COLLEGE COUNSELING

Angela Schermerhorn
College Counselor

Email

Email

Angela Schermerhorn
College Counselor | Padre Pio

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5

Certifications

Rice University - Certificate in College Access Counseling

Education

University of Notre Dame: BS Pre-Professional Science

Pittsburg State University: MAT; University of Kansas: MPH

X

Counseling News Archive

Our goal is to help you with your academic, college/career, and social-emotional journey! Please reference our Counseling newsletter for up to date information about academics, testing, college fairs, scholarships, summer opportunities, and more. Please look for your child’s grade level in parentheses next to each topic to find information relevant to your student.

Request letter of recommendation

Does your college application require a Letter of Recommendation? Please read the instructions carefully for each type of request. All teacher and counselor recommendations must be requested at least 30 days before the due date. Counselor recommendation requests should be made by Sept. 6th to meet the Nov. 1st priority deadline at many schools. Parent Brag Sheets are also recommended for those needing a Counselor recommendation. Please email Mrs. Schermerhorn for the link to the Parent Brag Sheet.

Request TEACHER Letter of Recommendation

Request COUNSELOR Letter of Recommendation

College planning info for juniors
Naviance

St. James Academy is pleased to partner with Naviance, a comprehensive online college counseling portal. Students and parents use Naviance to research colleges and careers, take interest inventories, and request all transcripts and recommendations for college applications.

Naviance also allows students to:

  • Get involved in the planning and advising process – Build a resume, complete online surveys, and manage timelines and deadlines for making decisions about colleges and careers.
  • Research colleges – Compare GPAs, standardized test scores, financial aid, and other statistics
  • Research careers – Research hundreds of careers and career clusters and take career assessments.
  • Create plans for the future – Create goals and to-dos, and complete tasks assigned by the school to better prepare your student for college and career goals.

To get started, students log on to Naviance using the student’s SJA email address. It is a Single-Sign on, and no password is necessary. Parents can access Naviance through their PowerSchool Parent Portal. Once logged in, parents should click on the Launch button, which is the little arrow at the top right of the page.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

SCHOLARSHIP LISTING

Check out the scholarship list on Naviance! Information is listed for many scholarships, both local and national. There are also listings for various scholarship search database websites where you can set up a personal profile and search for scholarship matches. Additional scholarship information will continue to be added as it is received.

To access Scholarships on Naviance Family Connections:

  • Login to Naviance
  • Sign into your account with your SJA email address and single sign-in
  • Select the “Colleges” tab along the top of page
  • Scroll down to the “Scholarships & Money” section
  • Select “Scholarship List”

SCHOLARSHIPS

For a list of local scholarships, please visit this link.

FINANCIAL AID

(The FAFSA form is currently being updated and is delayed.  It will open in December of 2023.)

The FAFSA Financial Aid application opens October 1 for students attending college next fall. The first step in FAFSA application is creating an FSA ID.  It can take a few business days for FAFSA to process ID requests so we recommend creating your FSA ID early if you would like to begin the process once it opens in October. Students should consult with individual colleges for their specific FAFSA timelines.

Additional information and resources to help with filing your FAFSA:

  • KASFAA, the Kansas Association of Financial Aid Administrators – Their website includes videos explaining various aspects of the FAFSA.
  • College Board – The College Board web page  “How to Complete the FAFSA”  includes explanations, definitions of terms, Frequently Asked Questions, a webinar, videos and other information on completing the FAFSA.
College athletics

Are you planning to pursue a sport in college?

Please see your counselor to discuss your options and ensure the eligibility paperwork is in order for NCAA or NAIA.

College-bound students that want to participate in NCAA Division I or Division II athletics must meet a core-course progression requirement to be eligible to compete in the initial year of full-time enrollment at an NCAA Division I or Division II school.

View Requirements/Register with Eligibility Center

NCAA and NAIA only accept SAT or ACT test scores directly from ACT and SAT. They will not accept them from SJA. Make sure to add their codes when registering for SAT or ACT test with the codes below:

NCAA Code – 9999
NAIA Code – 9876

If you need a transcript sent to NCAA or NAIA, please contact Mrs. McNally

College Checklist

High school is a very exciting time and is also a very important step towards preparing for your future. Below is a checklist of things you can be doing to prepare for the college application process.

