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College Planning Guide

Please view the appropriate grade-level information below to guide you through the college planning process. If you have any questions, please contact our Academic Advising Office.

  • 9th GRADE

    • Review NSA graduation requirements.
    • Log in to Genius to get familiar with your graduation plan.
    • Begin thinking about college and career possibilities.
    • Talk with your academic advisor to make sure you are taking the appropriate classes.
    • Begin keeping track of things you are doing in high school (athletics, volunteer opportunities, awards received, etc.) You will need dates, number of hours worked, awards received, etc. from your 9th – 11th grade years when it is time to apply to colleges.
    • Keep your grades up.
    • Get involved in a club or athletic team. Volunteer or find a job. Identify activities where you have genuine interest and can increase your level of responsibility over your high school years.
  • 10th GRADE

    • Log into Genius to view your graduation requirements and transcript. You need to have at least 6 total credits earned by August 1 to be classified as a 10th grader.
    • Talk with your academic advisor to make sure you are on track for graduation or meeting college requirements.
    • Create your College Board Account: Store login information. If you forget your password, contact the College Board. Connect your account to NSA. Begin exploring potential colleges. NSA’s CEEB Code: 252825. You will need this account when it is time to register for the SAT.
    • Create a Khan Academy account. This is a free tool to help prepare for the PSAT and SAT.
    • Locate a school in your area to take the PSAT. (Note: The PSAT is not required and many students choose to only take the SAT.)
    • Start practicing for the SAT. Link your CollegeBoard account and Khan Academy Account.
    • Continue to keep track of things you are doing in high school (athletics, volunteer opportunities, awards received, etc.).
    • Keep your grades up.
    • Identify or further explore your interest in and out of the classroom. Get involved in a club or athletic team. Participate in extracurricular activities. Volunteer or find a job. Take a passion/interest you started previously and go deeper or extend into a related area (for example, an athlete can mentor younger athletes and/or work with a recreation league or middle school team).
    • If you are planning to participate in college athletics, you need to register to get a free account with the NCAA. Also, make sure your courses are meeting NCAA academic requirements. Please review the NCAA Info Handbook which is updated annually by NCAA and can be found on their website.
  • 11th GRADE

    SUMMER BEFORE 11TH GRADE

    • Log into Genius and review your graduation requirements and transcript. Check your number of total credits and GPA. You need to have at least 12 total credits earned by August 1st to be classified as an 11th grader.
    • Review this College Search Guide to help talk through important college criteria; talk about it as a family!
    • Meet with an academic advisor to plan your course schedule. If you are planning to take dual credit courses, be sure to follow all steps for approval.

    AUGUST-OCTOBER

    • Watch this video to understand SCOIR.
    • Register your SCOIR account via the email link that will be sent to you from NSA. If you do not receive an email link contact the academic advising office at [email protected]. Your NSA email is your primary email. You can also add your personal email as the alternate email. Hint: It is a good idea to create an email address to be used only for college app purposes.
    • In your Student Profile make sure you review and sign the FERPA Release and Waiver. We are not able to send documents until this step is complete. This lets colleges know that you have not viewed your recommendation letters.
    • Download the SCOIR student mobile app. Be sure to enable push notifications when first logging in: Apple App Store. Android users can access the mobile-friendly site on their phones.
    • Complete your profile in SCOIR by navigating to My Profile. Make sure your personal details and academic overview are accurate (data from the academic overview was retrieved from Genius). Add your activities, achievements, and a personal bio to create your resume in SCOIR. You will need to have information about any awards received, community service, employment, activities you have been involved in while in high school. Keep this information up to date throughout high school so you can use it for your resume.
    • Complete the YouScience Career Assessment under the Career link in SCOIR.
    • Here are more helpful links for career planning. You can also use Big Future through your College Board account.
    • Optional: Locate a school in your area to take the PSAT in October. Most schools order their exams in March-May of the 10th grade year.
    • If you are taking AP courses, locate a school in your area to register for the AP exam. The registration deadline is November, but some schools may have an earlier deadline. The AP exam will be given in May.
    • If you have not already done so, create your College Board Account: Save your login information. If you forget your password, contact the College Board. Connect your CollegeBoard account to NSA. NSA’s CEEB Code: 252825.
    • Register to take the SAT, and/or ACT. It is recommended that you take the SAT and ACT at least once during the spring of your junior year.
    • Register to take the TOEFL (non-US citizens only) if needed.

