To contact Mrs. Getts:
Mrs. Michelle Getts
Students in grades 10, 11, & 12
**Please note, like teachers, school counselors do not have regular office hours during the summer. I will return on September 5, 2023.
If you need immediate attention, please contact Mrs. Elaine Orzel, school counseling secretary at 570-562-2121 x1124.
Useful Websites for the Class of 2024:
-Use this website to conduct a college search or to research scholarships. (You can also use Naviance to complete a College Search)
-You can narrow your search by college majors, size, location, private/public, etc. - important factors in the college search process
-Students are encouraged to narrow down their list of schools to around 10 by the time they start 12th grade
-Most students apply to between 3-5 schools
-If you are applying to an Art or Music program, please pay attention to special requirements for portfolios or auditions, which may be required
What is the Common Application?
There are many good YouTube videos to assist students with completing their Common Application. The Common Application is one application that is widely accepted by many colleges and universities; for this reason, many students choose to use one application---the Common Application---to apply to multiple schools. The initial time investment in completing the Common Application is typically greater than completing an institution-based application, but in the long run, using this one application for multiple schools usually saves time in the end. All documents (transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.) are submitted electronically and can be easily managed and tracked (students can check exactly when letters and their transcript are submitted). When visiting a college or meeting with an admissions representative, you can ask if the Common Application is accepted at their institution.
What is typically needed for college applications?
Follow the instructions for submitting an application on each college Admissions page or contact/speak with a College Admissions Counselor to clarify any requirements.
-A high school transcript or
a SRAR (Self-reported academic record) - a student must obtain a copy of their transcript from the school counseling office and must enter all of their courses and final grades from grades 9-12
*Penn State, Temple, and the University of Pittsburgh are three examples of schools that require this
-Letter of Recommendation (typically one or two)
*Some schools require this, others do not; IF required, please give your recommender at least two-three weeks to complete the letter before applications are due
-Standardized Test Scores (may be required or may not be required)
*If you apply Test Optional, you may be required to complete a placement test (such as the ACCUPLACER exam) prior to enrollment
*If you plan on submitting your test scores, you must request that your test scores are sent directly from the Collegeboared; You can send your scores to up to (4) colleges for FREE when you register for the SAT; if you did not do this, you will be charged a fee to send your official scores to schools
-Personal statement or Essay
-If you are interested in a highly competitive Health Science program such as Nursing, Physical Therapy, Pharmacy, Physician's Assistant, etc., please consider submitting your applications early.
-Students are encouraged to submit applications before Thanksgiving break, if possible.
-Use this website to access videos and information about the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid)
-Any student wishing to be considered for federal student aid (grants and loan programs) will need to complete a FAFSA form
-Riverside hosts a FAFSA information night and a FAFSA completion night - if you are unsure of how to complete this form on your own, you are highly encouraged to attend one of these sessions.
(it can save you time in the long run)
PHEAA - Pennsylvania Higher Assistance Agency
-Use this website to access information about PHEAA - the state organization that assists students with higher education
-Any student who would like to be considered for PA State grants will also need to complete a PHEAA form
-Downloadable Student Aid Guide - download an informational book about financial aid
-Use this website to get information about upcoming college fairs in your region
-College fairs are a good way to meet with multiple admissions counselors in one location; they are a great starting point for students beginning their college search
College Scholarship Search Engines:
What is the key to earning money for college? Persistence. The more scholarship applications that you complete, the better your odds of receiving scholarships.
What is the #1 reason that scholarships go unawarded? Lack of applications
National Scholarships - these are going to be the most competitive, because they have the largest potential applicant pool (students from all over the country are typically eligible); some are available to underclassmen, some are only available to graduating seniors: there are so many of these, it is nearly impossible to list all of them on a website
Local Scholarships - these scholarships are posted in my Google Classroom; all 12th grade students are invited to join this classroom at the start of their senior year; they are also invited to join my REMIND app to receive notifications about new scholarship applications; Most local scholarships are not available until after January
VHV Scholarships - Vikings Helping Vikings is a non-profit organization that exclusively awards scholarships to Riverside students; students interested in applying for one of these awards must complete an application in the Spring; students failing to complete an application will not be considered for awards
How do you get information about National Scholarships? Use a scholarship search engine such as one of the ones listed below.
You should NEVER pay money for scholarship searches or to enter a scholarship program. Most scholarships will be cross-listed on several different sites; therefore, I advise picking one scholarship search engine so that applications are easier to manage.