- College Visits
- Open Houses
- College Fair
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Financial Aid Resources
- HACC Information
The following colleges will be sending representatives to STHS on the dates indicated to meet with interested juniors and seniors. Any junior or senior may see Mr. Reynolds, the College Advisor, to sign up and get a pass to meet with these college representatives. The student must check in with their teacher before coming to meet with the college reps so they are not marked absent.
All college visits will be held in the noted conference room.
- What is the difference between an Early Decision Deadline and an Early Action Deadline?
- Which colleges are "State-Related" Universities?
- Which colleges are Pennsylvania State Schools?
- Which colleges are considered "Ivy League"?
- What is the difference between a "college" and a "university"?
Early Decision & Early Action
The benefits and drawbacks of applying early
Early decision (ED) and early action (EA) plans can be beneficial to students — but only to those who have thought through their college options carefully and have a clear preference for one institution.
Early decision versus early action
Early decision plans are binding — a student who is accepted as an ED applicant must attend the college. Early action plans are nonbinding — students receive an early response to their application but do not have to commit to the college until the normal reply date of May 1. Counselors need to make sure that students understand this key distinction between the two plans.
Approximately 450 colleges have early decision or early action plans, and some have both. Some colleges offer a nonbinding option called single-choice early action, under which applicants may not apply ED or EA to any other college.
ED plans have come under fire as unfair to students from families with low incomes, since they do not have the opportunity to compare financial aid offers. This may give an unfair advantage to applicants from families who have more financial resources.
- Apply early (usually in November) to first-choice college.
- Receive an admission decision from the college well in advance of the usual notification date (usually by December).
- Agree to attend the college if accepted and offered a financial aid package that is considered adequate by the family.
- Apply to only one college early decision.
- Apply to other colleges under regular admission plans.
- Withdraw all other applications if accepted by ED.
- Send a nonrefundable deposit well in advance of May 1.
- Apply early.
- Receive an admission decision early in the admission cycle (usually in January or February).
- Consider acceptance offer; do not have to commit upon receipt.
- Apply to other colleges under regular admission plans.
- Give the college a decision no later than the May 1 national response date.
Who should apply early?
Applying to an ED or EA plan is most appropriate for a student who:
- Has researched colleges extensively.
- Is absolutely sure that the college is the first choice.
- Has found a college that is a strong match academically, socially and geographically.
- Meets or exceeds the admission profile for the college for SAT® scores, GPA and class rank.
- Has an academic record that has been consistently solid over time.
Applying to an ED or EA plan is not appropriate for a student who:
- Has not thoroughly researched colleges.
- Is applying early just to avoid stress and paperwork.
- Is not fully committed to attending the college.
- Is applying early only because friends are.
- Needs a strong senior fall semester to bring grades up.
Encourage students who want to apply early to fill out NACAC's Early Decision Self-Evaluation Questionnaire, in the Deciding About Early Decision and Early Action handout. You may want to share this with parents as well.
The benefits of applying early
For a student who has a definite first-choice college, applying early has many benefits besides possibly increasing the chance of getting in. Applying early lets the student:
- Reduce stress by cutting the time spent waiting for a decision.
- Save the time and expense of submitting multiple applications.
- Gain more time, once accepted, to look for housing and otherwise prepare for college.
- Reassess options and apply elsewhere if not accepted.
The drawbacks of applying early
Pressure to decide: Committing to one college puts pressure on students to make serious decisions before they've explored all their options.
Reduced financial aid opportunities: Students who apply under ED plans receive offers of admission and financial aid simultaneously and so will not be able to compare financial aid offers from other colleges. For students who absolutely need financial aid, applying early may be a risky option.
Time crunch for other applications: Most colleges do not notify ED and EA applicants of admission until December 15. Because of the usual deadlines for applications, this means that if a student is rejected by the ED college, there are only two weeks left to send in other applications. Encourage those of your students who are applying early to prepare other applications as they wait to receive admission decisions from their first-choice college.
Senioritis: Applicants who learn early that they have been accepted into a college may feel that, their goal accomplished, they have no reason to work hard for the rest of the year. Early-applying students should know that colleges may rescind offers of admission should their senior-year grades drop.
