Planning, Applying & Paying for College

Information, Resources, and Materials

 How to Normalize the College Search Process for Juniors, NY Times 06.03.20
The class of 2021 is missing spring grades, ACT and SAT scores and the chance to take campus tours. Here’s expert advice on what to do.

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.

BHS Counseling Department presentations on the College Application Process

Let The Journey Begin!

If you are wondering if there are things you should be thinking about during our time away from school and into the summer - wonder no more! 

Please take the time to review our different presentations below:

  1. External LinkApplying to College Overview: The College Application Process, Part I
  2. External LinkApplications 101: The College Application Process, Part II
  3. External LinkNavigating The Common Application
  4. External LinkA Guide to College Essay Writing
  5. External LinkMindfulness & The College Application Process


    Class of 2021 Google Classroom Code  Important Preparing for College Tips

Financial Aid Night Information

Weren't able to login to the April 28th LIVE Financial Aid event?

Two options for online presentations are still available:

Handouts from the presentation also available for download:
PDF DocumentPresentation Outline
PDF DocumentFSA ID and FAFSA Instructional Handout
PDF DocumentFederal Student Aid At-a-Glance

Accommodations in the College Setting

Weren't able to login to the April 30th LIVE Wayne State event?

Here are all of the materials that were shared, including slides and audio recording.

Powerpoint DocumentAccommodations in the College Setting Presentation Slides 
Video DocumentAccommodations in the College Setting Presentation Recording
PDF DocumentDifferences Between High School & College Accommodation Plans

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.

College Planning, Research, & Exploration

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

Recommended Books and Reading

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"

Applying to College

College Application Requirement Basics

College Application Requirement Basics

College Application TimelineCollege Application timeline

Free College Advising Hotline - MI College Access Network

MCAN College Advising Hotline

ACT & SAT Information, Registration, & Test Prep


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

Financial Aid Resources & Information

Financial Aid & 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
PDF DocumentPaying for College Night Presentation from Financial Aid Expert

Filling out the FASFA

You can start External Linkcompleting the FAFSA on October 1st!

3 Simple steps:

  1. External LinkCreate an FSA ID and record onExternal LinkFSA ID Worksheet
  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 College or University 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 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 (PDF Documentrecommended 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.

BHS Counseling Department News

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