  • Create an Individual Plan of Study in Naviance. Counselors will help walk you through this in January. Think about what you’d like to accomplish in the next four years. Make sure you know which high school courses are required by colleges and that you’re taking the right classes as early as the ninth grade. You can ask your counselor about what those “right” classes are.
  • Get to know the levels of courses offered by your school. Start thinking about your life after school, including the types of jobs that might interest you. Of course, these will change — often — but it’s good to start thinking about the possibilities. Identify your interests — likes and dislikes — not just in classes but also in every area. This will help you focus on your goals.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities. Academics aren’t everything. Explore your interest in a sport, school club, music or drama group, and/or community volunteer activity.
  • If you’re interested in playing sports in college, research the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility requirements.
  • Explore summer opportunities: look for a job, internship, or volunteer position that will help you learn about a field of interest.
  • Update your Individual Plan of Study in Naviance
  • Make sure you know which high school courses are required by colleges and that you’re taking the right classes to meet those requirements. You can ask your counselor about what those “right” classes are. For more information, visit the Kansas Board of Regents.
  • Get to know and understand the levels of courses offered at St. James. Visit SJA website to learn more about Pre-AP Honors, Advanced Placement (AP) and Concurrent Enrollment (JCCC).
  • Meet with your high school counselor – they know how to help you get the most out of high school. During your sophomore meeting with your counselor, you will discuss post-secondary plans and your courses to ensure you’re on the right track to meet your goals.
  • Consider taking the Discernment and Career Exploration class at SJA. This class is intended to help students find God’s plan for their lives by learning principles of discernment, covering necessary background information related to the careers being studied, and experiencing this field through field trips, guest speakers, and/or job shadowing.  See the Course Catalog for a description.
  • Talk to other people, such as your school counselor, teachers, recent college graduates who are working professionals in the community, etc., about careers you might find interesting.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities. Academics aren’t everything – leadership and well-rounded involvement are important. Explore your interest in a sport, school club, music or drama group, or community volunteer activity. Find a list of clubs and activities here.
  • If you’re interested in playing sports in college, let your counselor know and research the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility requirements. The NCAA requires completion of certain core courses; you can find the specifics at https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/. It is also recommended that you register sophomore year.
  • Explore summer opportunities. Look for a job, internship, or volunteer position that will help you learn about a field of interest. Check out the list of enrichment opportunities in Naviance.
  • Get familiar with the ACT. Consider enrolling in SJA’s College Explorations course junior year. Visit here for detailed testing information.
  • You have the opportunity to take the practice PSAT in February. Please sign up using the google doc sent from the Counseling department in January or see your counselor with questions.
  • Are you interested in attending a U.S. Military Academy? If so, you should request a Pre-Candidate Questionnaire  just to know what is coming up and start planning.  There are forums available for questions. 
  • Attend college and career fairs. The fairs often take place in the fall at your school or in your area. Most fairs are shared in the Counseling and College Newsletter.
  • Tour college campuses. If possible, take advantage of vacation or other family travel time to visit colleges and see what they’re like. Even if you have no interest in attending the college you are visiting, it will help you learn what to look for in a college.
  • Test or test again – We recommend taking the ACT in April of your Algebra II year or at the latest by April of your Junior year. You will then have June, July, September, and October to take and be counted for Merit-Based Scholarships. Some (not all) colleges will accept ACT scores through December. Register here.
  • Continue to research and visit (in-person or virtually) college campuses throughout the year. The goal is to have a reasonable list of schools you plan to apply to over the summer or when school starts in the fall. Add all colleges you’re interested in on Naviance Student under “Colleges I’m Thinking About”. This will ensure you receive all information regarding those schools.
  • Continue to update your resume in Naviance Student by adding to your list of activities, awards, community service and employment.
  • Ready to apply to colleges in the summer? Before you start your applications:
    • Make sure the colleges have started accepting applications for the academic school year (this is typically around July before your Senior year).
    • Each school has its own names for the various application deadlines. Make sure you understand your options of Early Decision, Early Action, Priority or Merit, and Rolling Admissions. Once you decide which is best for your application, make sure you select that in Naviance so the correct due dates are reflected for documents to be sent.
    • Next, determine if you are applying directly to the school via their website or if you will be using Common Application. (Hint: we recommend using Common App if you have three or more schools that will accept the Common Application (not including state/local colleges). It is time-consuming! Visit www.commonapp.org for a complete list of Common App schools.)
    • Once you are ready to apply, go to Naviance Student and under “Colleges I’m Applying To” click the plus sign in the pink banner to add colleges and request documents. Mark as “completed” once you are finished applying and request the initial transcript be sent.
  • Have discussions as a family as to what is feasible financially as it relates to college.
  • If Letters of Recommendation are requested by the schools you are applying to, please consider 2-3 teachers or coaches you would like to write a recommendation on your behalf.  Fill out a Request for Recommendation form and ask the teacher in person.  Then, you will send your request through Naviance.
  • Complete a Federal Student Aid Estimator to gauge what financial aid you may qualify for.
  • Begin hitting submit! If you haven’t already begun the application process, now is the time!
  • Match your Common Application account with Naviance if you are applying via Common App.
  • FAFSA opens October 1st. Make sure you create your ID prior to the open date!
  • Request transcripts and Letter of Recommendations using Naviance.
  • See your counselor to update them with your college plans and discuss any questions you might have!
Angela Schermerhorn
College Counselor

