Planning, Applying & Paying for College

Where should you begin in College Planning & Exploration?

College Planning Guides

PDF DocumentA Guide for Families in the College Admissions Process, from the National Association of College Admissions Counselors

PDF DocumentStep by Step Guide on College Awareness and Planning for 9th & 10th grade, from the National Association of College Admissions Counselors

PDF DocumentStep by Step Guide on College Awareness and Planning for 11th & 12th grade, from the National Association of College Admissions Counselors


College Research & Exploration Resources

Xello   

Xello Login BadgeLog-in with your BRK email and password

Virtual College Fairs

Fall 2020 NACAC Virtual College FairsExternal Link

Virtual Campus Tours

College Admissions Counselors

  • Most colleges have admissions counselors assigned to specific states, counties, etc.  
  • Call, email, or connect with admissions counselors assigned to BHS

Search engines and websites


Recommended Reading

External LinkImportant Preparing for College Tips
External Link"Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be"
External Link"College Is Yours 2.0"
External Link"Colleges That Change Lives"
External Link"Looking Beyond the Ivy League"

Managing Test Stress for Juniors and their Parents: Test Planning during a Pandemic

Missed our LIVE Virtual event on 1/19/21?

Check out our presentation here 


COVID-19 UPDATE: Test-optional information

Please Don't Test, Jon Boeckenstedt, Oregon State University 07.24.20 

MI College Access Network College COVID-19 Response Guide
Listing of Michigan colleges' standardized testing requirements and campus tour information for Fall 2020.  Updated monthly.

"Test Optional Means Test Optional", National Association of College Admissions Counselors
List of colleges with test-optional policies in place affirm that they will not penalize students for the absence of a standardized test score. 


COVID-19 UPDATE: SAT exams

Please check External LinkCollege Board Coronavirus Updates for the latest information.


COVID-19 UPDATE: ACT exams

Please check the External LinkACT website for COVID-19 updates.


ACT & SAT Information

The BHS Counseling Department gets questions every day from parents and students about whether students should take the ACT or the SAT and when. Here are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions along with some recommendations.

Do Colleges want me to take the SAT or ACT?

Most (not all) colleges and universities require students to officially submit either an ACT OR SAT score as part of their application. The vast majority of colleges and universities do not have a preference whether students submit an ACT or SAT score.  They will accept either/or and students do not have to submit both. Therefore, it is up to the student to decide which test to take and which to submit.

Over the years a student in the Berkley School District has had exposure and practice with the SAT via PSAT experiences.  Each student is provided a free, official SAT as part of the standardized tests required of juniors each year. Students do not have to sign up for or pay for this particular test in April of their junior year.  However, many students take an official test before April of their junior year.

The Counseling Department recommends students take either an ACT or SAT prior to April, if possible.  Which means – students have to register for an ACT or SAT (outside of the April test) on their own.

Can I still take the ACT?

If students still want to take the ACT or take the SAT outside of the one, free test offered at school – they will need to sign up for and pay to take another test independently by visiting the ACT or SAT websites directly.

It is the recommendation of the counseling department that students take one of each exam during their junior year (or prior) to see which test is better suited to them. Because students typically take the exam more than one time, signing up in the Summer of sophomore year or any time junior year is best.

How do I sign up for the ACT or SAT?

Visit the testing websites directly:
External LinkACT Registration & Information
External LinkSAT Registration & Information

If I register for the ACT, will I still receive accommodations?

If you receive accommodations in the school setting and have a 504 Plan or IEP and is taking the ACT outside of the school setting for the first time this year, please contact your counselor directly and they will help you with explaining how the accommodated testing works for the first time.

Is there assistance in the registration fee?

If your family receives assistance via the Free/Reduced lunch program or is experiencing financial difficulties, please contact your child’s counselor to inquire about a fee waiver.


