Parent Guide

  • This contains information and suggestions for assisting your son or daughter at each grade level. It is very important that you ALSO attend each grade level and financial aid evening program (see Evening Programs on College Website for dates in addition to the calendar) for specific information on the college process.

    9th Grade
    This is the first year of the high school transcript. The freshmen year is full of transitions. It is important that the freshmen acquire good study skills and do as well as they are capable in EVERY class they take in high school. EVERY semester grade will be on the transcript and viewed by colleges during the application process senior year.

    What role do parents play in the process for helping their child prepare for college?

    1. Set high expectations for your son or daughter. Let them know you expect their best effort in the classroom. This includes completion of all assignments on time, excellent attendance, and responsible behavior. Obtain access to their grades by contacting in the main office.
    2. Monitor academic progress. Attend Open House and parent-­teacher conferences. Make sure that you see all report cards. Email teachers if you think your child is having difficulty. Encourage your teen to seek help if they are not performing well in a course.
    3. Encourage involvement in extracurricular activities and start a college resume. Participation in extracurricular activities will help your child develop his/her interests and talents, social skills, and leadership opportunities. Activities outside of school, such as scouts, church, etc. are also beneficial. Community service is not a graduation requirement but is an opportunity to pursue individual interests. Extracurricular activities, community service and leadership enhance any college or scholarship application.
    4. Review your child’s four-­year plan in the spring to be sure they selected appropriate courses for sophomore year.
    5. Help your child choose meaningful summer activities. Summer jobs show responsibility. Summer courses either at RHS or on college campuses show their commitment to education. Community service work proves their commitment to other people. Ask your child’s English teacher for a summer reading list to continue to improve on vocabulary and reading comprehension. Keep in mind that if your child is planning to apply to a University of MO System school (Columbia, Rolla, Kansas City or St. Louis) they require four years of Math Algebra 1 and ABOVE. The UMSL Summer Bridge program is free and prepares students for college. www.umsl.edu/BRIDGE.
    6. Savings Plan. If you have not begun saving for your child’s college fund, you may want to look into the “Missouri Saving for Tuition Program.” This program is known as the MOST Program. Anyone can open an account for a beneficiary with as little as $25. Call 888-­414-­MOST for information.
    7. Attend the evening College Planning meeting in January.

    10th Grade
    This year your child should focus on strengthening their academically weak areas. They are now adjusted to the high school setting. They should be familiar with resources available to them. Encourage active involvement in extracurricular activities. He/she needs to begin to identify
    personal strengths, aptitudes, and interests.
    1. Continue to monitor academic success by attending conferences.
    2. Encourage summer programs and extracurricular activities.
    3. Attend the College Planning meeting in January
    4. Review your son/daughters four-­year plan.
    5. Inquire about AP and College Credit classes for junior year. Students may earn College Credit while in high school, saving money on college.
    6. Update college resume (see example College Resume)
    7. Highly recommend at least two extra curriculars, one pertaining to their college major/interest area.
    8. Consider taking the PSAT for practice.

    11th Grade
    This is the most important year of high school for college bound students! Students will be sending applications to colleges first semester senior year, so the junior year is the last year printed on the transcript during the college application progress. The colleges will also ask for updated
    transcripts after the 7th & 8th semesters; however the first 6 semesters are very important. This is the year to begin the college search if you have not already done so. Students should begin taking the ACT test February of their junior year.

    1. Review GPA/Class Rank
    2. Continue encouraging extra-­curricular activities.
    3. Monitor four-­year plan and encourage the most rigorous courses your child can handle.
    4. Have your son/daughter sign up for the PSAT in October if they test at the 85% on tests. This is the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). It measures verbal and mathematical reasoning and writing abilities important for a successful college career. The test consists of multiple-­choice questions as well as some mathematical questions that require a student to produce his/her own responses. The use of a calculator is permitted. Taking the PSAT provides juniors with a unique opportunity to practice for
    one of the college admissions test, while simultaneously competing for the National Merit Scholarship. In order to compete, you must take this test. Your child can compare his/her ability to do college work with that or other college-­bound students. The results include a score report,
    correct answers and the test booklet so the student may review his/her performance.

    National Merit Scholarships, National Achievement Scholarships for Outstanding Black Students, and National Hispanic Scholar Awards are scholarships of varying amounts granted to academically talented students from across the country. Colleges and universities and industrial corporations sponsor these awards. Semi-finalists for these scholarships are determined solely on the basis of the scores on the PSAT taken during the junior year of high school. National Merit Scholars are highly sought after by many colleges and universities and may lead to additional awards. It is possible for the ambitious sophomore to take this test; however, only the junior year score will count towards competition for scholarships.

