College Prep

College Resources

Common App 2023-2024 Essay Prompts

  • Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  • The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  • Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  • Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  • Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  • Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  • Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

College Financial Aid

SCA juniors, seniors and their parents are encouraged to learn more about how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Useful resources for applying for financial aid for college are listed below.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Websites

  • Best Colleges – Investigates the major sources of financial aid awards, which, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. They also explain how scholarships, grants and fellowships work and identify awards for women that are worth pursuing.
  • CSS Profile online – The CSS Profile is required by many private colleges and universities to apply for financial aid in addition to the FAFSA form.
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA –recommended for all students regardless of family income.
  • –Database of over 180,000 private scholarships. It offers a free search using an online profile you create.
  • The Federal Student Aid Gateway – Source for free information, guidance, and tools for federal student assistance—from the U.S. Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid. Click on the section for “Students, Parents and Counselors” –
  • FinAid – A resource for financial aid & scholarships, including a financial aid estimator.
  • Going Merry – One place for students to find and apply to scholarships online, free.
  • – Sponsored by participants in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), this is a site for advice on financial strategies, choosing a college and career planning.
  • Cappex – Assists in finding merit aid scholarships by matching students with merit scholarship opportunities from colleges across the country. Merit aid is awarded to students with a broad range of GPA’s, and can even be based on interests, intended majors, leadership & community service.
  • State of Michigan –Offers information on Michigan-based scholarships.
  • Midwest Student Exchange Program – The Midwest’s largest multi-state tuition reciprocity program. Over 140 colleges and universities in Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin offer each other’s’ citizens affordable rates. Public institutions agree to charge no more than 150% of the in-state resident tuition rate; private institutions offer a 10% reduction on tuition rates.
  • – A free college scholarship search that has over ten million members. There are no fees to apply.
  •– Scholarships guaranteed by nearly 100 colleges to students who meet the individual listed criteria for each.

College and Career Search

College Search Websites

  • Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities: Offers a college search for those institutions, as well as various publications.
  • Catholic Colleges Online:  Includes up-to-date news, events and a job board.
  • CollegeWeek Live:  Search colleges, see scholarship information, view upcoming college events (such as open houses, etc.), and even see on-demand video presentations.
  • Common Application: – The official site for the Common Application, used by many selective, independent colleges and universities for admission to their undergraduate programs.
  • HBCU Connect: A great site to search for historically black colleges and universities. Also has links for scholarships, jobs and much more.
  • NCAA: National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Information on Division I, II & III schools, daily updates, blogs, job information, and sport-by-sport statistics. For high school students interested in playing college sports, request a transcript through Parchment for the NCAA Clearinghouse.
  • Michigan College and University Guide; provides an investigative review of the online education landscape and critically evaluate the best program available, from quality to affordability. Also, scholarship information to help finance their education.
  • Petersons: A comprehensive site where you can identify colleges by location, major, tuition and more. There is also test prep and financial aid information.
  • Princeton Review: A site to help with standardized test preparation, as well as a great college search function.
  • UNIGO: A college guide created by college students nationwide, covering everything from the admissions process to academics to social life at various schools. A great way to get a student’s perspective.
  • U.S. News:  Keeps up-to-date college rankings, including “Best Colleges” (nationally), “Best Graduate Schools”, and “World’s Best Universities”
  • Wired Scholar: Help in preparing for college, for both students and parents who are trying to figure out the college and financial aid application processes.

Career Planning

  • Career Planning: The Occupational Outlook Handbook is the #1 resource for learning about different careers, the education and training needed, and the current average salary for those careers.

College Visit Schedule

Each year various colleges are invited to SCA to offer time for our students to ‘visit’ the college. These college visits are open to juniors & seniors. We recommend juniors and seniors attend at least 3 college visits each year. Interested students must register through SCOIR at least 1 day prior to a visit in order to attend.


Students must register through SCOIR. Counselors update the college visit calendar daily. Check SCOIR for updates. The morning of the college visit, see your counselor for a pass. For more information about colleges and universities, STARS should sign in to their SCOIR account or talk to their counselor.

College Visits

The college visits are always announced in the school’s morning announcements. A physical copy of the College Visit calendar is posted in the front window of the Counseling Office. Please have your daughter visit SCOIR for the most up-to-date calendar and to register for a visit!

Free Dress Day Pass

Juniors will receive a Free Dress Day Pass for every 5 college visits they attend (max of 2 passes).

Seniors can receive a Free Dress Day Pass for every 3 college visits they attend (max of 2 passes).

  • Students must register through SCOIR to attend the College Visits (
  • Dress down passes can be obtained from Mrs. Tankersley
  • If there is a specific college/university you wish us to invite to SCA, please let Mrs. Tankersley know.

See Mrs. Sitto or Mrs. Tankersley if you have any questions about SCOIR or College Visits.