Email

Email

Angela Schermerhorn
College Counselor | Padre Pio

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5

Certifications

Rice University - Certificate in College Access Counseling

Education

University of Notre Dame: BS Pre-Professional Science

Pittsburg State University: MAT; University of Kansas: MPH

X

Letter of Recommendation

Does your college application require a Letter of Recommendation? Please read the instructions carefully for each type of request. All teacher and counselor recommendations must be requested at least 30 days before the due date. Early priority will be given to Counselor recommendation requests made by Sept. 8th. Parent Brag Sheets are also recommended for those needing a Counselor recommendation. Please email Mrs. Schermerhorn for the link to the Parent Brag Sheet.

Request TEACHER Letter of Recommendation >>

Request COUNSELOR Letter of Recommendation >>

College Planning Info for Juniors

College Checklist

College Checklist Update:

High school is a very exciting time, and also a very important step towards preparing for your future. Below is a checklist for each year of high school and what you can be doing to prepare for college applications.

9th Grade:

  • Create an Individual Plan of Study in Naviance. Counselors will help walk you through this in January. Think about what you’d like to accomplish in the next four years. Make sure you know which high school courses are required by colleges and that you’re taking the right classes as early as the ninth grade. You can ask your counselor about what those “right” classes are.
  • Get to know the levels of courses offered by your school. Start thinking about your life after school, including the types of jobs that might interest you. Of course, these will change — often — but it’s good to start thinking about the possibilities. Identify your interests — likes and dislikes — not just in classes but also in every area. This will help you focus on your goals.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities. Academics aren’t everything. Explore your interest in a sport, school club, music or drama group, and/or community volunteer activity.
    • Remember that colleges would rather see real involvement in one activity instead of a loose connection to several.
  • If you’re interested in playing sports in college, research the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility requirements.
  • Explore summer opportunities: look for a job, internship, or volunteer position that will help you learn about a field of interest.

10th Grade:

  • Update your Individual Plan of Study in Naviance
  • Make sure you know which high school courses are required by colleges and that you’re taking the right classes to meet those requirements. You can ask your counselor about what those “right” classes are. For more information, visit the Kansas Board of Regents.
  • Get to know and understand the levels of courses offered at St. James. Visit SJA website to learn more about Pre-AP Honors, Advanced Placement (AP) and Concurrent Enrollment (JCCC).
  • Meet with your high school counselor – they know how to help you get the most out of high school. During your sophomore meeting with your counselor, you will discuss post-secondary plans and your courses to ensure you’re on the right track to meet your goals.
  • Consider taking the Discernment and Career Exploration class at SJA. This class is intended to help students find God’s plan for their lives by learning principles of discernment, covering necessary background information related to the careers being studied, and experiencing this field through field trips, guest speakers, and/or job shadowing.  See the Course Catalog for a description.
  • Talk to other people, such as your school counselor, teachers, recent college graduates who are working professionals in the community, etc., about careers you might find interesting.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities. Academics aren’t everything – leadership and well-rounded involvement are important. Explore your interest in a sport, school club, music or drama group, or community volunteer activity. Find a list of clubs and activities here.
  • If you’re interested in playing sports in college, let your counselor know and research the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility requirements. The NCAA requires completion of certain core courses; you can find the specifics at https://web3.ncaa.org/ecwr3/. It is also recommended that you register sophomore year.
  • Explore summer opportunities. Look for a job, internship, or volunteer position that will help you learn about a field of interest. Check out the list of enrichment opportunities in Naviance.
  • Get familiar with the ACT. Consider enrolling in SJA’s College Explorations course junior year. Visit here for detailed testing information.
  • You have the opportunity to take the practice PSAT in February. Please sign up using the google doc sent from the Counseling department in January or see your counselor with questions.
  • Are you interested in attending a U.S. Military Academy? If so, you should request a Pre-Candidate Questionnaire  just to know what is coming up and start planning.  There are forums available for questions. 
  • Attend college and career fairs. The fairs often take place in the fall at your school or in your area. Most fairs are shared in the Counseling and College Newsletter.
  • Tour college campuses. If possible, take advantage of vacation or other family travel time to visit colleges and see what they’re like. Even if you have no interest in attending the college you are visiting, it will help you learn what to look for in a college.

