2 Year Colleges
A two-year college or community college offers Associate’s Degrees and Certificate programs. The community colleges are part of the state college and university system, and many courses transfer from the community colleges to the Bachelor’s Degree granting universities in the system.
- Mass Transfer
- Articulation agreements
- Out of state community colleges
- MassBay Housing options
4 Year Colleges
The college application is your opportunity to present yourself to colleges that you are interested in. Colleges look at a variety of factors when evaluating your application. Some factors are objective such as grades and test scores; others are more subjective such as your extracurricular activities, teacher evaluations and essays. A college application typically includes:
- Standardized test scores (if the college requires them)
- Official High School Transcript
- Teacher Evaluation(s)
- Counselor Statement
- A form, which people typically refer to as “the application,” in which you include biographical information, extracurricular activities and personal statements (essays)
- Supplemental materials which might include additional applications, essays, an art or music portfolio, or other items. Please note that not all colleges will require supplemental materials.
The ACT is a three hour test consisting of four subject areas: English, Math, Reading and Science. The ACT Plus Writing includes the four subject area tests plus a 40-minute Writing test. The ACT is not an aptitude test. The questions on the ACT are related to what is taught in high school in English, math, reading, and science courses. For more details see www.act.org.
Students are responsible for their own registration for the ACT. Registering is done online through www.act.org. Test sites fill up so it is advisable to register early. Make sure that you will be able to get to the testing site you choose on time on the given Saturday morning.
The PSAT is a practice test for the SAT that runs approximately three hours. It is offered only once during the fall. The PSAT covers evidence-based reading, writing and math. The PSAT is given in the fall of junior year. A high score on the PSAT in your junior year may make you eligible to participate in the National Merit Scholarship program (see www.nationalmerit.org). The PSAT is normed for high school juniors and presents a good opportunity to prepare for taking the SAT under real test conditions.
Blue Hills administers the PSAT and registration is done through Blue Hills
The SAT is a three-hour test covering evidence-based reading, writing and math. The SAT with Writing includes an additional 50 minute essay section.
Students are responsible for their own registration for the SAT. Registering is done online through www.collegeboard.org. Test sites fill up so it is advisable to register early. Make sure that you will be able to get to the testing site you choose on time on the given Saturday morning. When you register for the SAT test, you may also be able to request the Question and Answer Service, a supplement to your scores which includes details on your correct and incorrect answers. This service has an additional fee. It is not an option for all sittings but, if available, it could help you analyze your scores. Note that you must choose this option when you register for the test. See www.collegeboard.org for more details. Note that you cannot take the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests on the same day
Students are responsible for sending their SAT scores to the colleges of their choice. Scores must be sent through www.collegeboard.org. From the time that scores are officially available to you, it can take up to 10 days for scores to arrive at a college, even if they are submitted electronically. Consequently, it is important to plan carefully so that you can meet your colleges’ deadlines
Some colleges have a practice of “super scoring” a student’s test scores. This means that they take the highest score for each section from across all the test dates submitted. Therefore, it is often advantageous to send all your test dates to a given college. You can try to check the policy for each college before you send your scores, but this information is not always made public.
SAT Subject Tests
The SAT Subject Tests are each one hour long and cover a specific academic area. Not all colleges require SAT Subject Tests (please check the individual websites for the colleges you are considering). For colleges that do, they often require tests in two subjects. Sometimes students interested in specific majors or programs may be required to submit specific SAT Subject Tests. For instance, engineering majors may need to submit a math and/or science Subject Test. Some colleges also use SAT Subject Tests for placement once you are enrolled. Some colleges will accept the ACT Plus Writing instead of the SAT and SAT Subject Tests. Check each college’s website for details.
College Planning Guide
The Guidance department uses a comprehensive web-based tool for post-high school planning called Naviance. This program contains data on colleges throughout the country and keeps track of recent BHR college applications, student statistics, and admission decisions. Naviance is used by guidance counselors, teachers, students, and parents/guardians. It is accessible from any computer connected to the internet.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Students may be interested in colleges and universities that combine top-notch education and affordability along with a diversity of classes, campus culture, extracurricular activities, and alumni network related to a shared background.
The Common Application, also known as the Common App, is an online form through which you can apply to many colleges. It is a standard form that you complete once and is then available for you to send to multiple colleges. Please note that you do have the opportunity to edit some of the details of the application form before you submit it to a particular college. Please see http://www.commonapp.org for more information. Not all colleges accept the Common App. These colleges have their own application forms and directions for applying are specified on their websites. Make sure to check a college's website to determine its requirements.
The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority is a non-profit state organization that serves students and families in Massachusetts and out-of-state students and their families pursuing higher education in Massachusetts. MEFA offers a number of resources to help make paying for college possible:
- Straighforward information and advice on applying for and choosing college financing
- Innovative college savings plans for parents/guardians of young children preparing for future education expenses
- Free financial aid seminars and helpful calculators and tools to help you understand your options and plan your college funding strategy
- Low-cost loan programs for parents/guardians and students