College Planning

Resources for College Planning

  • Students at FRCS participate in a series of college and career activities, lessons, and courses starting in 5th grade.  More information is available under “College Advising Classes”.
  • Students begin using Naviance (www.naviance.com) in middle school with lessons and activities which increasingly  become more independent and individualized through high school.   These activities help students develop a portfolio of personal information related to college interests and plans.
  • The College Board’s Big Future website at https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org provides many resources for students.
  • The Massachusetts Career Information System at https://masscis.intocareers.org provides career interest inventories as well as college and career information.  Click on “Resident” at the home page, then enter your town and zip code to access the system
  • Colleges That Change Lives is a website ( http://www.ctcl.org) highlighting small private liberal arts colleges which focus on student development in learning communities
  • The New England Board of Higher Education (http://www.nebhe.org) provides information about colleges and universities in New England as well as information about the Tuition Break program
  • The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (http://www.mass.edu/campuses/campuses.asp) provides information about public colleges and universities.
  • The non-profit American Student Assistance organization publishes and excellent booklet about admissions to Massachusetts state universities and colleges – Apply on Time – Resource Guide

College Advising Curriculum at FRCS

FRCS places strong emphasis on academic readiness and planning for college.  Students participate in the following progression of seminars, discussions and classes related to college exploration and admissions.

8th Grade Students

  •           Two lessons on the course catalog and completion of a four year high school course plan in spring
  •           Four to five lesson seminar about college application, admissions, and planning using Early College Planning Guide and resources from MEFA (Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority www.mefa.org).

9th and 10th Grade Students – Achievement Teams:

  • Small group discussions one class period per cycle all year
  • Discuss a variety of topics, including transcripts and grade point averages, college fairs, standardized testing, career interests, study skills and test taking strategies.
  • Students build positive relationships with peers and teachers

11th Grade Students  – Junior Advising: 

  • Explore college and career options in more detail in term 2 (class 1 time per cycle) and term 3 (classes 3 times per cycle).
  • Explore career interests and paths using Naviance surveys and Roadtrip Nation videos
  • Understand the types of colleges, investigating and visiting colleges, the application process, and finalizing a list of colleges to which to apply.
  • Discuss standardized tests, financial aid, interviewing, and other topics related to applying to and making a decision about colleges.
  • Guest staff speakers are invited to explain their own educational and professional development.
  • Complete a draft of the Common Application as a final project.

12th Grade Students Senior Advising:

  • Develop and finalize post-secondary education interests, applications, and commitments (class 1 time per cycle all year)
  • Plan college essays and resumes, timelines, and prioritizing applications.
  • Discuss the stress involved in applying, for themselves as well their families, and are provided information and resources to help with family conversations about the transition to college.  Transition from high school to college is discussed.
  • Learn about financial aid and scholarships.
  • Recent graduates are also invited to talk about what their experience in becoming college student has been like.
  • Understanding and comparing financial aid packages as well as college budgeting.
  • Complete the Senior College/Career Portfolio (graduation requirement).