Planning, Applying & Paying for College

Class of 2021 Senior Planning Meetings

Fall is a busy time for seniors!  We want to meet with each senior individually to discuss senior year and plans for the future (college, career, military, work, gap year, etc).

Click on your counselor's name to book your senior meeting!  Make sure you fill out the Google Form after you make your appointment. (You will automatically be taken to the form after you submit your booking).

WHERE TO START? Planning, Research, & Exploration

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 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"

Writing College Essays

ACT & SAT Information, Registration, & Test Prep

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. 


Registration for the 2020-21 SAT administrations will open the week of May 26th.

  • At that point, June registrants will be able to transfer their seat to a 2020-21 administration.
  • All other students in the high school class of 2021 who don't have SAT scores will also have early access to register for the August, September, and October administrations.
    • This includes the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5 and a new administration in September 26.
    • This includes students who had registered for March or May and had their registrations canceled and refunded.

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


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.

Registration for ACT and SAT:

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

Test Preparation Links & Resources:

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

HOW TO PAY FOR IT? Financial Aid Resources & Information

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 FAFSA?

 Virtual FAFSA Appointment 

External LinkSchedule 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

Understanding Financial Aid Award Letters

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

HOW TO PAY FOR IT? Scholarship Resources & Information

Scholarship Resources & Information 

Scholarship Tips

PDF DocumentApplying for Private Scholarships tips

BHS Scholarship List

Visit the Google SheetBHS Scholarship List for a compilation of state, local, and national scholarships!  Updated regularly!

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 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. 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.
  2. Ask family members to check if employers, civic clubs, places of worship, etc. offer scholarship opportunities.
  3. Check national and state professional associations or organizations of the career field or profession you intend to pursue.

Berkley High School Profile, Course Information & Statistics

 Please 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 downloadable copy, please view BHS Profile for 2020-2021PDF Documentschool year

Upcoming Virtual College Fairs & Admissions Rep Visits!

Virtual Colleges Fairs

Attend the NACAC Virtual College Fairs this Fall!

College Admissions Rep Visits

Meeting the college admissions representative for a school you are interested in applying to can be very helpful during the application process.  Especially if a school visiting is one of your first choices, introducing yourself to the representative can go a long way! 

  • Check the  BHS College Rep Visit calendar for a full list of colleges visiting with BHS students virtually. 
  • Below is the list of colleges and universities who are hosting virtual visits with BHS students this month! 
    • Please click on the college name to view sign up and/or virtual meeting links!

BHS College Admissions Rep Virtual Visits!

BHS Counseling Department News

View Archives
September 14, 2020
BHS Counseling Department News
Volume 38

What's inside...

  • Meeting with your Counselor & Senior meetings
  • AP Exam Registration deadline is October 26th
  • College Admission Reps Virtual Visits
  • Barnard College Prep Series
  • Harvard, Princeton, UVA, Wellesley, Yale Virtual Info Meeting
  • Weekly Online Learning Tip!
  • Resources for Parents
  • Ways to stay connected & informed
September 9, 2020
BHS Counseling Department News
Volume 37

What's inside...

  • Meeting with your Counselor & Senior meetings
  • Class of 2021 Senior Parent Meeting on Sept. 14th
  • College Admission Reps Virtual Visits
  • Virtual College Fairs
  • Harvard, Princeton, UVA, Wellesley, Yale Virtual Info Meeting
  • Weekly Online Learning Tip!
  • Resources for Parents
  • Ways to stay connected & informed
September 3, 2020
BHS Counseling Department News
Volume 36

What's inside...

Welcome Back BHS Students and Families!

  • BHS Student Wellness Survey
  • Meeting with your Counselor & Senior meetings
  • Class of 2021 Senior Parent Meeting on Sept. 14th
  • Virtual College Fairs
  • Weekly Online Learning Tip!
  • Resources for Parents
  • Ways to stay connected & informed