11th Grade:

  • Test or test again – We recommend taking the ACT in April of your Algebra II year or at the latest by April of your Junior year. You will then have June, July, September, and October to take and be counted for Merit-Based Scholarships. Some (not all) colleges will accept ACT scores through December. Register here.
  • Continue to research and visit (in-person or virtually) college campuses throughout the year. The goal is to have a reasonable list of schools you plan to apply to over the summer or when school starts in the fall. Add all colleges you’re interested in on Naviance Student under “Colleges I’m Thinking About”. This will ensure you receive all information regarding those schools.
  • Continue to update your resume in Naviance Student by adding to your list of activities, awards, community service and employment.
  • Ready to apply to colleges in the summer? Before you start your applications:
    • Make sure the colleges have started accepting applications for the academic school year (this is typically around July before your Senior year).
    • Each school has its own names for the various application deadlines. Make sure you understand your options of Early Decision, Early Action, Priority or Merit, and Rolling Admissions. Once you decide which is best for your application, make sure you select that in Naviance so the correct due dates are reflected for documents to be sent.
    • Next, determine if you are applying directly to the school via their website or if you will be using Common Application. (Hint: we recommend using Common App if you have three or more schools that will accept the Common Application (not including state/local colleges). It is time-consuming! Visit www.commonapp.org for a complete list of Common App schools.)
    • Once you are ready to apply, go to Naviance Student and under “Colleges I’m Applying To” click the plus sign in the pink banner to add colleges and request documents. Mark as “completed” once you are finished applying and request the initial transcript be sent.
  • Have discussions as a family as to what is feasible financially as it relates to college.
  • If Letters of Recommendation are requested by the schools you are applying to, please consider 2-3 teachers or coaches you would like to write a recommendation on your behalf.  Fill out a Request for Recommendation form and ask the teacher in person.  Then, you will send your request through Naviance.
  • Complete a Federal Student Aid Estimator to gauge what financial aid you may qualify for.

12th Grade:

  • Begin hitting submit! If you haven’t already begun the application process, now is the time!
  • Match your Common Application account with Naviance if you are applying via Common App.
  • FAFSA opens October 1st. Make sure you create your ID prior to the open date!
  • Request transcripts and Letter of Recommendations using Naviance.
  • See your counselor to update them with your college plans and discuss any questions you might have!

College Athletics

Are you planning to pursue a sport in college?

Please see your counselor to discuss your options and ensure the eligibility paperwork is in order for NCAA or NAIA.

College-bound students that want to participate in NCAA Division I or Division II athletics must meet a core-course progression requirement to be eligible to compete in the initial year of full-time enrollment at an NCAA Division I or Division II school.

View Requirements/Register with Eligibility Center >>

NCAA and NAIA only accept SAT or ACT test scores directly from ACT and SAT. They will not accept them from SJA. Make sure to add their codes when registering for SAT or ACT test with the codes below:

NCAA Code – 9999
NAIA Code – 9876

If you need a transcript sent to NCAA or NAIA, please contact Mrs. McNally

Financial Aid & Scholarships

SCHOLARSHIP LISTING

Check out the scholarship list on Naviance! Information is listed for many scholarships, both local and national. There are also listings for various scholarship search database websites where you can set up a personal profile and search for scholarship matches. Additional scholarship information will continue to be added as it is received.

To access Scholarships on Naviance Family Connections:

  • Sign into your account with your SJA email address and single sign-in
  • Login to Naviance
  • Select the “Colleges” tab along the top of page
  • Scroll down to the “Scholarships & Money” section
  • Select “Scholarship List”

SCHOLARSHIPS

For a list of local scholarships, please visit this link.

FINANCIAL AID

(The FAFSA form is currently being updated and is delayed.  It will open in December of 2023.)

The FAFSA Financial Aid application opens October 1 for students attending college next fall. The first step in FAFSA application is creating an FSA ID.  It can take a few business days for FAFSA to process ID requests so we recommend creating your FSA ID early if you would like to begin the process once it opens in October. Students should consult with individual colleges for their specific FAFSA timelines.

Additional information and resources to help with filing your FAFSA:

  • KASFAA, the Kansas Association of Financial Aid Administrators – Their website includes videos explaining various aspects of the FAFSA.
  • College Board – The College Board web page  “How to Complete the FAFSA”  includes explanations, definitions of terms, Frequently Asked Questions, a webinar, videos and other information on completing the FAFSA.

NAVIANCE

St. James Academy is pleased to partner with Naviance, a comprehensive online college counseling portal. Students and parents use Naviance to research colleges and careers, take interest inventories, and request all transcripts and recommendations for college applications.

Naviance also allows students to:

  • Get involved in the planning and advising process – Build a resume, complete online surveys, and manage timelines and deadlines for making decisions about colleges and careers.
  • Research colleges – Compare GPAs, standardized test scores, financial aid, and other statistics
  • Research careers – Research hundreds of careers and career clusters and take career assessments.
  • Create plans for the future – Create goals and to-dos, and complete tasks assigned by the school to better prepare your student for college and career goals.

To get started, students log on to Naviance using the student’s SJA email address. It is a Single-Sign on, and no password is necessary. Parents can access Naviance through their PowerSchool Parent Portal. Once logged in, parents should click on the Launch button, which is the little arrow at the top right of the page.