Students and parents can use our Pros and Cons of Applying to College Early, in the Deciding About Early Decision and Early Action handout, to weigh their options.
Does applying early increase the chance of acceptance?
Many students believe applying early means competing with fewer applicants and increasing their chances for acceptance. This is not always true. Colleges vary in the proportion of the class admitted early and in the percentage of early applicants they admit.
Higher admission rates for ED applicants may correlate to stronger profiles among candidates choosing ED. Students should ask the admission office whether their institution's admission standards differ between ED and regular applicants, and then assess whether applying early makes sense given their own profile.
The ethics of applying early decision
The Common Application and some colleges' application forms require the student applying under early decision, as well as the parent and counselor, to sign an ED agreement form spelling out the plan's conditions.
Make it clear in your school handbook and at college planning events that your policy for early-decision applications is to send the student's final transcript to one college only: anything else is unethical.
Keep in mind
- ED and EA program specifics vary, so students should get information as soon as possible directly from the admission staff at their first-choice college.
- ED and EA applicants must take the October SAT or SAT Subject Tests™ in order for these scores to make it to the college in time.
Pennsylvania has four state-related universities:
The term "state-related" applies to universities in Pennsylvania which are statutorily established as an instrumentality of the commonwealth and receive an annual appropriation. Universities are granted "state-related status" either through their initial charters or subsequent legislation.
Each university is responsible for setting its own tuition, fees and related costs of attendance. Costs vary from institution to institution.
PA State Schools
The following universities are what are called the "Pennsylvania State Schools":
- Bloomsburg University of PA
- California University of PA
- Cheyney University of PA
- Clarion University of PA
- East Stroudsburg University of PA
- Edinboro University of PA
- Indiana University of PA
- Kutztown University of PA
- Lock Haven University of PA
- Mansfield University of PA
- Millersville University of PA
- Shippensburg University of PA
- Slippery Rock University of PA
- West Chester University of PA
The 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) universities offer the lowest-cost four-year baccalaureate degree programs in the state. Please visit the PASSHE website at www.passhe.edu for more information about these colleges.
Ivy League Schools
The following colleges are the eight "Ivy League" colleges:
- Brown University: www.brown.edu
- Columbia University: www.columbia.edu
- Cornell University: www.cornell.edu
- Dartmouth College: www.dartmouth.edu
- Harvard University: www.harvard.edu
- Princeton University: www.princeton.edu
- The University of Pennsylvania (also referred to as Penn): www.upenn.edu
- Yale University: www.yale.edu
The Ivy League colleges are a group of eight universities based in the northeastern United States. All eight are private institutions and all are considered among the country's elite schools for academics. The league includes Harvard, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth and Cornell University. The term Ivy League also is used in general to express that which is of exceptional quality.
Seven of the eight Ivy League schools were first established prior to the American Revolution. Cornell is the exception, established in 1865. These seven schools are the oldest in the country, as are Rutgers University and The College of William and Mary, neither of which is officially considered a part of the Ivy League. The oldest college in the nation is Harvard University, founded under the name of New College in 1636. Yale is the second oldest, being founded in 1701.
Ivy League, as a label, originally referred only to the athletic conference of which the eight universities are a part. In fact, the moniker was first used during the 1930s by sportswriters describing the conference's colleges as "Ivy League," meaning that which is overgrown with ivy, or old. Today, athletics still play a part in each of the college programs and rivalries--like that of crew teams from Harvard and Yale, or Princeton versus University of Pennsylvania in basketball--which have existed from the early formation of the league.
Getting accepted into an Ivy League school is no easy task. Thousands of hopeful high school students apply to each of the colleges every year, but most find that acceptance is extraordinarily selective. The highest selection rate can be found at Cornell University, where on average just over 20 percent of applicants are admitted. Those seeking acceptance into Dartmouth have it a little worse, with only about 13 percent accepted, while those hoping to enter the Harvard have it toughest of all, with only about seven percent accepted. Roughly 95 percent of new students finish in the top 10 percent of their classes.
