AHS Counseling Department
The AHS Counseling Department is committed to providing you with the same kind of support and guidance that we would if we were meeting on campus. You can make appointments during our office hours by contacting us through email or by phone. We will ask you to choose a phone or video meeting. Once we have agreed on a time and day, we will send you an invitation to our appointment through our Teams Calendar.
We want to emphasize that appointments are available for routine concerns, and should not be used for mental health emergencies. If you need immediate mental health support or crisis counseling, DO NOT wait to schedule an appointment with one of us. Instead, contact:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline
Staffed with trained professionals 24/7
Provides support for people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis
We will respond to questions, concerns, emails, as soon as we are able. Thank you in advance for your patience as we move though this together. As we all work to stay connected, we also encourage you to reach out to your teachers and classmates for support.
Please be aware that School Counselors, Jen Marsden, and Karyn Barats do not have access to their office phones and are unable to return missed calls at this time.
For up-to-date information on Learning During Closure, please click here.
For the Ashland School District Coronavirus: COVID-19 Response and updates, please click here.
4/9/20 - This page has been verified up-to-date. If something seems incorrect or out of place, please contact the Main Office.
Resources on College and Career Pathways for Seniors and Families
As always, Jen Marsden, our College and Career Specialist, is available to help you navigate the college admissions process. Many seniors and parents/guardians have questions about how to proceed, especially in light of the uncertainties we are all facing. Rest assured that colleges are adjusting their expectations and deadlines along with the rest of the world. In addition, a few of you may be considering some new criteria as you work on finding an educational or career pathway that is going to be a good fit for you this coming fall. Ms. Marsden is here to support you through your planning and decision-making process, so please reach out to her with your questions and concerns at email@example.com. She will also be happy to schedule a time to talk with you on the phone.
Below is information on common questions we have been receiving with links to helpful resources. This page will be updated in the coming weeks as more information and resources becomes available. The following table of contents is bookmarked to those sections of this document:
Financial Aid Awards
Seniors may have already received financial aid award letters from colleges or found their financial aid awards posted in their student portal on the college website. Sometimes these awards can be confusin to decipher. Remember, loans are considered a part of financial aid and may be included in your financial aid package. Ms. Marsden is available to help you understand and evaluate your financial aid awards. Please reach out to her if you want to set up a time to discuss them.
Colleges are aware that the financial situation of many families may be changing and different than what is reflected in the 2020-21 FAFSA students completed, which was based on 2018 tax information and family assets held when the FAFSA was filed. All colleges have a professional judgment process, where they can reevaluate and adjust a student's financial aid award based on a family's current income and assets.
The following article will walk you through what to look for when evaluating your financial aid award(s) and also offers suggestions on how to write a financial aid appeal asking for professional judgement:
How to Understand Your Financial Aid Award Letter
Oregon Promise Grant
If seniors applied for the Oregon Promise Grant, and met eligibility requirements (2.5 GPA, listed a community college on their submitted FAFSA, and applied to an Oregon Community College), they should have received an email from OSAC updating them on their Oregon Promise Grant status and directing them to log into their OSAC account to see their OP award.
The final deadline to apply for the OP Grant is June 1, but seniors should apply as soon as possible and make sure to also add an Oregon Community College to their FAFSA. Below is a link to the general Oregon Promise FAQ page that includes information on how to apply:
The following video explains how OSAC calculates each student's Oregon Promise Grant, which currently range from $1000 - $3,750. While the video is a couple of years old (and the top award has increased), the information on award calculation is still accurate:
While in past years there has been no income (or EFC) cap to receive the OP Grant, eligibility requirements can change based on available funding. OSAC recently announced “a tentative EFC limit of 34,000 for new applicants (Class of 2020) who will begin college in fall 2020.” If a student's EFC is 34,000 or above, their OP status will read as “pending” in their OSAC portal. The state has said “the final EFC limit will be determined in July 2020.” In the spring of 2019 the State announced a tentative EFC limit of 18,000 for the Class of 2019, that limit was lifted in July and all eligible students received an OP Grant regardless of EFC. We are hopeful that will also be the case for the Class of 2020. Students and parents can always appeal to the community college for professional judgement on their OP award based on a change in financial status.
Information on Oregon Community Colleges, Public Universities and Private Colleges
Check out these two websites for updates on college admissions and acceptance deadlines, links to virtual tours and other helpful information:
Information on How to Apply to Rogue Community College
Applying to RCC is free. Students can complete the online application by going to the following link: https://web.roguecc.edu/admissions
If students have taken an AHS class for RCC College Now dual credits (or taken an RCC Driver Education class), they already have an RCC student ID #. If students have forgotten their RCC ID#, they can use their SSN to login on the RCC website, and then indicate they have forgotten their password.
