquire a strong GPA for college admission applications next fall.
  • Consider a PSAT prep course based on 10th grade results if they showed potential for National Merit consideration. Otherwise, use the 11th grade PSAT as a baseline score from which to prep for SAT's and ACT's.
  • Apply in early September for special test accommodations if needed and if they are used in the regular class day.
  • Attend college fairs in your area. Talk to college representatives and establish contact with schools of interest to you.
  • Talk with college representatives when they visit DCS. They can eventually be your "best friends" in the college admissions committee when applications are reviewed.
  • Take the PSAT in October. National Merit Scholarship Competition is determined from the junior-year PSAT.
  • PSAT scores can be used as SAT predictors within approximate ranges. They can also indicate areas of strength and weakness that students can work on before taking the first SAT and ACT during the latter part of the junior year.
  • Mrs. Seabourn will meet with all juniors in the spring to begin the college research process and give out a detailed calendar. Attend the junior parent college information meeting in early February.
  • Get on the internet and review specific course requirements for admission at colleges of interest to you. You'll be better prepared to select appropriate senior-year courses if you do this research early.
  • Register for strong senior classes. Some schools require or highly recommend them. Course selection is very important to most colleges. They want to see you challenging yourself in the classroom.
  • Take the SAT and/or the ACT in the spring. Take SAT II's at the end of your junior year if necessary.
  • Continue to develop your resume. Consider running for leadership positions during your senior year.
  • Ask teachers for recommendation letters before the end of the school year.
  • Visit college campuses. Begin to narrow down choices.
Senior Year:
August -
  • College Application Night - Night meeting for parents and students in early September to discuss application process.
  • Schedule college visits and interviews.
  • Attend college and financial aid fairs.
  • Begin applying online or obtaining paper applications.
  • College Representatives will be visiting Dallas Christian School. Take advantage of these opportunities. They will visit during lunch, and a table will be set up in the auditorium.
September -
  • Prepare a checklist of test registration deadlines, fees, test dates, and college application deadlines.
  • Prepare college application, essays, and personal statements.
  • Continue to focus on grades. Colleges want to see fall term grades, and they do count in the admissions process.
  • Visit any colleges that you weren't able to earlier in the year.
  • Does your college require SAT II's? Check to see the requirements.

Financial Aid 101


Junior Year:
Fall
  • Get your parents involved in the financial aid process now. Check out the web sites and books for information that fits your circumstances.
  • Make any major financial decisions before the "base" calendar year begins January 1st.
  • Take the PSAT to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship.
  • Write to your college choices and request catalogs and financial aid information.
  • Get a copy of the FAFSA: College Board and FASFA.
  • Attend financial aid seminars.
Winter
  • Find out what kind of financial aid is offered by your state.
  • Get the US Government's publication Student Guide, Funding Your Education, and Looking for Student Aid, download or call 1800-4FED-AID.
Spring
  • Start scouting banks, savings and loans, and other lenders for their student loan programs.
  • Open an account with a bank if it's necessary to secure a student loan at an institution.
  • Intensify your scholarship search.
  • Write to scholarship organizations and request applications. Keep track of deadlines and requirements.
  • Ask teacher/advisor to write any recommendations you'll need senior year.
Summer
  • Make a list of the financial records you'll need to complete your financial forms.
  • Do a financial aid campus visit (on-site or by telephone) during the summer when financial aid offices are not busy.
  • Contact the colleges' athletic department for athletic scholarships.
Senior Year:
August/September
  • Request any specific aid forms your college may use in addition to the CSS Profile and FAFSA.
  • Create a calendar of all financial aid and scholarship deadlines.
  • Check with your state's Department of Education for state aid applications and deadlines.
  • Download or send for scholarship applications. Make note of their deadlines.
  • Attend financial aid workshops.
  • Ask for teacher recommendations for scholarships, if you haven't already done spring of Junior Year.
September/October
  • Register and complete the CSS/Profile one month before a school's priority filing date if the school requires it. Call or register online.
December
  • Apply for a FAFSA PIN here.
  • Get a copy of FAFSA, by calling 1-800-4FEDAID, or download a copy.
January
  • Have your parents complete their income tax form 1040 as soon as possible. Get your tax form completed.
  • Complete FAFSA and send it in quickly.
  • Make a copy of all financial aid forms.
February
  • Call the schools' financial aid offices to confirm your application has been received and is complete.
  • Make sure your scholarship applications are complete and requirements met.
  • Go over your SAR (student aid report) for errors. Correct any errors immediately.
March/April
  • Send copies of your tax forms and SAR to financial officers, if requested.
  • Compare financial aid packages. Use a tuition calculator to compare offers. Compare Aid Award on College Board.
  • Make your final decision. Sign and return the required forms promptly.
  • Inform the financial aid officers of the schools you won't be attending. This is necessary to free up money for other students.
May
  • Ask the financial aid counselor if the school participates in a direct lending program for student/parent loans. If they do, request applications and return them completed. Also ask if you can file the applications on-line to save time.
  • Contact local banks and lenders if the school does not participate in direct lending. Be specific and request information on federally-backed student loans.
Summer
  • Make money! Save Money! Get a summer job!
  • Apply now for a job in the fall, particularly if your financial aid package includes work study. The "good" jobs go fast, particularly on campus.
  • Start looking for scholarships for next year.

Scholarships


Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation
Deadline: October 31
Awards $3 million each year to 250 students who apply and are selected.
Application

Prudential Spirit of Community Award
Deadline: November 1
If you've made a difference through volunteering over the past year, you could win $1,000 and a fabulous trip to Washington D.C. next May. Even more importantly, you could win recognition that might inspire other young people to follow your example.
Application

Guideposts Young Writers Contest
Deadline: November 24
$250-$10,000, The Guidepost Young Writers Contest is available to high school juniors and seniors. You must write a first-person story about a memorable or moving experience that you have had to be eligible for this award.
Application

Boston University Trustee Scholarship
Deadline: December 1
A full, four-year tuition to BU!
Application

AXA Achievement Scholarship
Deadline: December 15
Are you active in your community? Have you lead a project that benefits others? Have you overcome personal challenges?
Application

Discover Card Scholarship
Deadline: 4 dates year-round
40 scholarships of $2,500
Application

AFSA National Scholarship Essay Contest
Deadline: Early January, see website for details
Amount: National Winner, $4,000, 2nd prize winner, $3,000; 3rd prize winner, $2,000; 4-regional winners get $1,000 each.
Application

Princeton Prize in Race Relations
Deadline: January 31
$1,000 cash award and winners will be invited to an all expense paid trip to Princeton University to attend the Princeton Prize Symposium on Race.
Application

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