 ACT and SAT Test Dates

ACT & SAT Test Dates 2020-2021

PDF DocumentView ACT and SAT test dates for the 2020-2021 school year (printable)


 Registration for ACT and SAT:

External LinkRegister here for the ACT
External LinkRegister here for the SAT


Test Preparation Links and Resources:

PDF DocumentACT/SAT Free Test Prep Passes to The Tutoring Center in Birmingham
External LinkSAT Prep - Khan Academy
PDF DocumentACT Test Prep Services

Paying for College Basics

Guides and Information

PDF DocumentFinancial Aid checklist for Senior Year
PDF DocumentFederal Student Aid At-A-Glance (2019-2020)
PDF DocumentAffording College in Michigan Guidebook (2019-2020)
PDF DocumentState of Michigan Financial Aid At-A-Glance (2019-2020)
External LinkSallie Mae video series on Paying for College process
Video DocumentView the recorded Funding Education Beyond High School presentation from Financial Aid Expert with PDF DocumentPresentation Outline


Filling out the FASFA

Start completing the FAFSA on October 1st!

3 Simple steps:

  1. External LinkCreate an FSA ID and record onPDF DocumentFSA ID and FAFSA Instructional Handout
  2. External LinkGather relevant documents using the FAFSA Checklist 
  3. External LinkBegin the FAFSA

Need help with the FAFSA?

 Schedule a Virtual FAFSA Appointment with a Financial Aid expert!

Virtual FAFSA Appointments are available to assist high school seniors and their parents complete the FAFSA with professional assistance on an individual basis in a private webinar environment. Appointments are private and secure. Virtual appointments take place online from the comfort of your own home or other location you choose. You will receive a private link to your personal webinar environment after signing up for a virtual appointment. These appointments are free and available to the public.

  • Prior to your appointment please review the External LinkFAFSA Checklist for a list of items necessary to complete the FAFSA. 
  • Students and parents should each create an FSA ID at least one week prior to completing the FAFSA. External LinkCreate an FSA ID now
  • Use the External LinkFSA ID Worksheet to record related information for your files. 

 Video Tutorials:

Video DocumentHow to Create an FSA ID video to learn the steps necessary in creating the FSA ID
Video Document7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA video series to learn more about the application.

FAFSA help line: 

Call Oakland University's Financial Aid Help line at (248) 370-2550


Filling out the CSS Profile

Do the colleges you are applying to require an institutional aid application or the CSS Profile? 

The following colleges, universities, and scholarship programs use CSS Profile as part of their financial aid process for some or all of their financial aid applicants in the populations listed below. Please check schools’ websites or contact the institution for more information.

Please click here to start the CSS Profile.


Understanding Financial Aid Award Letters

External LinkHow to read Financial Aid offers
External LinkUnderstanding Award Letters resource
PDF DocumentFinancial Aid Award Letter Comparison Worksheet

Scholarship Resources & Information 

Scholarship Tips

PDF DocumentApplying for Private Scholarships tips


Scholarship Search Engines

Check out the following scholarship search engines!  Create an account, complete a questionnaire and a list of scholarships you are eligible to apply for will be generated.

External LinkMI Student Aid Scholarship Finder
External LinkU.S. Dept. of Labor Career One Stop Scholarship Finder
External LinkScholarships.com
External LinkFastWeb
External LinkBig Future
External LinkScholar Snapp (recommended to use if applying to colleges via Common App)
External LinkGoing Merry


Micro-Scholarships using RaiseMe! 

External LinkRaiseMe is a platform that helps students prepare for college by earning scholarships for their achievements in high school. Over 250 colleges and universities award micro-scholarships for both academics and extracurricular activities through the partnership with RaiseMe.  Check out PDF Documentthis poster with some impressive RaiseMe stats!

External LinkJoin the Berkley High School page at RaiseMe!


Where else can I look for Scholarships? 

  1. BHS Counseling Department Newsletter (available every Monday!) and Counseling Office in Schoology (All things College folder --> Scholarships)
  2. Check scholarship webpages on college/universities websites.  They often have additional scholarships outside of the merit scholarships that are usually awarded based on a student's admissions application.
  3. Ask family members to check if employers, civic clubs, places of worship, etc. offer scholarship opportunities.
  4. Check national and state professional associations or organizations of the career field or profession you intend to pursue.

 Click here to view our school profile, which includes information and statistics regarding BHS courses, student opportunities, AP classes, college admissions testing scores, etc. 

For a printable copy, please view BHS Profile for 2020-2021PDF Documentschool year

BHS Counseling Department News

View Archives
February 22, 2021
BHS Counseling Department News
Volume 58

 Welcome Back In-Person Students!  

What's inside...