Information on How to Apply to Southern Oregon University
The SOU admissions application remains open for fall 2020. Merit-based renewable scholarships for Oregon residents are being awarded on a rolling basis. SOU is now test optional. An SAT or ACT test is not required for admission. A first-year or transfer student can also self-report their high school GPA or community college GPA for admission to SOU. Ms. Marsden can also email students a pdf of their unofficial transcript to submit to SOU. In addition, SOU is deferring their $60 application fee. Students seeking to apply can select the “fee defer” button at the end of the application, so no payment will be needed to submit an application. Miranda Stiles is the SOU admissions counselor for Southern Oregon. She encourages students and parents/guardians to reach out to her with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Job Corps Update
Job Corps is still accepting applications. Job Corps is a NO-COST Job Training and Education Program, where full-time dormitory and board accommodations are provided! To learn more about available programs and eligibility requirements, visit the Job Corps website or contact Joshua Wells, the Southern Oregon Job Corps representative at email@example.com or 541.282.5819.
General FAFSA Information
If seniors have not already submitted a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), now is the time to get it done! All financial aid revolves around the FAFSA and submitting the FAFSA sooner than later allows students to access maximum amounts of federal, state and institutional aid. Even if you think your family will not qualify for federal financial aid, it is important that you complete the FAFSA senior year. Some schools will not give students merit aid unless they have a FAFSA on record. Students must also complete the FAFSA to qualify for the Oregon Promise (OP) grant ($1,000-$3,750) for community colleges.
Following is general FAFSA information: The 2020-21 FAFSA will use parent tax information from 2018. Parents should use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA to avoid being selected for verification. Legal guardians do not provide financial information on the FAFSA, but can help their student complete the application. The majority of our seniors have already created an FSA ID (their FAFSA signature) and started their FAFSA. One of a student's parents will also need to create an FSA ID (unless they already have one) to complete their student's FAFSA.
Spring 2020: Resources on College and Career Pathways for Juniors and their Parents/Guardians
Jen Marsden, our College and Career Specialist, is available to help students explore educational and career pathways, and to assist in navigating the college admissions process. Many juniors have questions about how to proceed, especially in light of the uncertainties we are all facing. Rest assured that colleges are adjusting their admissions expectations for the Class of 2021. Ms. Marsden is here to offer support as juniors (and their parents/guardians) explore post high school options, so please reach out to her with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out the helpful resources below!
Reassurance for Juniors: An Open Letter from a College Dean of Admissions
This article highlights a letter from a Dean of Admissions to juniors, offering them (and their families) a thoughtful and compassionate perspective on the college admissions process in the time of Covid-19.
AHS College Handbook
Explore the 2020-21 AHS College Handbook, which contains useful information for all students planning to pursue post high school education. Topics covered include how to find an educational pathway that’s a good fit, information on applying to community colleges and four-year public and private universities, ACT/SAT information, how to access financial aid and scholarships, and other useful information.
Oregon Community Colleges, Public and Private Universities
Most colleges around the country are now offering virtual tours and live online information sessions. Check out these websites for links to tours/info sessions at Oregon schools and other helpful resources:
In addition, Oregon’s public universities recently announced they will no longer require ACT/SAT scores for admission. Read more about this decision here.
Virtual College Exploration Week Continues!
During Virtual College Exploration Week April 20-23, juniors could choose from over 90 information sessions hosted by college admissions professionals from around the country (and world)! Strive Scan is extending their virtual college exploration through May 8th. Listed sessions cover general admissions topics to information on specific schools and majors. Students can explore the scheduled sessions and register for those that interest them. This a great resource for juniors (and sophomores) who would like more college information. Due to limited capacity, students are encouraged to register early.
Now is a good time for juniors to continue exploring resources in SCOIR, our new career and college platform. To access their SCOIR account, students use their school email and password. When logged into SCOIR, students can go to “My Profile” and scroll down to find the YouScience link. Once they’ve finished their YouScience assessments, students can explore careers, programs of study, and colleges based on their individual aptitudes and interests.
ACT and SAT Updates
Juniors planning to apply to four year colleges and universities usually take ACT/SAT tests in the spring of their junior year. Colleges know that many juniors will not have this opportunity due to our current circumstances and are adjusting their admissions requirements. Please check these links for updates about ACT /SAT testing, and check college websites for any changes in their admissions guidelines.
Students who qualify for Free/Reduced lunch are eligible for fee waivers for both the ACT and SAT. Please contact Karyn Barats (email@example.com) to obtain a fee waiver code.
This is a place to find resources for Post High School Education like College, University, Trade Schools, or other education options after high school.
There are seven public universities in Oregon, each with unique strengths and academic programs, serving the students of the state, the region, and beyond. Information on college costs is included in the link below: