Career and College Notes for mid-March through mid-April

Hello Students and Families,

There are some awesome things on the horizon, including the Trades Fair at TwispWorks on March 20 and a College & Career Fair at LBHS on April 22 (organized by our CLIMBS students!). Let me know if you have questions about any of the opportunities listed here.

Scholarships!

Seniors, keep checking the Scholarships 2024 Google Classroom page for new scholarship opportunities and updates to deadlines, etc. One opportunity to highlight – the Methow Valley Education Foundation now has four distinct programs (with one universal application): MVEF General Scholarships, Trade/Vocational School Scholarships, the Tom Zbyszewski Memorial Scholarship, and the new Arnold R. Campbell Memorial Scholarship(s). The MVEF scholarship committee especially encourages students who are interested in trade or technical education/training to apply.

SAT Prep for Juniors

Ms. Anderson will be offering a test prep series during Advisory on Tuesdays & Thursdays starting on March 19, leading up to the School Day SAT at Liberty Bell on Thursday, April 25.

Because of the new digital format of the test, our test prep will be mostly online. But I encourage all juniors to attend the advisory prep sessions in person for two reasons: 1) having time set aside and a group of colleagues to practice with provides accountability and motivation, and 2) I'll guide you through the resources and show how to use them effectively. 

If you're interested, here's a recent NY Times article about the new digital SAT. According to students who have already taken the digital SAT this spring, the shorter testing time is a real game-changer!  

Many (but not all) colleges and universities plan to continue their test-optional admissions policies next year. You can check out a current list of test-optional schools at FairTest: The National Center for Fair and Open Testing

Summer Essay Workshop at The Bush School, Mazama Campus

The week of June 24-28, Hilary Kaltenbach (MVSD parent and former Bush School teacher) and Jasminé Smith from The Bush School will be offering a writing retreat designed to support rising seniors as they tackle the writing components of college applications. MVSD juniors are invited to register as day students – you’ll attend from 10am-3pm each day – for a cost of $50 (and financial aid is available). Check out the attached flyer for more details, and see Beth Anderson with questions. 

Upcoming Events & Deadlines

Wednesday, March 20 — MVSD Trades Fair at TwispWorks

The second annual MVSD Trades Fair is sure to be an awesome experience! From 11:30am-1:00pm on March 20, tradespeople from the Methow and nearby communities will set up outside at TwispWorks, in front of our MVSD Welding and Auto shops. There will be demonstrations of tools and equipment, and students will have the opportunity to ask the representatives from different trades about the qualifications and experience needed to work in their fields. See Beth Anderson, Wyatt Southworth, or Grant Storey if you want to attend – we will arrange transportation from LBHS to Twisp and back.

Monday, April 22 — College & Career Fair at LBHS

The 7th-8th and 9th-10th CLIMBS classes are planning a whole-school College & Career Fair that will be held during JH/HS Advisory and lunch on Monday, April 22. Representatives from colleges and local businesses/employers will be on hand to answer questions and give students information about opportunities in their industries/schools. 

Thursday, April 25 — School Day SAT

Juniors are encouraged to sign up with Debbie in the main office (no later than March 25) to take the SAT at Liberty Bell on April 25, starting at 8:20am. This opportunity is free and during the school day – please take advantage of it!

Ongoing — Finish the FAFSA

Seniors & families: there’s still time to complete your FAFSA application in order to receive scholarships and financial aid at many post-secondary institutions for the fall of 2024. Remember: even if you’re not planning to continue your education next year, I’d encourage you to fill out the FAFSA because it will give you the opportunity to access the funds you need if you change your mind!

Be well,

Beth/Ms. Anderson

Beth Anderson 

College and Career Advisor

Methow Valley School District

banderson@methow.org

Career and College Advisor Notes for November 2023

November is National Scholarship Month!

What does that mean for you? If you’re a senior, it means you’ll start completing some scholarship forms and begin gearing up for the release of the new FAFSA form in December (more details on the 24-25 FAFSA release below). And if you’re in 7-11th grade, you are already eligible to apply for certain scholarships, no matter what your current plans are for after high school! Check out this scholarship database that lists awards available to students by age/grade.

