September Guidance Notes 2013


      September 2013

College/Career Information


Seniors will begin considering their plans after High School.  They will meet individually with the Guidance Counselor to begin the process of exploring college and career options, financial aid opportunities, etc.

College Representatives will begin scheduling visits with our school.  Juniors and Seniors are eligible to attend these presentations.  The daily announcements will post these visits at least a week in advance.  To participate, you must sign up in the Guidance Office in a timely manner.

Financial Aid Information is available in the Guidance Office.   Seniors, please pay particular attention to this section.  There are several forms of Financial Aid.

They include:

*Scholarships  *Grants  *Work Study   and *Loans.

Scholarships are usually based on meeting a certain criteria such as a specific grade point average, or writing an essay on a given topic.  The guidance Counselor receives a variety of scholarships in her office on a monthly basis.  These scholarships are posted in the monthly Guidance Notes.  Students can also do their own scholarship search.  Some useful sites include or  These and additional search sites can also be accessed at Mrs.

Hardiek’s Homepage.  Colleges have their own scholarships, as well.  It is the student’s

responsibility to be informed on College scholarships by attending college

presentations here at school, visiting the college of their choice, visiting that college’s web-site, etc.

The other three types of Financial Aid (Grants, Work-Study, and Loans) are based on financial need.  More specifically, these types are based on parent’s income and the ability of parents to contribute to their child’s education.  To participate in this type of financial aid, students and parents must complete the FAFSA form.  This is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  This form cannot be completed and is not available until after January 1st, 2014 because it is based on student and parent tax information.  If anyone would like to get an idea of what the FAFSA is all about, however, go to to look at last year’s form.  You can also go to to apply for a pin number, which will be required, if you choose to complete the form on-line when it is available after January.  A Financial Aid Calculator is also available at   This site can give you a prediction of how much financial aid you may be eligible for.  Again, all these items can be accessed at Mrs. Hardiek Homepage.




Seniors, the Prairie State Achievement exam (PSAE) results are being mailed to parents the 1st full week of September.  PSAE scores will be placed on student’s permanent transcript.  Students may elect to retake the ACT portion of the PSAE in October and December.  ACT scores are required for College acceptance.  This exam will be given at an established ACT center set by the state such as Vandalia or Effingham. The cost is $36.50.  Deadline to register for this exam is Friday, September 27th.  See Mrs. Hardiek for material or assistance.


 (For Seniors unless otherwise stated)

Wendy’s High School Heisman

·         Based on academic and athletic achievement as well as community involvement

·         Applicants could  receive a certificate, a Wendy’s Gift Card and a chance to become a National finalist and fly to New York City

·         Go to to complete the application

·         Application must be submitted on-line and reviewed by Mrs. Hardiek no later than October 2nd.  


William Randolph Hearst

·         Must be a junior or Senior serving in an elected capacity in student government or related organization with intent to take government courses in college

·         Based on leadership ability, class rank, school and community involvement

·         A two page narrative is required

·         See Mrs. Hardiek for an application

·         Could win $5000 and a  trip to Washington

·         Must be received by October 4th.


Formals of Litchfield

·         Students design and sketch a prom dress

·         Winner will receive $500 and their design will be in the 2013/2014 Prom magazine

·         Must be received by October 20th.


Horatio Alger Association

·         Applicant must demonstrate integrity, perseverance in overcoming adversity, financial need, and a good academic record.

·         Go to for an application.

·         Awards  range from $2500 to $20,000

·         Must be submitted on-line by October 25th.  Additional paperwork required must be submitted by October 25th.


Reminder, Guidance information is available on Brownstown High School’s Homepage at www.bcusd201.comYou can access college/career exploration sites, ACT up-dates, financial aid assistance, etc., on Mrs. Hardiek’s Homepage.