    JANUARY – MARCH

    • Become familiar with common College Admission Terms.
    • Begin searching for colleges via SCOIR. To explore, follow, and compare colleges, go to My Profile then College Preferences on the left column. Then click on Edit Preferences to search colleges by criteria that most interest you. Watch this video to help you use Scoir’s College Compare tool to view your matches and compare up to 4 colleges side-by-side.
    • Add colleges you are considering in SCOIR. Keep track of colleges that interest you by adding them to your “My Colleges” Following list. You can access this list at any time and review counselor and parent college suggestions. Colleges on your Following list can send you messages to help you learn more about them.

    APRIL- JULY

    • Visit colleges in person and/or through virtual tours.
    • Complete the Student Survey Form located in Surveys via SCOIR (located in the drop down list in the top right corner of your SCOIR account).
    • Ask your parent/caregiver to complete the Parent Survey via their SCOIR account. NOTE: The Student and Parent Surveys will need to be completed in order for us to assist with writing your recommendation letters.
    • Select courses for your senior year and meet with your academic advisor to make sure you are meeting graduation requirements. Also check your graduation plan in Genius.
    • Review the College Application Deadline Information from the NSA Student & Supervisor Handbook to make sure you understand the requirements you need prior to moving into your senior year.
    • If you are actively being recruited to play collegiate sports, you need to request to have your ACT or SAT scores sent to the NCAA. Also transition your NCAA profile account to a certification account.
    • Narrow down your list of colleges. Update this information in the “Following” section in SCOIR. Review helpful tips for choosing a college
    • Begin thinking about college essay prompts.
    • If you are considering the US military, start talking with military recruiters.
    • Begin thinking of 1-2 teachers you would like to ask to write a recommendation on your behalf when the time comes. Send an email to the teacher to ask if they would be willing to write a recommendation letter for you when it is time. Students can officially submit requests to teachers via SCOIR beginning April of junior year. See Teacher Recommendation Request Instructions under 12th grade.
  • 12th GRADE

    SUMMER BEFORE 12TH GRADE

    • Log into Genius and review your graduation requirements and transcript. Check the number of credits and GPA. You must have at least 18 total credits earned by August 1 to be classified as a 12th grader. You must also have no more than 6.5 credits remaining as of August 1 for the Advising Office to submit documents to colleges on your behalf. (ALL 11th grade courses should be completed.) Review the College Application Deadline Information from the NSA Student & Supervisor Handbook to make sure you understand the requirements you need prior to starting your senior year.
    • If you have not already done so, register for all Senior courses. Most colleges will not accept applications unless students have finished junior courses. They also want to see all the senior courses you are enrolled in or are planning to take. Schedule a meeting with your academic advisor to make sure you are enrolled in all courses you need to meet NSA graduation requirements.
    • If you are actively being recruited by the NCAA, complete a transcript request form for your NSA transcript to be sent to the NCAA eligibility center.
    • Update your high school resume in SCOIR.
    • Talk about college finances, state residency for financial aid and tuition purposes with your parents and learn about financial aid.
    • Before starting college applications, review this information. Click HERE.