Before I get into all the financial aid announcements, a couple of reminders about upcoming career exploration opportunities:

Tuesday, Nov. 7, 7:00 am-4:30 pm: Big Bend Community College field trip

We’ll go to BBCC in Moses Lake to tour the campus and learn more about programs in manufacturing & process technology, welding, and aviation. All students in grades 7-12 are welcome!

Wednesday, Nov. 8, 1:30 p.m.: Health Sciences Clinical Skills Lab in the LB Culinary Arts classroom (Room 110)

Interested in a career in healthcare, emergency medicine, or just learning some basic clinical skills? A team of healthcare professionals from Jamie's Place and other healthcare providers from throughout the Methow will be leading a fun clinical skills lab every two weeks on early release Wednesdays. The next lab will be Wednesday, Nov. 8 right after school and will focus on vital signs, pulse rate, and blood pressure. Open to anyone interested and no previous experience required – see Grant Storey or Beth Anderson with questions.

U.S. Forest Service Hiring Window is OPEN until November 8

Earlier this week the LBHS Senior Seminar classes had a visit from a group of local Forest Service employees who shared about their career paths and talked about the wide range of opportunities for our graduates to find employment within the agency. For anyone interested in applying for seasonal positions for the summer of 2024, hiring is open from now until Nov. 8 on USAJOBS.gov. Two notes: applicants will need to be 18 or older by the time they start employment, and there will be another round of hiring in late January.

The University of Washington Application Deadline is November 15

Many of our seniors have already been hard at work on college applications this fall, some for early deadlines and others for due dates later in the school year. All applications for the University of Washington are due on Wednesday, November 15. This is the UW’s regular deadline and the only time they accept applications. Seniors, please keep reaching out if you need any help completing your applications in the coming weeks.

Update on the Revised Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Still waiting for the official release date of the 2024-2025 FAFSA! We know it will happen sometime in December and I will update the families of seniors as soon as I know more. In the meantime, here’s another helpful article on the anticipated changes: “The FAFSA Process Is Changing. Here’s What You Need to Know,” from Education Week. Or you can listen to this 4-minute piece on the FAFSA overhaul from NPR.

Financial Aid Information for Families – Recording from Macalester College Once the revised FAFSA form is available in December, we will host our annual in-person financial aid night in the Liberty Bell Library. However, if you’re looking for an overview of the financial aid process that you can access anytime, I’d recommend this recording from the Macalester College financial aid office: Financial Aid 101 -- Overview of the 2024-2025 Financial Aid Application Process.

A Few Important Scholarship Opportunities

Leadership 1000 Scholarship - Application Due November 30

Seniors, if you're considering attending a 2- or 4-year college or university in Washington State and meet the income eligibility guidelines, apply for the Leadership 1000 scholarship. The award is $5,000 per year and it's renewable for 4 years ($20,000 total). The application does include several short essays, but all students who meet the income criteria are encouraged to apply—it's worth your effort! A guide to the application process is attached, and there is an optional webinar on Nov. 8 from 6-7 p.m. to help students navigate the process.

Hagan Scholarship - Application Due December 1

The Hagan Scholarship is a nationwide need-based merit scholarship, that provides recipients with the opportunity to graduate from college debt-free. The scholarship is worth up to $7,500 each semester. See the full eligibility and application details on their website: this is a nationwide scholarship program, but students from rural and relatively small school districts are preferred. If you meet the criteria, talk to Ms. Anderson about how to apply.

Montana State University Presidential & WUE Scholarships - Applications Due December 2 & January 3

The Presidential Scholarship is offered through MSU’s Honors College and is the highest-value award at Montana State University, including a full tuition waiver and a generous housing stipend. The Presidential Scholarship application is open, and is due on December 1, 2023, for the 2024-2025 academic year. MSU will be offering a very limited number of Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) scholarships to new freshmen enrolling in the fall of 2024. The WUE application is open, and instructions to apply can be found on MSU’s Nonresident Scholarships page. The deadline for WUE scholarship consideration is January 3, 2024. Due to the high value of WUE and the volume of applications, the scholarship is limited and extremely competitive. Students are encouraged to apply early and to complete the application carefully. Students will be notified in mid-February if they have been awarded WUE.

