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College Admissions Workshop

The Shaker High School Counseling Department Proudly Brings You A College Admissions Workshop.

Presented by: Katie Szalda, Director of Admissions, Siena College

School Counselors

Mrs. Patricia Russell
Mr. Michael Bruni
Mr. Tony Rivera
Ms. Jackie Looser
Ms. Erin Larkin
Ms. Pamela Birnbach
Mrs. Sharon Anderson


Mr. D. Joseph Corr, Superintendent of Schools
Ms. Kathleen Skeals, Deputy Superintendent
Mr. Richard W. Murphy, Shaker High School Principal
Mr. Brian Spofford, Taft Hall Principal
Mrs. Crystal Fox, LaFollette Hall Principal
Mr. Garrett Couture, Administrative Dean
Mrs. Lauren Sheeler

Table of Contents

  1. College Planning Timetable
  2. Family Connection by Naviance
  3. Internet Resources for College Planning/Admissions Testing/Financial Aid
  4. College Admissions Testing: Frequently Used Terms
  5. Admissions Terms and Processes
  6. SAT Review Class at Shaker High School & Free Online Resource

College Planning Timetable

9th and 10th Grade

  • Study Habits
  • Strong Academic Program
  • Grades
  • Join Clubs or Extracurricular Activities to Explore Interests
  • Career/College Exploration (begin using Naviance: Family Connection): Attend the Spring Naviance Evening Workshop to learn more about the program

11th Grade

  • PSAT in October
  • SAT Reasoning Test in March, May, or June
  • SAT Subject Test(s) in March, May, or June (required of some selective colleges)
  • ACT in April or June
  • Athletes planning on playing Division I or II register for the NCAA Clearinghouse
  • Attend SHS Junior Workshop for students on post high school planning
  • Attend SHS Junior Night during the spring semester to learn more about post high school options
  • Investigate College/Careers
  • Attend a College Fair
  • Visit Campuses during Winter, Spring, and Summer Vacations

12th Grade

  • SAT Reasoning Test in October or November
  • SAT Subject Test(s) in October or November
  • Attend senior workshop and sign up for individual senior meeting
  • ACT in September or October
  • Fall: CASDA College Fair/College Visits, College Applications, College Open Houses, SHS Financial Aid Evening Workshop, Financial Aid Applications
  • Winter/Spring: Acceptance Notifications, Deposits due by May 1st

Welcome to Naviance Student

Shaker High School is pleased to introduce Naviance Student, a web-based program designed to empower students to create their own path towards academic and personal success.

  • Naviance Student is a comprehensive program that students (and parents) can use to help make decisions about colleges and careers. Use the personality inventory to match careers and/or college majors with individual interests and aptitudes; research more than 1,000 careers possibilities; complete an extensive college search; compare actual historical data with individual GPA/standardized test scores to help develop a realistic list of prospective colleges.
  • Naviance Student encourages high school students to get involved in the planning and advising process – build a resume, brainstorm options for the future, and manage timelines and deadlines for making decisions about colleges and careers.
  • An outstanding communication tool, Naviance Student makes it easy for the Counseling Department to keep students and parents informed on a daily basis about upcoming counseling events, scholarship opportunities, college visitors, etc.
  • Through Naviance, the Counseling Department is able to track and analyze a variety of data. This feature helps to streamline the college application process, while allowing counselors to generate detailed reports that can be shared with students, parents and school personnel.

Log on* today by clicking here.

*All students have been given a password. Please stop into the Counseling Department if you do not have your password or have forgotten it.

Internet Resources

College/Career Planning

SAT/ACT Information

  • College Board Online
    • College Board Online includes College Board standardized tests, programs and online registration, a “Test Question of the Day,” a searchable database of colleges, financial aid information, career planning information, and more.
  • ACT
    • This site provides a wealth of information about the ACT test as well as an opportunity to register on-line.

Student Financial Aid

  • United States Department of Education’s FAFSA on the Web
    • Families may use this site to complete and submit directly over the Internet the FAFSA Application for Federal Student Aid, which is a FREE application. Required for all applicants seeking aid
  • CSS Profile
    • Provides colleges with more detailed information than appears on the FAFSA form. Required by some colleges
  • Fastweb
    • Students may register for scholarship information at Fastweb. It is one of the Internet’s largest free scholarship search sites.
  • FinAid: The Financial Aid Information Page
    • This page (sponsored by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) and provides links to many sources of information about student financial aid. It also includes a Scholarship Scam Alert.
  • NYS Excelsior Scholarship
    • The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows eligible students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free.

College Applications

  • Common Admissions Application
    • Application form is completed once and submitted to hundreds of participating colleges, including most SUNY schools.
  • SUNY Website
    • Detailed information on each college and university within the SUNY system. Please note: The Shaker High School Counseling Department recommends using the Common Admissions Application when applying to participating SUNY schools.