    AUGUST- SEPTEMBER

    • Register for the SAT and/or ACT.
    • Register with CollegeBoard for the College Board Opportunity Scholarship.
    • If you are taking AP courses, locate a school in your area to register for the AP exam. The registration deadline is November, but some schools may have an earlier deadline. The AP exam will be given in May.
    • STEPS TO APPLY
      • Watch this video: This will give a brief overview of how the process will work when you are ready to apply to colleges and how your documents will be sent via SCOIR.
      • Summary of NSA College Application Process: Review this prior to following the steps below.
      • Create a Common App account. Do not work on the college section of the Common App until after August 1st of your senior year. Watch this video BEFORE inputting recommendation information in Common App. DO NOT INPUT THE COUNSELOR OR TEACHER EMAIL ADDRESS IN COMMON APP.
      • Gather everything you will need for your application. Counselor information and ranking information for applications.
        • Counselor: Mrs. Tasha Calvin
        • Title: Academic & College Advisor
        • Email: [email protected] (DO NOT TYPE THIS EMAIL INTO COMMON APP)
      • Meet with your academic advisor about your college/career plans.
      • Decide which colleges you are applying to. Decide how you are applying (Common App, Coalition via Scoir, college website, etc). Be aware of the following admissions options:
        • Early Decision: Can only apply to one college as Early Decision. Students apply early and are notified of acceptance or rejection well in advance of the usual notification date. If admitted, students must agree to accept an offer of admission and must attend the university (binding contract). Extremely selective colleges may offer this option. The application deadline is usually November 1st.
        • Early Action: This is the same as early decision except the applicants are not obligated to accept an offer of admission, but must reply by May 1st (non binding).
        • Regular Decision: Students apply according to the application deadline date set by the university.
      • Move the colleges you are applying to from FOLLOWING to the APPLYING section in SCOIR. It will show Pending Approval in the Applying section in Scoir until you have completed your 11th grade courses and registered for all 12th grade courses. If you are applying via Common App or a different platform, make sure you also add those same colleges to that platform.
      • Make note of required documents: letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor, SAT/ACT scores, transcript, School report, Secondary report, Academic information, how many recommendations you will need, etc.
      • Make a checklist of all of your due dates (including test dates, registration deadlines, fees, college application deadlines and fees, financial aid forms and deadlines, recommendation letters, transcript requests, essays, etc).
      • View the Common App prompts and/or essay prompts from college websites and begin to formulate ideas about your application essay. Most college essay prompts are available August 1.
      • Work on college essays
      • Begin requesting teacher recommendations through Scoir (follow steps below).

    The Student and Parent Information Survey and FERPA Release must be completed in SCOIR prior to requesting recommendation letters

    • TEACHER RECOMMENDATION AND TRANSCRIPT REQUEST INSTRUCTIONS
      • Make sure you have asked the teacher if they are willing to write your recommendation before submitting a request through SCOIR and before adding them to Common App.
      • Ask a teacher at least one month in advance of your deadline if he/she is willing to write a letter of recommendation, read through the information about letters of recommendation. (You will need to follow up later.) Please don’t ask the recommender to send the letter to you. Make sure you have signed the FERPA Release in Common App and SCOIR. If a college doesn’t require a recommendation most likely, they do not want you to send a recommendation.
      • Submit the request to 1-2 teachers via SCOIR AND Common App (if applying through CA). Refer to this video and these step by step directions for requesting recommendations through Common App and SCOIR. How to request recommendations if you are not using Common App. All recommendation requests must be submitted via SCOIR at least ONE MONTH in advance of the due date. DO NOT INPUT THE TEACHER OR COUNSELOR EMAIL ADDRESS IN COMMON APP. You do not need to submit a request for a counselor recommendation, only a teacher recommendation. If a school requires a counselor recommendation, we will be notified once you have submitted your application and moved the school to the APPLIED section in SCOIR.
      • Submit a Transcript Request Form for the schools you are applying to.