All for now! See me with questions or if you’d like to set up a time to talk about what’s next after high school. (This offer applies to both students and families!)

With gratitude,

Beth/Ms. Anderson

College and Career Advisor

Methow Valley School District

banderson@methow.org

509.996.2215, x4175

Office Hours: Available at LBHS or ILC from 8 am-3:30 pm on M/Tu/Th/F

Available remotely on Wednesdays

College and Career Advising October Announcements

October will be a busy month for all the things. There are field trips to go on, essays to write, tests to take, and applications to work on…in addition to all the athletic events and drama performances and Homecoming celebrations.  Please reach out when you have questions or concerns or just need a moment to sit and breathe – there are many resources available to support you.

Upcoming Field Trips!

Below are the dates and descriptions of the fall field trip opportunities. The overnight college tour is mainly intended for juniors and seniors; CLIMBS students in grades 9-10 can talk with Beth Anderson and may be able to join if space is available. For all trips, see Ms. Anderson to sign up and pick up permission forms:

Friday, Oct. 13 - Western Washington University Fall Preview Day (long day trip, 6:00am-6:00pm)

Wednesday, Oct. 18 - Okanogan County Career Expo (during the school day, 8:30am-1:00pm, all CLIMBS students in grades 9-12 will attend)

Monday, Oct. 23 - Tuesday, Oct. 24 - Overnight College TourWashington State UniversityNACAC College Fair at Spokane Convention Center, Spokane Community College (leave 6:00am on 10/23, return 6:00pm on 10/24 – see attached itinerary for details!)

Tuesday, Nov. 7 - Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake (long-ish day trip, 7:00am-4:30pm)

Two Important Scholarship Opportunities

Leadership 1000 - Application Due November 30

Seniors, if you're considering attending a 2- or 4-year college or university in Washington state and meet the income eligibility guidelines, apply for the Leadership 1000 scholarship. The award is $5,000 per year and it's renewable for 4 years ($20,000 total). The application does include several short essays, but all students who meet the income criteria are encouraged to apply—it's worth your effort! A guide to the application process is attached, and there is an optional webinar on Nov. 8 from 6-7pm to help students navigate the process.

Hagan Scholarship - Application Due December 1

The Hagan Scholarship is a nationwide need-based merit scholarship, providing recipients with the opportunity to graduate from college debt-free. The scholarship is worth up to $7,500 each semester. See the full eligibility and application details on their website: this is a nationwide scholarship program, but students from rural and relatively small school districts are preferred. If you meet the criteria, talk to Ms. Anderson about how to  apply.

PSAT for Juniors on October 26

The PSAT is given free of charge to all juniors. This year the PSAT will be digital for the first time, which means students will need to bring their Chromebooks on test day. See Erika Spellman’s earlier email for more details about the PSAT and talk with Erika or Beth if you have any questions.

School Day SAT also happening on October 26

Registration for the October 26 School Day SAT is now closed, but please** c**heck in with either Erika Spellman or Beth Anderson if you have any questions about what to expect or how to prepare.

Students may choose to register for Saturday SAT/ACT dates at any of the testing sites in our region. See Mrs. Spellman or Ms. Anderson to obtain a fee waiver for outside tests (all students who receive free/reduced lunch qualify for free testing!). 

Ask Ms. Anderson for printed copies  of full-length practice SATs and take advantage of these excellent online SAT and ACT prep resources:

A Better FAFSA As I mentioned last month, the release of this year’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid will be delayed until December. The attached flyer from the Washington Student Achievement Council addresses some of the common questions families and students may have about the new FAFSA – and you are always welcome to email or call or stop by to talk if you have questions that are specific to your situation. 

Please stop by my office and say hello during the LBHS Open House Wednesday night from 6-7:30pm! Looking forward to seeing many of you there.

