Staying on Course for College and Career during COVID-19

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Oct 21, 2020 11:04:43 AM

COVID-19 has been an education game-changer.

COVID-19 has rocked our world as educators. Schools have closed, in-person classes and activities have pivoted to virtual or hybrid, and as we struggle to keep up, we worry about our students falling behind. We’re proud to provide consistently updated information on COVID-19 resources for Texas educators. We recognize that your students are becoming more independent and tech-savvy during the pandemic and are managing their time and education from home in many cases. Keeping them on track for postsecondary success is a top priority.

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Topics: College Planning, Educators, Coronavirus, Distance Counseling, Distance Learning

COVID-19 Update: What to Expect from the TSIA2

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Oct 20, 2020 3:29:03 PM

Earlier this week, we hosted a webinar in partnership with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on the TSIA2. We know this is a topic that y’all have a lot of questions about. Nearly 1,000 people registered for the webinar and 500 joined live! We’ll quickly summarize some key differences with the new assessment here. 

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Topics: Applying to College, College Planning, High School, Entrance Exams

Financial Aid Basics for Counselors: What You Need to Know about the FAFSA, TASFA, and More

Posted by Thema Reed, Texas OnCourse on Oct 20, 2020 11:42:31 AM

Thinking about paying for college can seem like a big task for high school students and their families. After all, the average college cost has increased more than 25% in the last 10 years. Luckily, students have more financial aid opportunities now than ever before.

It’s important for high school counselors to understand the impacts of rising student debt. They should also note the different avenues that students have to pay for college to reduce student loans. Applications like the FAFSA, TASFA, and CSS Profile can seem overwhelming, but the benefit for eligible students can be huge.

In this guide, we'll include links to additional articles, webinars, videos, and other resources. And don’t forget to refer to the ultimate source for all postsecondary planning information for professionals: the Texas OnCourse Academy.

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Topics: Finances, Educators, High School, Financial Aid

Webinar: Understanding the TSIA2

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Oct 19, 2020 4:34:14 PM

The release of the Texas Success Initiative Assessment 2.0 will change college readiness benchmarks across the state. In our October 2020 webinar, we provided updates on the TSIA2 from experts at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. 

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Topics: Webinar, Applying to College, High School, Entrance Exams

Everything Educators Need to Know about College Planning

Posted by Texas OnCourse on Oct 19, 2020 2:20:49 PM

Many of your students are likely considering college as part of their postsecondary trajectory. There are a lot of different ways for your students to attend college. They could be interested in any combination of two-year, four-year, public, private, nonprofit, or for-profit institutions in either a residential or commuting experience. This article will walk you through the basics of college planning so that you’re prepared to support any student on any college pathway. We include links to additional articles, webinars, videos, and other resources. And don’t forget to refer to the ultimate source for all postsecondary planning information for professionals: the Texas OnCourse Academy.

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Topics: College Planning, Educators, High School

COVID-19 Update: Scholarships

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Oct 14, 2020 4:32:53 PM

With National Scholarship Month just around the corner, we’ve started getting some questions about how COVID-19 will impact scholarships.

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Topics: College Planning, Coronavirus, High School, Financial Aid

How to Adjust Your FAFSA Strategy due to COVID-19

Posted by Leader Fellow Alum Holly Moore on Oct 13, 2020 4:06:47 PM

When we heard that Texas OnCourse leader fellow alum Holly Moore increased her campus’ FAFSA completion by a whopping 21% in 2017–2018, we had to learn more! We interviewed her about her process and what she did differently than the year before. Holly is now a college counselor at Uplift Grand Preparatory but made this incredible progress while she was at Grand Prairie ISD in 2017. There were approximately 2,400 students at her school, and she worked with approximately 720 seniors each year.

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Topics: Finances, Educators, Coronavirus, Financial Aid

Seven Steps to Requesting SAT Accomodations

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Oct 9, 2020 3:34:52 PM

Students with disabilities may face more obstacles than their peers during the college application process. The College Board offers test accommodations to help students with disabilities obtain the same opportunities for higher education as other students.

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Topics: Applying to College, College Planning, Educators, High School, Entrance Exams

Academic Undermatch by Socioeconomic Status

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Oct 9, 2020 3:16:47 PM

Academic undermatch occurs when students would qualify academically for admittance to a college or university that is more selective than the alternative they choose. For example, a student would be academically undermatched if their achievements permitted them to attend Harvard, but the student chose to attend a local community college or not attend college at all. Assisting students with building a well-balanced and comprehensive college list plays an important role in avoiding academic undermatch. Research shows academic undermatch as a potential source of low and stagnant college completion rates, and low-income students are more likely to undermatch. 

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Topics: Applying to College, College Planning, Educators, High School

Early Action vs. Regular Decision: How to Choose

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Oct 9, 2020 2:52:08 PM

When preparing students and their families to complete college applications, one of the most important aspects is to help them understand the various types of admission options that are available. A student's selected colleges may offer the following admission options: Early Action (EA) I or II, Early Decision (ED) I or II, Restrictive Early Action (REA), and Regular Decision I or II. Review and share the following document to help your students learn more about each option.

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Topics: College Planning, Educators, High School