Sarah Dray, eHow Contributor
"College" vs. "University"
Colleges and Universities in the US
In the U.S., the word “college” can refer to any school in the higher Ed universe, from the Big 10 to the two-year community college right in your hometown. Most people think that the university vs. college debate has to do with the size of the campus or student enrollment. While it’s true that there are many U.S. universities that are much larger than colleges, it’s not always the size that matters. What does matter are the resources and programs the school has to offer.
As you may have already learned during your college search, colleges are made up of different academic departments, while universities are made up of different colleges or schools that are separate entities from each other. For example, if you go off to a college, you might declare a major in the Business department. But if you go to a university, such as the very large Texas A & M in College Station, Texas—more than 38,000 undergrads alone!–you will eventually find yourself a student in one of the 10 smaller colleges on campus, like the College of Liberal Arts or the College of Science.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA is very much a university, but since there already is a Boston University, the moniker remains. Also, Depauw University in Greencastle, IN has just around 2,400 students despite having earned university distinction. So does that mean it’s possible to grow from a college into a university? Sure—just ask the good people at Quinnipiac University, known as Quinnipiac College up until 2000.
This explanation is more cut and dry: If you hear a Canadian friend say that he or she is off to university in the fall, it’s not a matter of opting for the bigger word. In Canada, universities are degree-granting institutions, while colleges award only career diplomas and certificates. So while American students group colleges, universities, conservatories, and other degree-granting institutions under the name umbrella term “college,” there is an actual difference in the Great White North.
So there you have it. Should you make a decision based on whether or not your school is a college or university? Absolutely not. Your decision needs to be made based on your own goals and interests, not on whether a school is a college or a university.
Want information about the college search, application and financial aid processes? Join the College Application 101 virtual presentation Tuesday April 5, 2022 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm. Use the QR code below to register.
Continue to use My College Plan, a free resource on planning and paying for college
Financial Aid Night will be held October 27, 2020 at 6:00 PM virtually. To attend webinar, click here. Participants will gain an understanding to the types and sources of aid available to help cover the cost of attendance at post-secondary schools. All students and parents are invited and encouraged to attend, especially current juniors and seniors. Contact Mark Malayao, College & Career Advisor, at email@example.com with any questions.
Attention Seniors: PHEAA has recently updated their YouTube channel with new 2018-2019 information! Go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEyfbADuLmUWLHLJfeSXpPw for information on how to apply for financial aid and complete the FAFSA. Students and families needing additional assistance in these areas are encouraged to visit www.pheaa.org .
Savings Plans, Resources, and How to Apply for Financial Aid :
Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP)
PA-TIP provides need-based awards up to the equivalent of the maximum State Grant award (currently $4,348), or 75% of the student's total direct educational costs after gift aid and employers aid (whichever is less). Awards can be used to cover tuition, books, fees, supplies, and specific living expenses.
Students can apply for the PA-TIP by completing the FAFSA and the PA-TIP application, which is available at www.PHEAA.org/PA-TIP.
To be eligible, a student must meet the following requirements:
Be a Pennsylvania resident.
Have a high school diploma, GED or recognized homeschool certificate.
File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the award year for which PA-TIP funds are being requested.
Complete and return to PHEAA the PA-TIP student application.
Not be in default or pending default on an educational loan.
Not be receiving a Pennsylvania State Grant
Have financial need as determined by the program guidelines and certified by the school
Attend an eligible postsecondary school.
Be enrolled full-time in an eligible program of study that is at least 10 weeks but less than 2 academic years in length.
Supply a copy of the DD214 Form if the applicant is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The schools a student is applying to must meet these criteria:
School and program of study must be federal Title IV eligible and located in Pennsylvania
School must complete and return to PHEAA the PA-TIP institution application and receive approval from PHEAA
Program of study must correspond to the Pennsylvania Department of Education identified Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) codes (available atPHEAA.org/PA-TIP).
Program of study must be at least 10 weeks but less than 2 academic years in length and cannot be eligible for Pennsylvania State Grant
Program of study must not be completed through 100% distance education (online).
Complete and return to PHEAA the PA-TIP school application complete and return for approval a Remote Access Agreement (RAA), if one is not on file, for use of the Business Partner Access Management System (BPAMS).
