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Guidance FAQs

What are the PSAT, SAT, and ACT?

The PSAT provides practice for the SAT, while the SAT and ACT are college admissions tests. Please see below for specific details of each test.

PSAT/NMSQT – The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test
Duration - Approximately 2 1/2 hours; given on the third Saturday in October
Taken by - High school juniors (available to interested sophomores)
Given by - College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation
Frequency - One time per year (October)
Purpose - Practice for SAT and qualify for National Merit Scholarship

SAT– The Scholastic Aptitude Test
Duration - Approximately 3 1/2 hours
Taken by - Juniors and Seniors
Given by - College Board
Frequency - Seven times per year (Saturday – usually offered in October, November, December, January, March, May, June) See www.collegeboard.com
Purpose - College Admissions

SAT II–Subject Test
Duration - One hour per test (maximum of three per testing date)
Taken by - Juniors and Seniors (if necessary for their college of choice)
Given by - College Board
Frequency - Six times per year (Saturday – usually offered in October, November, December, January, May, June) see www.collegeboard.com
Purpose - College Admissions

ACT– The American College Testing Program
Duration - Three hours
Taken by - Juniors and Seniors
Given by - ACT
Frequency - Six times per year (Saturdays – usually offered in September, October, December, February, April, June)
Purpose - College Admissions

Are accommodations provided on the PSAT, SAT, and/or ACT for students with disabilties and/or 504 Plans?

College-bound students who have an IEP or 504 Plan and currently qualify for and actually use extended time testing or any other special accommodations with their classes at L-S may also be permitted the same accommodations when taking the PSAT, SAT, or ACT. These accommodations must be established with each test company well before the test registration deadlines, as approval for accommodations requires as application process. Please visit the ACT and College Board websites or contact the High School Guidance Office for more details.

Am I eligible for a fee waiver for the SAT or ACT Tests?

Students who qualify for free or reduced lunches may also qualify for SAT and ACT test fee waivers. If a college-bound senior or junior is planning to take these tests, please contact the a high school counselor at least two weeks before the test registration deadline for a fee waiver application.

How can I prepare for college admission tests?

Information regarding test preparation courses will be made available upon request through the High School Guidance Office. Aside from purchasing a book or seeking private tutoring, FREE practice is available by visiting the SAT website, www.collegeboard.com, and the ACT website, www.act.org. Students can complete practice tests and review key concepts and questions on these sites.

How do I register for the SAT or ACT and what is school code?

The school code for Lampeter-Strasburg High School is 392-095.

Visit SAT.org or ACT.org to register for tests.

What should I know about the day of the SAT test?

The following tips will help you do your best (from www.collegeboard.com):

  • Be well-rested and ready to go. Get a good night's sleep the night before the test.
  • Eat breakfast. You'll be at the test center for several hours and you're likely to get hungry.
  • Bring acceptable Photo ID and your SAT Admission Ticket.
  • Bring two No. 2 pencils and a good eraser — a pencil is required for the multiple choice questions and the essay. Mechanical pencils are not allowed. Pens are not allowed.
  • Bring a calculator with fresh batteries.
  • Bring snacks. You will get a short break at the end of each hour of testing time. You can eat or drink any snacks you have brought with you during these breaks. A healthy snack will go a long way toward keeping you alert during the entire test.
  • Plan to arrive at the test center by 7:45 a.m. Testing starts at about 8:00 a.m.
  • Make sure you use a No. 2 pencil on the answer sheet. It is very important that you fill in the entire circle darkly and completely. If you change your response, erase it as completely as possible. Incomplete marks or erasures may affect your score. It is very important that you follow these instructions when filling out your answer sheet.

What is the ASVAB test?

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is intended for use with students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades, as well as students in post-secondary schools. The Program provides tools, including the test battery and interest inventory, developed by the Department of Defense to help high school and post-secondary students across the nation learn more about career exploration and planning. Results of the aptitude test and the interest inventory enable students to evaluate their skills, estimate performance in academic and vocational endeavors, and identify potentially satisfying careers. These results are integrated with work values to help students identify and prioritize possible career choices. Students are encouraged to consider their own work-related values and other important personal preferences as they explore the world of work and learn career exploration skills that will benefit them throughout their work lives. Please contact your school counselor for more information or visit www.asvabprogram.com.