  • BHS Hybrid/Cohort calendar for Semester 2  
  • BHS Counseling Department In-Person Protocol
  • BHS Virtual College Fair is March 1st
  • Oakland Technical Early College Virtual Info Nights March 9th, 11th, 17th
  • Anxiety Support Group for Teens
  • I Matter Virtual Event for teen girls on March 13th 
  • Perry Virtual Experience for March
  • CollegeBoard to discontinue SAT Subject Tests and SAT Essay portion after June 2021
  • How students can check their PSAT scores
  • BHS NHS Induction Info
  • Class of 2021 Community Service Cord documentation due March 5th
  • OU Online Spring Break Enrichment Program March 29th-April 1st
  • Oakland County Summer Jobs
  • Plum Hollow Country Club is hiring caddies - apply before March 31st
  • Birmingham Country Club is hiring caddies - register before April 1st
  • City of Pleasant Ridge Summer Employment application is due April 12th
  • Signet Golf Associates is hiring (18 yo and older)
  • Oakland Schools Guest Speaker on February 24th
  • Oakland Schools Career Readiness Family Expo is March 23rd
  • MI Student Aid Virtual College Financial Aid Nights (Tuesdays & Thursdays in February)
  • Scholarships for Seniors in the Counseling Office in Schoology! 
  • Michigan Rehabilitation Services Virtual Info Meeting February 22nd
  • Late Registration Deadline for AP Exams is February 26th
  • Resources for Parents: How to feel less groggy and more energized in the morning, Attendance in MISTAR, Grades in Schoology
  • Meeting with your Counselor
  • Ways to stay connected & informed!
February 8, 2021
BHS Counseling Department News
Volume 57

What's inside...

  • Asynchronous Day this week is Friday!
  • BHS Hyrbid/Cohort calendar for Semester 2  
  • CollegeBoard to discontinue SAT Subject Tests and SAT Essay portion after June 2021
  • How students can check their PSAT scores
  • BHS NHS Induction Info
  • Oakland ACE Early College Program app is open! (current 10th graders only)
  • Class of 2021 Community Service Cord documentation due March 5th
  • OU Online Spring Break Enrichment Program March 29th-April 1st
  • City of Pleasant Ridge Summer Employment application is due April 12th
  • Signet Golf Associates is hiring (18 yo and older)
  • Local insurance office is hiring!
  • OCC Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Program Info Session on February 10th
  • UDM Nursing School Virtual Info Session on February 15th
  • Oakland Schools Guest Speaker on February 24th
  • Oakland Schools Career Readiness Family Expo is March 23rd
  • MI Student Aid Virtual College Financial Aid Nights (Tuesdays & Thursdays in February)
  • Scholarships for Seniors in the Counseling Office in Schoology
  • Michigan Rehabilitation Services Virtual Info Meeting February 22nd
  • Late Registration Deadline for AP Exams is February 26th
  • Society of Women Engineers Youth Program (SWENext)
  • Resources for Parents: Raising Confident, Independent Children, Attendance in MISTAR, Grades in Schoology
  • Meeting with your Counselor
  • Ways to stay connected & informed!
February 1, 2021
BHS Counseling Department News
Volume 56

What's inside...
Happy National School Counseling Week!2021NSCW.jpg (3300×2550)

  • BHS Hyrbid/Cohort calendar for Semester 2
  • Winter Gear Drive this week!  
  • CollegeBoard to discontinue SAT Subject Tests and SAT Essay portion after June 2021
  • Oakland ACE Early College Program app is open! (current 10th graders only)
  • Local insurance office is hiring!
  • Dairy Queen in Berkley is hiring!
  • Birmingham Family YMCA is hiring!
  • Scholarships for Seniors in the Counseling Office in Schoology! 
  • OCC Manufacturing Pre-Apprenticeship Program Info Session on February 10th
  • MI Student Aid Virtual College Financial Aid Nights (Tuesdays & Thursdays in February)
  • Michigan Rehabilitation Services Virtual Info Meeting February 22nd
  • Late Registration Deadline for AP Exams is February 26th
  • Society of Women Engineers Youth Program (SWENext)
  • Resources for Parents: Oakland County Health Network Youth Screening Tool, Attendance in MISTAR, Grades in Schoology
  • Meeting with your Counselor
  • Ways to stay connected & informed!