The Guidance Department offers a wide range of resources and support to students as they make decisions about continuing their education after graduation from Beacon High School.
Guidance staff can provide individualize assistance to students as they research and apply for admission to programs at 2-year and four-year colleges and universities.
Members of the Beacon Guidance team can also help prepare students for their transition to college, tailoring personal strategies and techniques for managing new the academic expectations and executive-funtioning demands that college will bring.
Beacon Guidance staff can meet individually with students beginning in their junior year, and students can also take advantage of a weekly college planning seminar. The Beacon College & Career Center offers college catalogues and view books, other printed resources for college planning, as well as information about upcoming SAT & ACT tests and other important deadlines.
Earning College Credit
Beacon students who have decided to attend college are strongly encouraged to complete college coursework while at Beacon. Some college programs allow students to begin earning college credits while concurrently earning the credits needed to meet Beacon High School graduation requirements:
Students planning to attend MassBay Community College may also be elegible for college credit.
There are also credit-earning opportunities for Beacon students at Harvard University Extension School.
Information and Search Resources
Students and families are encouraged to download the 2011 Edition of the TeenLife Guide to College Admissions: An Indispensable Resource for Students Preparing for College!” This free resource from Teen Life is a “comprehensive guide to the college admission process for high school juniors and seniors!”
Hobsons Collegeview is a comprehensive Web resource and searchable database for students who are planning to attend a college or university. Collegeview offers tips and helpful information about the application process, financial aid, campus life, and much more. Take a look at their excellent overview: Two-Year vs. Four-Year Colleges: Which One is Right for You?
ThinkCollege is an initiative of the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and offers information and college options for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities
College Search is one of several resources offered by Peterson’s Guides; StudentEdge registration offers access to their college compatibility tool, information on preparing for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT, college scholarship search, and more.
Preparing Application Materials
College applicants are encouraged to use The Common Application, a free online undergraduate application used by over 400 colleges and universities.
Get some helpful tips on college application essays:
- Write an Effective Application Essay from College Board
- Top 15 Essay Tips from Carleton College
- 10 Tips for Writing the College Application Essay from U.S. News & World Report
To request a letter of recommendation from your teachers or guidance counselors at Beacon High School, please use the Request for Letter of Recommendation form. Print this form, fill it out completely, and give it to the Beacon staff member who will write the letter.
Scholarship and Financial Aid Tools
The Federal Student Aid Gateway is provided by the U.S. Department of Education and offers a tool for free application for federal student aid.
Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority is a non-profit that offers free answers to college planning, saving, and financing questions.
The Education Resource, Inc. (TERI) is a non-profit that promotes educational opportunities through the administration and guarantee of loan programs for students.
The Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance is responsible for the management and oversight of all state funded financial aid programs and provides information about the availability of financial aid resources to help students and families meet college costs.
FinAid is a comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice, and tools.
ACT & SAT
The ACT and SAT are national college admissions examinations. Peterson’s offers a helpful contrasting overview of the tests. Many students take both exams, and Beacon students can speak with their guidance counselor to determine which test will be most helpful to their college plans. The easiest way to register for the exams is online:
Students should speak with their guidance counselor if they require accommodations. If approved for school-based testing accommodations, our guidance staff can administer your exam at Beacon.