Frequently Used Terms

College Admissions Testing

The following list of definitions and explanations should serve as a handy reference of the many terms and often-used abbreviations in the college admission process. Colleges vary in their emphasis on standardized tests, but surveys regularly reveal that admission officers consider your test scores to be the second-most important piece of information you submit. Remember that test requirements vary among colleges.

The College Board

A nonprofit organization governed by college and secondary school members. The College Board is the oversight agency for many tests and services connected with the college admission process, including the SAT.

PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test)

The PSAT/ NMSQT is a practice test, designed to prepare juniors for the SAT. Further, it is used in the selection of the top scholars in the country for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s (NMSC) scholarship programs. PSAT scores are not usually used by colleges as admission criteria. Like the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT will measure the skills and knowledge that are essential for college readiness and success.

SAT Reasoning Test

This test is usually taken in the junior year and again in the senior year and is a required test for admission to many colleges. It tests your knowledge of reading, writing and math — subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms. The SAT will report a composite score that will be the sum of two area scores: (1) Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and (2) Math. The SAT composite score will be reported on a scale ranging from 400 to 1600. The Essay is optional and scores will be reported separately and not factored into the composite score.

SAT Subject Tests

SAT Subject Tests are administered in a variety of academic subjects and are designed to test the level of knowledge of a student in particular academic disciplines in relation to other students throughout the country.

AP (Advanced Placement Tests)

Designed for strong students who have completed college work in high school. AP’s are given in specific subject areas and are used in determining whether or not a student may gain advanced standing in college.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

The TOEFL, a computer-based test, is designed for students for whom English is not a native language and whose scores on SAT would obviously be affected by the language difference. Generally, students take TOEFL in addition to other standardized testing such as SAT or ACT.

The American College Testing Program

A nonprofit organization that designs and administers tests for college admission and course placement and provides programs for college searches, online application and financial-aid estimates.


The ACT includes four curriculum-based tests prepared by the ACT, Inc. ACT scores are used throughout the country by college and university admission offices. The multiple-choice tests measure your skills in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1 (low) to 36 (high), and the four tests are also averaged to provide a composite score. The ACT also has an optional writing component.

Admissions Terms and Process

Regular Decision

Students submit an application by a specified date and receive a decision in a clearly stated period of time.

Rolling Admission

Institutions review applications as they are submitted and render admission decisions throughout the admission cycle, which is year round. They will typically return decisions within a few weeks after all materials are submitted.

Early Action (EA)

Students apply early and receive a decision well in advance of the institution’s regular response date. Early Action allows the accepted candidates until May 1 to accept or decline the offer of admissions. This is the NON-BINDING option for applying early. IMPORTANT NOTE: There are several variations of early action at different colleges. Read the literature of each college carefully; ask questions if you do not understand the program entirely.

Restrictive Early Action (REA)

Students apply to an institution of preference and receive a decision early. They may be restricted from applying ED or EA or REA to other institutions. If offered enrollment, they have until May 1 to confirm.

Early Decision (ED)

Students make a commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted, they definitely will enroll. The application deadline and decision deadline occur early in the fall. Decisions are rendered to early decision applicants usually by mid December. If not accepted under early decision, a student is usually reconsidered for admission later in the senior year. A student should not apply to more than one college under an early decision plan since this is the BINDING option for applying early.

Common Application

Allows a student to fill out one application (the Common Application) and copy the application and recommendation forms for filing at more than one college, which can save the applicant a lot of time. You can use Naviance to see if a school uses the common application or ask your counselor. The application form is available online here, where you can submit your applications electronically.

Deferred Admission

Many colleges offer an opportunity for a student who has been admitted to delay or defer enrollment for a year or a semester. A deposit is often required by the college to hold a place in the next entering class, and it is the college’s right to expect the student to be able to account for the time spent between graduation from high school and actual matriculation at the college. The student who defers admission to a college cannot attend another college during the time off, unless the college is notified in advance and agrees to the plan.

Wait List

This is an admission decision option utilized by institutions to protect against shortfalls in enrollment. By placing a student on the wait list, an institution does not initially offer or deny admission, but extends to a candidate the possibility of admission in the future, before the institution’s admission cycle is concluded.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Familiarize yourself with each college’s requirements. Talk with your counselor and ask questions if you don’t understand the program completely.

SAT Review Class at Shaker High School

This class is offered in preparation for the SAT exam twice a year; once in the fall and once in the spring. The class will address the verbal and math sections of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT Reasoning Exam) and will review vocabulary, analogies, reading comprehension, and math. Students will be exposed to test-taking strategies and will work on practice questions. Each session will consist of one hour each of English and math preparation. In order to maximize benefits of these classes, students are expected to attend all sessions and complete weekly assignments.

Fee: $99.00 (includes text)
Length: 10 classes, 2 hours each session

Contact the office of Continuing Education at 785-5989 for more information.

Free Online Resource: Kahn Academy