Complete and return the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Authorization Agreement to receive funds via EFT.
Additional information can be found at http://www.pheaa.org/funding-opportunities/pa-tip/index.shtml?src=mUR
PHEAA Electronic State Grant Form
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) will again be offering an electronic State Grant Form (SGF) for first time State Grant applicants to complete necessary data that is not included on the 2013-14 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Important information is listed below:
When students complete the FAFSA and indicate Pennsylvania residency, they will be offered an optional link on the certification page that will ask if they would like to complete the Pennsylvania State Grant Form as well.
Those who "click through" will be moved directly to the on-line State Grant Form for completion of PHEAA's data elements.
Renewal applicants will receive a message that the SGF is not necessary at this time since we already have their information on file and their session will close.
The FOTW connection to the SGF is only available the first time that a student completes the FAFSA, and is not available through the FOTW corrections process. For students who do not elect to complete the SGF at the same time as the initial FOTW, an email will be generated directing them to Account Access on pheaa.org to complete the SGF. Of course, for students who do not provide a valid email address, we will be communicating to them via U.S. mail. Regardless of which process the student utilizes, the Certification Statement must be signed and mailed to PHEAA to complete the application process. We are working on developing an electronic signature capability but it is not available at this time.
So that you are familiar with the SGF as it is presented to your students, a 2013-14 SGF User's Guide is attached for your review. Remember that you have on-line access to view which of your students have completed a FAFSA. Complete details on how to establish this access was distributed in December. Also attached for your information is the 2013-14 version of the Incomplete Communications Guide and Q&A . Although primarily intended for financial aid administrators, it may assist you in better understanding the messages sent to students who have incomplete applications.
We hope that you will find these materials informative and useful as you assist your students applying for financial aid. If you have any questions concerning this information, please contact State Grant and Special Programs staff at 1-800-443-0646, Option 3, Option 1, a private number reserved for the use of secondary school administrators.
Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities
Guide to Finding Accredited Online Degrees: https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/online-degrees
College Without Debt: https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/debt-free-college
Financial Aid for Veterans
6 Ways to Maximize Your GI Bill Benefits: https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/maximize-gi-bill-benefits/
The GI Bill can be hugely beneficial to veterans who are trying to receive an education. The GI Bill has had 34 changes since 2008. This guide addresses the 6 most important changes that veterans should know about. There is an FAQ section that goes over common questions about the GI Bill and offers additional resources for financial aid specifically geared toward veterans.
HACC has a very good CDL program. This is a good Career Pathway. Click on the links below to learn more
Student Q&A Submission Form (submissions due by December 23, 2020)
IMPORTANT DUAL ENROLLMENT INFORMATION: Effective immediately, HACC has increased the cost of Dual Enrollment courses by $25 per credit hour, which means the cost of a three-credit course (which is everything except phys ed classes), will be raised from $300 to $375. This will affect any student taking a Dual Enrollment course July 1, 2018 and later.
HACC Honors Studies
HACC is currently acceptinig applications for its Honors Studies Program This is a special admissions academic program. Admission to the College does not guarantee admissions into the Honors Studies Program. Applications are rolling, and successful applicants can be admitted to the program at any time.
Core general education subjects in the program will be more intellectually rigorous, and students enrolled in the program will pursue a secondary focus in a field or discipline of their choice. HACC offers close to 200 areas of study, including programs in mathematics and science, communications and social sciences, business and marketing, technology and trades, and allied health.
Students who successfully complete the program will be able to:
- Recognize, interpret and evaluate creative expressions in a variety of artistic, historical, social and cultural frameworks
- Present and support ideas in an organized and effective manner consistent with the intended audience and purpose in both speaking and writing
- Use technology responsibly as a tool for communication and productivity
- Demonstrate effective research skills and information literacy by gathering credible sources and using sources appropriately
- Recognize, apply and relate mathematical and scientific principles, concepts and methodologies to varied experiences and environments
- Identify, assess and address ethical issues in person, social and global contexts
- Employ appropriate leadership styles in a variety of settings
For additional information, visit http://www.hacc.edu/Academics/HonorsProgram/index.cfm, or contact Heather Burns, Director of the Honors Studies Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.