    OCTOBER – DECEMBER

    • Complete college applications and check the following before submitting your application:
      • My first name and last name in Scoir match my first name and last name in my application and/or Common App
      • My email address in Scoir matches the email used in my application and/or Common App
      • My date of birth in Scoir matches the date of birth used in my application and/or Common App
      • My home address in Scoir matches the home address used in my application and/or Common App
      • I entered my Common App ID into Scoir when adding schools to the Applying List
    • After you have submitted your application:
      • Log in to SCOIR move the name of the college you have applied to the APPLIED section in SCOIR and upload a screenshot showing you have applied to your SCOIR My Drive. This will prompt us to submit the school report, teacher recommendations (if requested), and counselor recommendation on your behalf. Transcripts will not be sent until you have completed the transcript request form and paid for your transcript.
    • TRANSCRIPTS
      • Know your college application deadlines. Submit your applications AND if you haven’t already done so submit the NSA Transcript Request Form so we can release your transcript to each school you applied to. (Remember you must also move the school to the APPLIED section in SCOIR)
        • If you have a January college application deadline, then your transcript requests should be submitted by the 2nd week in December.
      • Send SAT, ACT, TOEFL, AP scores to colleges. (You must do this, NSA can not submit this for you). If a college you are applying to has self-reported scores, make sure to fill out this section on the Common.
      • U.S. citizens applying to U.S. colleges: Beginning October 1st, complete and submit the FAFSA and if required the CSS Profile. You will need to do this with your parent or legal guardian.
      • Federal Law requires nearly all male US citizens and male immigrants age 18-25 to register for selective service.
    • SCHOLARSHIPS
      • Begin investigating scholarship opportunities. Determine if you qualify for scholarships based on your current SAT or ACT scores. Decide if you need to take the SAT/ACT again (most scores are due by December 1). Research other Scholarship and Financial Aid information.

    JANUARY – MAY

    • If your college requires a MIDYEAR REPORT to be submitted, make sure you notify the academic office. Your 1st semester courses will need to be completed.
    • Take AP Exams if applicable.
    • Update all college decisions in SCOIR and upload a copy of all college acceptance letters and scholarship notifications to your SCOIR MY DRIVE as soon as you receive them.

    MAY

    • Request an application to graduate and diploma request (2 weeks before your last course finishes).
    • By May 1, submit your deposit to the college you plan to attend.
    • Notify colleges where you were accepted but are not planning to attend.
    • Update your FINAL college decision in SCOIR (this is where you have paid your enrollment deposit). Send a message via SCOIR to notify academic advising of your final college decision or career plans.
    • Request for your NSA final transcript to be sent to the college you will attend. (Again, request for your final transcript to be sent to the college where you have paid your enrollment deposit or uploaded to Scoir.)
    • If you took dual credit courses, contact the college where you took the courses to have your college transcript sent to the college you will be attending.
    • Write thank you letters/emails to individuals who wrote recommendation letters on your behalf.
    • Relax and enjoy time with your family and friends!
  • Helpful Links

  • College Application Info

    Use the information below to complete your college applications:

    School: NorthStar AcademyCEEB CODE: 252825
    Counselor: Tasha CalvinTitle: Academic/College Advisor
    Email: [email protected]School Type: Religious
    Telephone: 662-892-4380Fax: 662-892-4385
    Address: 3790 Goodman Road EastCity/State/Zip code: Southaven, MS 38672

    Reminder: Do not enter the counselor or teacher email address in Common App

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Toll Free 1-888-464-6280 | Direct 1-662-892-4380 | Fax 1-662-892-4385

[email protected] | 3790 Goodman Road East, Southaven, MS 38672, USA

NorthStar Academy (NSA) is a fully accredited online, private, college preparatory Christian school offering students in 4th-12th grades a rigorous and high quality academic program taught by highly qualified, mission-minded, Christian educators in a supportive and encouraging environment.

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Copyright © 1998 -2022, NorthStar Academy. All Rights Reserved. AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.

Toll Free 1-888-464-6280 | Direct 1-662-892-4380 | Fax 1-662-892-4385
[email protected] 3790 Goodman Road East Southaven, MS 38672, USA

NorthStar Academy (NSA) is a fully accredited online, private, college preparatory Christian school offering students in 4th-12th grades a rigorous and high quality academic program taught by highly qualified, mission-minded, Christian educators in a supportive and encouraging environment.

Copyright © 1998 -2022, NorthStar Academy. All Rights Reserved. AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.