• The following questions are things our CTEC seniors have been asking about. If you have a question about your post-secondary plans, please email me!

    How do I find out about scholarships?
    Click HERE for a list of scholarship resources on the Student Services webpage. This is updated regularly so check back often.
    Also, look for scholarships that are specific to the schools you are applying to. Many private schools have academic scholarships that students qualify for based on their grades/test scores. This helps offset the higher cost of private school tuition. Most schools have scholarships that only students at that school can receive.
    You may also want to check out local businesses/organizations who offer scholarships. For example, hospitals in the area may have a scholarship program for students interested in majoring in health sciences. This may require you to do some internet searching or networking with people in the community to find out about these opportunities.
    You home school counselor may have more information so ask them or check their website.
    In short, to be considered for in-state tuition at UNC public system schools, you must:
    1. Have 12 months of physical presence in North Carolina.
    2. Have the financial and legal ability to establish a domicile.
    3. Demonstrate the intent to make North Carolina your home aside from attending school.
    Click on the question for more detailed information.
    What if I am not a U.S. citizen? Can I still apply to college and get financial aid?
    What are the requirements to apply to college?
    This depends on which college you are applying to. Some schools require you to submit SAT/ACT scores while others (many community colleges) require you to take a placement exam. Some universities require you to have taken a foreign language in high school, while others do not. Certain colleges require you to write a short essay as part of your application. It is best to research each school you are interested in to find out what their requirements are.
    Does your economic status matter in the colleges you apply to?
    Economic status does not matter when you are applying to college. Most colleges and universities will work with you regarding financial aid and assistance. Filling out the FAFSA form will give you a better idea of how much you and your family will be expected to pay for college. You may have to work throughout college or take out loans to help pay for it, but if it will help you reach your goals, it will be worth it!
    Read more about paying for college here.
    What GPA do I need to be considered for admission to UNCW? Johnson & Wales? Other North Carolina schools?
    Click HERE for a breakdown of the average high school GPA of students who are accepted to each school. Remember, this is an average and the data may vary from year to year, but this gives you an idea of where you stand in relation to other students accepted to the school. Click on the school you are interested to read more. Also visit the school’s website for more detailed admissions information. The GPAs on this chart appear to be unweighted.
    Which schools have culinary arts classes?
    Johnson & Wales is a 4-year university with campuses in Charlotte, Rhode Island, Denver, and Miami offering degrees in culinary arts. A number of community colleges including ACC, Guilford Tech, and Wake Tech offer two-year programs related to culinary arts. If you are interested in the food science, hospitality, or nutrition industry in general, there are programs at NC State, NC A&T, NC Central, and a number of other 4-year universities that might be interesting to you. Do some research to see what else is out there!
    What do I need to know about financial aid?
    You will fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) beginning October 1st [or when your parents have their federal tax information or returns (including a W-2 form) available].

    Here are the documents you will need to complete the FAFSA:

    The FAFSA asks for information about you (your name, date of birth, address, etc.) and about your financial situation. Depending on your circumstances (for instance, when you filed taxes or what tax form you used), you might need the following information or documents as you fill out the FAFSA:

    ·         Your Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA!)

    ·         Your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are a dependent student (meaning they claim you on their taxes)

    ·         Your driver’s license number if you have one

    ·         Your Alien Registration Number if you are not a U.S. citizen

    ·         Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents if you are a dependent student:

    ·         IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ

    ·         Foreign tax return and/or

    ·         Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federal States of Micronesia, or Palau

    ·         Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans non-education benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student

    ·         Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate but not including the home in which you live; and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student 

    Click here for more information!