Many thanks,

Beth/Ms. Anderson* College and Career Advisor* Methow Valley School District banderson@methow.org 509.996.2215, x4175* Office Hours: *Available at LBHS or ILC from 8am-3:30pm on M/Tu/Th/F Available remotely on Wednesdays

Career and College Advisor Notes for February 2024

Hello Students and Families,

It’s the beginning of a new semester! Let’s get started strong and make the most of the second half of the school year. Now would be a great time to suggest spring field trip destinations – let me know what ideas you have!

Scholarships!

Seniors, keep checking the Scholarships 2024 Google Classroom page for new scholarship opportunities and updates to deadlines, etc. There are already a number of statewide/regional listings posted, and you are especially encouraged to use the eligibility quiz tool for the Community Foundation of North Central Washington database to see which of CFNCW’s 130+ scholarships you are eligible to apply for (deadline is March 1). 

***Occupation Exploration Opportunities for Students & Families ***

During the month of February, NCESD and Career Connect Washington will be hosting two opportunities for students in grades 6-12 to learn about careers directly from people working in those industries. (More details about the two events can be found on the attached flyers.)

Careers in Mental Health: Wenatchee Valley College on Wednesday, February 7, from 5:30-7:30pm.

Each clinician will discuss a case example that is similar to the work they do and the people they work with. Clinicians will discuss specifics like symptoms, management, diagnosis, and treatment. What their role in treatment looks like and how they support people in their unique journey. They will share why they entered into mental health as a career and the schooling involved.

Careers at the Chelan PUD: Rocky Reach Dam on Thursday, February 29, from 5:30-7:30pm.

Learn more about Chelan PUD careers and the work they do to maintain and repair fish ladders, turbines, generation units, and other equipment through welding, rigging, fabrication and crane operation and see if this pathway is right for you. See Ms. Anderson if you’re interested in this event but need transportation!

Scrubs Camp in Omak on Friday, March 8

Scrubs Camp is a one-day workshop for high school students to explore health careers through instruction and interactive activities designed to increase awareness, interest, and understanding of health careers. Students will hear presentations from health care professionals and/or educators, and participate in hands-on activities including drawing blood, listening to heartbeat, experiencing technical stimulation, conducting spirometry assessments, and practicing massage techniques.

Space is limited, and MVSD has been allotted five spots for the March 8 camp in Okanogan! See Beth Anderson ASAP if you’re interested in attending – we will arrange school transportation to the event.

Upcoming Events & Deadlines

Wednesday, February 7 — Mental Health Occupation Exploration at Wenatchee Valley College

Thursday, February 29 — Washington State Opportunity Scholarship Application Due

Another great funding opportunity for seniors who are planning to major in healthcare or STEM fields at a 2- or 4-year college or university in Washington. Income limits are quite high—a student from a family of 4 with an income of $150,500 or less would qualify for the award. See Ms. Anderson with questions about whether your chosen program qualifies for this funding.

Thursday, February 29 — Chelan PUD Occupation Exploration at Rocky Reach Dam

Friday, March 1— Community Foundation of North Central Washington scholarship deadline

Most of the 100+ scholarships available through CFNCW’s universal application have March 1 deadlines. This is one you don’t want to miss, seniors! Create a profile and CFNCW will match you with the awards you’re eligible to apply for, submit the general application, and then add any additional materials requested by individual scholarships.

**Friday, March 8 **— Scrubs Camp

Ongoing — Complete the 2024-25 FAFSA

Seniors & families: there’s still plenty of time to complete your 2024-25 FAFSA application in order to receive scholarships and financial aid at post-secondary institutions for the fall of 2024. The redesigned FAFSA continues to present issues for families, but please be persistent and reach out for support when you need it! I may not be able to fix the problem, but I might have some insight about whether others are experiencing the same glitch. 

The latest FAFSA news (as of January 30) is that the Department of Education is not ready to share FAFSA data with colleges yet – they now estimate data sharing will take place in early March, meaning most colleges will not be able to award financial aid to students until mid-late March at the earliest. Though the delay is not great, the reason for it is positive – the FAFSA formula will be readjusted for inflation and students should therefore qualify for more aid. Silver linings!