I plan to participate in a sport at a Division I or II school. What should I do?

College Athletic Information

NCAA Eligibility for College Athletics – Make sure you are eligible to participate in college sports.
Your Responsibility as a Prospective Student Athlete: It is your responsibility to make sure the Clearinghouse has the documents it needs to certify you. These documents are:
1. Your completed and signed Student Release Form and fee. This can be obtained online at www.ncaaclearinghouse.net
2. Your official transcript mailed directly from every high school you have attended. Complete a transcript release form and submit it to the Guidance Secretary.
3. Your eligibility is based on college-prep courses as defined by NCAA definitions of core courses
4. Your SAT or ACT scores
It is important to note that you may start this process after your junior year.
For information see the Athletic Director or your school counselor.

What is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)?

This is the required application for federal student aid. The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for basic federal aid programs. Most institutions require that students apply for federal aid before they will consider them for need-based institutional aid.

Where can I obtain the FAFSA documents?

Go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov, which is the Web site of the U.S. Department of Education, and download the forms. You can also download the forms from most college or university Web sites. Or pick them up at a high school counselor’s office or public library, or call the Department of Education at 800-433-3243 to have a form sent to you. Filing online will greatly speed up the processing time. Electronic filers will need a personal identification number, which can be obtained before January 1 by going to www.pin.ed.gov. Remember, there is no fee for filing the FAFSA, which will be routed to as many as six schools of your choice. Should I wait until I’ve completed my 2006 tax return to file the FAFSA? Send in the forms as soon as possible after January 1. Even if you haven’t nailed down your taxes, you can use estimates of your income – as long as they aren’t far from the actual numbers. You will have opportunities to provide the corrected numbers later. To fill out the financial aid forms, you will need a copy of your latest federal income tax return plus all pertinent related documents, such as W-2’s and 1099’s and bank, brokerage, and mortgage statements. You’ll also need the student’s Social Security and driver’s license numbers, among other things.

Should everyone apply for financial aid?

There are so many different factors that determine aid eligibility that no one can give you a simple answer as to whether or not you are eligible for aid. Family income and assets are not the only aspects that determine eligibility for need-based aid; family size and number of children in college are almost as important. Why not apply? Don’t self-exclude

What criteria should I consider in my search for a college or technical school?

Criteria to Consider: Depending on your personal interests, the following characteristics should play a role in helping you narrow down the field of colleges.

Affiliation
  • Public
  • Private, independent
  • Private, church affiliated
  • Proprietary
Size
  • Very small (fewer than 1,000 students)
  • Small (1,000-3,999 students)
  • Medium (4,000-8,999 students)
  • Large (9,000-19,999 students)
  • Very large (more than 20,000 students)
Community
  • Rural
  • Small town
  • Suburban
  • Urban
Location
  • In your hometown
  • Less than 3 hours from home
  • More than 3 hours from home
Housing
  • Dorm
  • Off-campus apartment
  • Home
  • Facilities and services for students with disabilities
Student Body
  • All male
  • All female
  • Coed
Minority representation
  • Primarily one religious denomination
  • Primarily full-time students
  • Primarily part-time students
  • Primarily commuter students
  • Primarily residential students
Academic Environment
Majors offered
Student-faculty ratio
Faculty teaching reputation
Instruction by professors versus teaching assistants
Facilities (such as classrooms and labs)
Libraries
Independent study available
International study available
Internships available
Financial Aid
Scholarships
Grants
Loans
Work-study program
Part-time or full-time jobs
Support Services
Academic counseling
Career/placement counseling
Personal counseling
Student health facilities
Activities/Social Clubs
Clubs, organizations
Greek life
Athletics, intramurals
Scholarships available
Specialized Programs
Honors programs
Services for students with disabilities or special needs

What questions should I ask when I tour a college campus?