    5. Have your son/daughter sign up for the ACT and/or SAT tests in the spring. Students are encouraged to sign up for review classes or use computer software to prepare for tests. Standardized tests are used by colleges along with high school transcripts, GPA, class rank, and recommendations to predict college success. Most colleges will accept either the ACT or SAT. S Highly selective colleges may prefer want the SAT II's and will require a score by the summer after junior year.
    6. Attend the college-­planning meeting for junior parents in October.
    7. Discuss college options with your child. He/she will be trying to narrow down a choice of over 3,600 colleges and universities across the nation. They will need support in making such an important decision. To help narrow their decision, they will need to consider the following:
    Curriculum- ­does the college offer a degree/major you are considering?
    Selectivity-­ open, somewhat selective, moderately selective, high selective; have your prepared yourself with rigorous high school courses?
    Location-­ what geographical area, distance from home, and city size do you prefer
    Type of School-­?private vs. public; size: small, medium, large; religious affiliation Coed
    Cost-­ are you capable of meeting the estimated total cost
    Other-­ extracurricular activities, ROTC, sports, etc.

    Juniors should have a one-­on-­one meeting with the college counselor in the spring of junior year. The information above can be researched online (www.collegeboard.com, www.collegeprowler.com). Reading websites, attending college fairs, meeting college representatives that visit school, and visiting college campuses provides good information. Encourage your child to take advantage of these resources.
    8. Take your son/daughter on college visits junior year. Students are allowed official visits to colleges during their junior and senior years (limit 2 per year). Have your child pick fill ou the college visit form downloaded on the webiste under "forms" to fill out a week before they will attend the visit. To arrange a campus
    visit, call the admissions office to make an appointment a couple weeks in advance. You may want to request some/ all of the following:
    Financial aid office visit
    Appointment with a professor in your major c. Meet with coach/activity sponsor
    Meet with current students e. Sit in on a couple classes
    Eat in a dormitory dining hall

    Familiarize yourself with the college website before your visit. The best time to visit is during the week during the regular school year. This way the campus will be a typical school day. Summer sessions are very different than the regular semesters. If you are on a vacation and can only stop by a campus during the summer, that is better than no visit at all!
    9. Help your child choose meaningful summer activities. There are GREAT summer programs for juniors at every college/university. This is a perfect way for your child to get a feel for a college campus and to get a taste of various career opportunities.
    10. Update the college resume. Be sure to include all leadership and awards.
    11. Request an unofficial transcript for the registrar after your receive your 6th semester grade. Begin narrowing your college choices.
    12. Encourage your child to run scholarship searches over the summer. See “Scholarships.”
    13. Encourage your child to begin talking to their older friends who are attending colleges and ask them what they like and dislike about the college they are attending.
    14. Attend the College Fair in September at PHS. There is a National College Fair at SLU in October and a State sponsored college fair in April at Maryville University
    15. Attend the 4 final aid evening programs.

    12th Grade
    Senior year in NOT the time to slack off. Make sure your child has chosen a rigorous preparatory schedule. Consult his/her counselor. Make sure your son/daughter has a yearlong calendar that he/she keeps application deadline dates, test dates, college visit dates, scholarship deadlines,
    and project deadlines. Be prepared, your child will need a LOT of emotional encouragement this year. It is an extremely busy year and they have added pressures on them.
    1. Review class rank and grade point average.
    2. Review college prep courses (AP, college credit, Honors).
    3. Encourage aggressive researching of college choices. First semester one-­on-­one visit with college/career counselor. Ms. Kampschroder’s goal is for students to have all 4-­year college applications in by October 31st so merit scholarship deadlines are met as early as Nov 1 st
    4. Attend the parent college planning evening program and attend all 4 financial aid meetings (Oct, Nov, Jan, March) at RHS.
    5. Attend college fair at RHS in October.
    6. Have your son/daughter retake the ACT.
    7. Obtain and complete college applications.
    Complete the application carefully online.
    Send the transcript by filling out and signing the form in the Counseling Center.
    Pay the application fee (or sign fee waiver form with Ms. Kampschroeder if you are on the free-­reduced lunch program.
    Ask your child whom they will choose as a reference if one or two is required. Be sure they send thank you notes and give a two-­week notice before needing the letter of recommendation. A self-­addressed stamped envelope should be provided to the teacher along with the student’s college resume.
    8. Encourage your child to check the college website weekly for newly arrived scholarship applications. This is their responsibility.
    9. Support the in their final decision by May 1st.

    Make a decision as soon as possible so he/she may choose dorms and classes sooner. Your decision will depend of the financial aid package. Be sure to send the FAFSA as close to January 1st as possible. Read everything on the 'Financial Aid' section of the website.

    You need to be very supportive and understanding during this process. The final decision should be your son/daughter’s since they are the one who will have to live there for at least four years. They must feel comfortable with their decision.
    10. Be sure to send all acceptance/rejection letters by the deadlines along with any enrollment or
    housing deposits. No deposit=no saved spot!
    11. CELEBRATE!