Be well,

Beth/Ms. Anderson

Career and College Advisor Notes for December 2023

Dear Families & Students,

It is hard to believe 2023 is already coming to an end! Unlike past years, this December has turned into our de facto financial aid month – see below for details on upcoming events to support families and students.

First and foremost, Financial Aid Night is happening TOMORROW, Tuesday, December 5, from 6:30-7:30 pm in the LBHS Library or on Zoom**. **We will have the opportunity to learn from David Aramaki about the financial aid system and paying for post-secondary educational expenses. David has joined us on a number of occasions to share his expertise in helping families navigate the options for funding their children’s educational pursuits post-high school. All families and students in grades 7-12 are welcome, and seniors/senior families are encouraged to attend. Bring all your burning questions about financial aid and saving for college!

Update on FAFSA release + FAFSA Help Nights in January

We are still waiting for the official release date of the 2024-2025 FAFSA! We know it will happen by December 31, likely during the MVSD winter break. When we return from winter break, I’ll be hosting one or more FAFSA Help Nights for families who would like to fill out the application in the supportive environment of the LBHS Library. The first opportunity will be on Friday, January 5, from 5-7 pm. These help nights will be informal, drop-in sessions – parents are welcome to stop by to ask questions during the BB games or stay as long as they like and complete the entire FAFSA. Other dates will be scheduled based on student/family interest.

A Few Important Scholarship Opportunities

Montana State University WUE Scholarships - Applications Due January 3

MSU will be offering a very limited number of Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) scholarships to new freshmen enrolling in the fall of 2024. The WUE application is open, and instructions to apply can be found on MSU’s Nonresident Scholarships page. The deadline for WUE scholarship consideration is January 3, 2024. Due to the high value of WUE and the volume of applications, the scholarship is limited and extremely competitive. Students are encouraged to apply early and to complete the application carefully. Students will be notified in mid-February if they have been awarded WUE.

Okanogan County Bar Association Scholarship - Application Due January 15

The Okanogan County Bar Association Scholarship Committee will award a $1,200 scholarship to a student who will enroll in a two or four-year college for the Fall of 2024. To apply, students need to write an essay of up to 1,000 words about their plans for higher education (where will you go, what will you study, and why) and how they intend to use their degree to impact the legal field. Submissions must be emailed by January 15, 2024, to the Okanogan County Bar Association: OkanoganCountyBarAssociation@​gmail.com.

Washington State University General Scholarship Application - Due January 31

Like many other institutions, WSU uses a general application to award dozens of different merit-based scholarships. Prospective students need to fill out the scholarship app no later than January 31, 2024, even if they have not yet committed to attending WSU.

Happy Holidays! Please let me know how I can help you this month!

With gratitude,

Beth/Ms. Anderson

About the College and Career Counseling Program

The goal of our College and Career Counseling program is to provide students and their families with the information and resources necessary for them to make well-informed choices about their post-secondary education. Liberty Bell recognizes the diversity in our families and understands that what might be right for one student may not be a good fit for another.

Therefore, we work individually with students and their families to help them successfully develop and achieve their post-graduation goals – whether that is applying to a 4-year, 2-year or technical college, designing a productive Gap Year plan or entering the military or workforce. Some of the specific services that we offer include:

  • Educating students and parents about the post-secondary educational choices available to them.

  • Meeting individually with juniors, seniors and parents to help them with their college lists, the application process, college essays and financial aid needs, including the FAFSA, the Profile and College Bound Scholarship, as well as with SAT/ACT prep and registration.

  • Holding college information evenings for students and parents to make sure that they have all the resources and support they need to reach their goals.

  • Working with the guidance counselor to ensure that 9th and 10th graders take the necessary classes to be eligible for college admissions.

Applying to college should be a fun and exciting process; but at times it can be a bit overwhelming. If you find yourself feeling stuck, or if you have questions about any part of the application process, contact our office at (509) 996-2215.

We would like to thank the Public School Funding Alliance for their generous support of this program.