    *There will be a local FAFSA Day event on in February with specialists available to answer any financial aid related question. Visit cfnc.org/FAFSAday for more information.
    Tell me more about Free College Application Week. Are all of the applications the same or will I have to fill out one for each school?
    There is one week in November each year when over 90 North Carolina Colleges & Universities will waive their application fee. Students will use CFNC.org to complete their application online, so be sure to have a CFNC account before this date. Each school has a separate application within CFNC, but most of the information you enter for your first application will transfer to your other application. This means you will not have to re-enter your name, address, test scores, parent information, etc.
    However, each school may have 1 or 2 sections that are specific to their application with additional questions or an essay. It is best to review the application on CFNC before Free College Application Week so you know if your schools require an essay. It is best if you prepare this in advance and have at least one other person read it over.
    Please note that many of the other colleges (not participating in this event) in North Carolina offer a fee waiver for students who qualify (ask your counselor for more information about this).
    How can I make myself stand out from other applicants?
    It is difficult to know exactly what college admissions officers are looking for, but you may want to search a school’s website to see what the school focuses on. If the campus does a lot of community service, it will be helpful for you to highlight the different volunteer work you have done. If they are driven by academics, you may want to showcase your achievements. Colleges want to know that you will be a good fit for them and them for you. Use the essay portion to explain why you want to attend their school and what you hope to do while you are there. However, you can’t fake passion/excitement, so talk about something you are genuinely interested in!
    Last year, I received a Junior Scholar from Gardner-Webb. I don't know what it's for.
    The Junior Scholar Award is given to students with exemplary academic achievement.  This award guarantees that the student will be eligible to apply for our biggest scholarship competition in their senior year, University Fellows.  Ultimately this competition will award 10 students with full tuition scholarships. For more information, contact the admissions department at Gardner-Webb.
    How do I send my transcripts with applications?
    You must request a transcript to be sent through Naviance (ask your counselor for help with this if you have not used Naviance before). If you need a paper copy, please check with your home school counselor as well. 
    What can I major in that will help me get into PA (Physician Assistant) school?
    You should consider getting a 4-year degree with a major in some type of health science. This could be anything from biology, chemistry, pre-med, nursing, etc. You will then complete 2-3 years of graduate studies in a physician assistant program. During that time, you will have classroom and laboratory instruction in medical and behavioral sciences, such as anatomy, microbiology, pharmacology, pathophysiology, hematology, pathology, clinical medicine, and physical diagnosis, followed by clinical rotations in internal medicine, family medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, and geriatric medicine, as well as elective rotations.
    Graduate programs want their applicants to have extensive medical experience/knowledge so it’s great if you’ve worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse, surgical assistant, EMT, nursing assistant, etc. You will then complete clinical work and get licensed as a PA
    When can I retake the ACT?
    Please check www.actstudent.org for more information or to register.
    What do I have to do if I want to go to a community college for 2 years and transfer to a university right after?
    Many students choose to complete two years at a community college then transfer to a 4-year school to get a bachelor’s degree. This route may save you some money and ease you into college.
    First, you should consider what your end goal is. If your end goal can be accomplished by getting a 2-year degree then moving straight into a job, you may want to consider what benefits you would get from continuing on to a 4-year university. If you want to get a more traditional college experience, then it may make sense to go to a 4-year school.
    If you decide to do two years at a community college, you should speak with an academic advisor at the school so they can help you decide which classes to take that will transfer to a 4-year school. You don’t want to waste time/money taking classes that won’t help you down the road.
    While you are enrolled in the community college, you should be thinking about which university you plan on transferring to. That way you can take classes that will help you in the major you decide to pursue. Sometime in your second year, you will have to apply to the university/colleges of your choice and wait for them to accept you!
    How do you get teacher recommendations to a college? Do you wait until you apply? Do you wait until they ask for it?
    Each college may have a different process for teacher recommendations. Sometimes you will have to enter the teacher’s name/email address/phone number in your application then the school will send the teacher a link with a form for them to fill out. Other schools will have a form for you to print out and give to the teacher. They fill it out and mail to the school. Yet other schools may want the teacher to type up a formal letter about you. You have to check the requirements for each college/university that you plan on applying to.
    Start thinking about which teachers you plan on asking for recommendations. You should have a conversation with them prior to giving them the recommendation form so they are prepared. You may also want to give them a few ideas about what to include in the letter (for example, if you showed a lot of growth from freshman to senior year, or if there was one project or assignment that you did exceptionally well in their class). Choose teachers who know your strengths and can speak highly of your personality as well as academics.
    Some universities do not require teacher recommendations, but they may ask for a counselor form. This is something your counselor will fill out and submit to the school as part of your application.
    Would I pay out of state tuition if I go to a community college in another state?
    Yes, you would be expected to pay out of state tuition costs if you attend community college outside of North Carolina. This can sometimes be 2 or 3 times as much money as in-state tuition.
    If I'm going to ACC then transferring to a 4-year school, where do I apply now?
    You will apply to ACC now and when you are ready to transfer to another school, you will apply then.
    When will it be too late to apply for college?
    Each college has its own application deadline. Click HERE for a list of deadlines for North Carolina schools.
    *Rolling admissions means that students can submit their applications during a large window of time. Admissions will review the applications as they are received and let students know their decision within a few weeks.
    I'm confused about undergraduate, graduate, med school, etc.
    Undergraduate refers to a student pursuing their first degree, usually a bachelor’s degree from a 4-year university.
    Graduate refers to someone who has completed a bachelor’s degree and is pursuing a master’s, doctorate or advanced degree. Graduate programs vary in length from about 2 years to 6+ years, depending on what you study. People who are in ‘Law school’ or ‘Medical school’ are in graduate school, but they usually refer to it as the specific area they are studying. You can obtain a graduate degree in a wide variety of areas. An MBA (Master’s in Business Administration) is one of the most popular graduate degrees pursued by both men and women.See this interesting article for other popular graduate degrees.
    What should I be aiming for on my SAT and ACT?
    Taken from Prep Scholar
     The [SAT] exam consists of two parts:  Evidence-Based Reading/Writing and Math. The scores from each section can range from 200 to 800, so the best possible total score is 1600. The average score for each section is roughly 500, so the average total score is about 1000. For the test-takers in the class of 2018, the mean scores were 533 Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, 527 Math.
    As far as what you should aim for, do some research on the colleges you are interested in applying to and find out the average score range for students who were accepted. This will help you determine which schools may be a reach for you to get into and which ones you are confident you will be accepted to.
    The ACT has four components (English, Math, Science, and Reading). The score range is 1 to 36, and your composite score is the average of the four sections. For more information about ACT scores, click HERE.
    Just like with the SAT, check out the colleges you are interested in to see the average ACT score of their students. However, remember that your ACT and SAT scores are not the only thing colleges consider in their admissions decision so don’t let it discourage you if your score isn’t quite as high as you would like it to be.