Message from Mr. Hewitt, College Counseling News

Dear Palm Valley Families,

Welcome back to those of you who are returning, and welcome to those who’ve just joined us for the 2017-2018 school year! I’m looking forward to working with all of you in the coming school year - whether in 8th grade or 12th.

This year, I will be sending out a monthly newsletter to families to keep you abreast of the many things that are going on in the world of college admissions counseling and academic advising here at Palm Valley School. While I try to make sure this information is as comprehensive as possible, there is always the possibility of last-minute college visits or schedule changes, so please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

Seniors should plan on meeting with me at least once or twice a month this semester, to make sure their applications are on target and on time.

Upcoming College Visits
Located in the College Counseling Office
Thursday, September 28th, 8:30 amNew York University
Friday, September 29th, 8:30 amUniversity of Massachusetts - Amherst
Monday, October 2nd, 8:30 amClark University
Thursday, October 5th, 12:25 pm: the University of Southern California
Thursday, October 5th, 2:35 pm: the University of Redlands

Upcoming Test Dates
Friday, September 22nd: Last Day to Register for the ACT on October 28th
Thursday, October 5th: Last Day to Register for the SAT on November 4th
Saturday, October 7th: SAT
Wednesday, October 11th: PSAT Testing for Grades 9-11

A reminder that students for whom English is not their first language: You should be checking TOEFL and/or IELTS testing dates and locations that fit into your application timeline. Visit or to register!

Financial Aid & Scholarship Notifications
The FAFSA for 2018-2019 will open on October 1st, and use family and child taxes from 2016. Seniors will review the process of creating an FSA ID, used to sign the FAFSA, in Advisory; parents and other co-signers, you can create one now!

The CSS Profile, a form similar to the FAFSA but only used by certain colleges, will also open October 1st. Students and families can, and should, be searching for outside scholarships now;  list of free search engines and resources is available on the Naviance home page.

Use the Net Price Calculator that each college publishes to help you get an estimate of total costs.

Each Wednesday in Advisory, Juniors, and Seniors will explore topics related to the college search and application process. Upcoming lessons are as follows.

12th Grade:

  • Naviance, UC, and Common App Accounts
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • FSA ID, FAFSA, and the CSS Profile
  • Scholarship Searches

11th Grade:

  • Defining Happiness
  • Defining Your Values
  • Defining Success
  • Why College?

Reading Corner
Last but not least, I’m always digging through articles on higher education in various journals, newspapers, and on Twitter, and often come across things that make me pause and think - or that are just plain helpful. Here are a couple of articles, and one book, that have stood out.

The College Solution: Colleges that Meet 100% of Financial Need” “‘Curate’ Your College List For Best Results” “Best Value Colleges in Every State”
Author Loren Pope "Colleges That Change Lives"


Mr. Hewitt
Director of College Counseling