Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I get to see a college counselor if my child is not a junior or senior?
Just call for an appointment. Although it is true that we start the formal college search process with Junior Seminar, parents are welcome to call any of the counselors and ask questions or make an appointment to visit about the process.
2. When should my son or daughter take and ACT or SAT test?
The logical time to start testing is upon completion of Algebra II as all entrance exams include Algebra II problems. As a Junior Seminar assignment we require that students bring a registration ticket for one of these exams. In this way we are assured that the testing process has started. Once the college counselor has been assigned, he or she will go over the student’s plan for further testing.
3. How many colleges will we need to apply to in order to be assured of a successful search?
The average Holland Hall senior applies to five schools. Success is assured only when the student has applied to a range of schools.
4. Isn’t it true that my child would be better off taking easier courses and making a higher grade point average than risking the more difficult classes?
Every college or university with which we deal says the same thing when asked this question. They want to see the student take the most challenging college preparatory level class the student can succeed in. They are unanimous in the opinion that challenging classes better prepare students for the rigor of college. They are given our course list and always ask us to designate which are our most challenging classes.
5. If I attended another high school before coming to Holland Hall how do I get my courses added to my Holland Hall transcript?
Holland Hall’s transcript reflects only what is taught at Holland Hall. If you “bring in” course work from another school, that school’s transcript is included, along with your Holland Hall transcript, in all your college applications. You will be responsible for providing the College Counseling office with several copies of transcripts from your former school.
6. I don’t think our family will qualify for financial aid for college; should I apply anyway?
Most colleges will encourage you to apply. It is always worth trying particularly if you have more than one student in college at a time. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available on line in January of the year your child will go to college.
7. Is it true that my child will not be able to go to a good school if he or she does not have a 3.0 grade point average?
A 3.0 gpa is generally thought of as a cut off for many colleges. There are, however, many schools that accept students with lesser gpa’s. Remember that there are 3,500 colleges and universities in the United States, many of which are willing to take students “where they are” and give them a good post secondary education.
8. Why do Holland Hall college counselors view college-ranking systems in such a poor light?
The college that receives that most applications annually or the college whose applicants have the highest test scores may not be the best fit for your son or daughter. Colleges have specific programs, professors, facilities, majors and locations that make them right for the particular student. The variables upon which colleges are being ranked across the board do not allow for the uniqueness of each particular school. Colleges have special attributes just like our students have special attributes – attributes that do not lend themselves to ranking.
9. How many extracurricular activities must my child be involved in to have the best chance of getting into our first choice college?
Colleges repeatedly tell us that it is not the number of activities that matters. It is the depth of commitment that counts. Admission offices would rather students be involved in something they care deeply about or are genuinely interested in rather than amassing activities for the sake of a resume.
10. How do I get a head start on the college application process?
College Boot Camp each August is the best “leg up” we can offer. Only for rising Seniors, College Boot Camp offers students the opportunity complete their Common Application, polish a personal statement and fine tune their resume before school starts.