Questions to Ask on a Campus Tour

During your campus tour, you need to ask questions as well as look around. Here are some questions to consider asking. Add your own questions at the end of the list. Go over the questions with your parents before your first campus visit so they can be on the lookout for answers, too. After each visit, review the list to see if there are any other questions you might want to add.

NOTE: Read as much as you can about each college or university before you visit. Don't spend time asking questions that are answered in the school's catalog or brochures. You are visiting campuses to get a feeling for the atmosphere of each place—something you can't get from its Web site or catalog.

Questions for the Admissions Office

  • Are the dorms spread throughout the campus or clustered in one area? Is there any kind of shuttle service between classroom areas, the library, the student union, and dorms? How late does it run?
  • Is there any security system to bar outsiders from entering dorms?
  • How large is the campus security police force? Does it patrol the campus regularly?
  • What services are offered by the campus health center? How large is it?
  • Does the student health center refer students to the local hospital? Is there a nearby hospital? How large is it?


Questions for Students

  • How many of your courses are taught by a big-name professor and how many by a teaching assistant?
  • Is the teaching innovative and project-oriented, or is it mostly lecture-oriented?
  • Do most freshmen class lectures take place in an amphitheater?
  • What are the strong majors? The weak majors?
  • How hard do you have to work for your grades?
  • What's the reputation of the _____________ department?
  • How adequate for your needs is the campus computer network?
  • Do fraternities and sororities dominate the social life of the college?
  • What do students do on weekends? Do most go home?
  • How is the advisement system? Do you feel that your professors really care?
  • There are a lot of organizations on campus. Are they dominated by a few groups or is anyone welcome?
  • How active is the _________ [fill in the activity in which you're interested]? Has _________ won any national awards?


Questions to Ask Yourself About the Campus Atmosphere

  • While you were waiting for your interview in the admissions office, how did the staff members interact with students? Were they friendly, or did the staff approach students—both potential freshmen like you and enrolled students—as if they were interfering with the staff members' jobs?
  • Was the Admissions Office a friendly and inviting place with a great deal of information about the school, or was it cold and sterile with little information to pick up?
  • What did your parents find out about the career planning services offered to graduating seniors and to graduates? What do the services include?


About the Student Body

  • Do most of the students seem to be like you, or are they completely different?

Either way, how would you feel being in a classroom full of these students? Sharing a dorm with them?

  • Do the students try to make you feel at home? Are they happy to answer your questions, or do they make you feel like you're intruding? How do they interact with one another?


About the Campus

  • Does the campus seem too big? Or too small?
  • Do freshmen live in their own dorms? How do I feel about living in a single-sex or coed dorm?
  • Are the dorms quiet or noisy? Do they seem crowded?
  • How large are the rooms? Is there adequate space and light to study?
  • Does each room have access to the Internet and the campus LAN?
  • What's advertised on dorm and classroom bulletin boards? What does this tell me about campus life?
  • How good is the lighting around each dorm and around classroom and lab buildings?
  • Do the buildings and grounds look well cared for? Or do they need painting and general repair work?
  • Is the grass cut, and are the grounds landscaped?
  • What's the condition of the playing fields and the sports equipment?
  • How is the quality of the food in the cafeteria or dining hall? How are the sizes of the portions? Is it healthy or fast food? Are there meal plans?


About the Nearby Area

  • Does it look like there is much to do outside of campus?
  • How easy is to get to places off campus? Are there places within walking distance?
  • Do you feel comfortable and safe?
  • Are there places to get extra furniture, like bookcases, for your dorm room?
  • Is there a supermarket nearby to stock up on snacks and soda?
  • If you move out of a dorm after freshman year, what are the options in apartment complexes or buildings?

Pioneer white on Transparent footer

Lampeter-Strasburg School District
1600 Book Rd., Lancaster PA 17602

Phone: 717-464-3311

Fax
Administration Building: 717-464-4699
Lampeter Elementary School: 717-358-1880
Hans Herr Elementary School: 717-509-0300
Martin Meylin Middle School: 717-509-0289
Lampeter-Strasburg High School: 717-509-0485

Email: info@l-spioneers.org

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