The following includes testing registration and tutoring information as well as some recommended resources for researching colleges and the admissions process. Juniors and seniors have access to Naviance for GFS specific data about recent college admissions trends. Feel free to contact us if you would like further guidance with the resources.
- Financing College
- Gap Year
- General College Search/Information
- Recommended Reading
- SAT-ACT Registration and Test Centers
- Test Prep Tutoring and Courses
Scholarship list on Naviance: Garrison Forest maintains a list of scholarships on Naviance, Family Connection. Juniors and seniors have access to the list through their Naviance account.
FAFSA Online: Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the application that all colleges require for federal and state aid.
CSS/Financial Aid Profile: Online form used by many private institutions to award non-federal financial aid.
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators: Comprehensive resource for families about financial aid.
Financial Aid Calculators: This is a list compiled by FinAid.org to help assess how much college will cost for your family
Fastweb Scholarship search: Searchable listing of hundreds of scholarships
The term “gap year” refers to a year between high school and college where students elect to spend a year volunteering (nationally or internationally), working or traveling. Taking a gap year has long been a tradition in Europe and is gaining popularity in the United States. Students apply to college during their senior year, gain acceptance and make an enrollment deposit to the school of their choice in May of the senior year. A formal request to defer admission for a gap year is made by the student to the admissions office with details about the plan for the student’s time away. Most colleges are open to deferment, particularly when the plan for the interim year is well thought out. After the gap year, students enroll in the college to which they were admitted during their senior year. GFS College Counseling supports with an interest in a gap year for personal growth; we do not support a gap year intended to strengthen a student’s resume in an attempt to submit another round of admissions applications at the end of the gap year.
While a gap year is not for everyone, this section provides resources for education and exploration. Please feel free to discuss the possibility of a gap year with our college counselors.
Gap Year Resources:
Good, comprehensive list of gap year resources compiled by Yale University.
The College Board: A good place to start; The College Board provides information on college searching, careers, information and registration center for SAT and SAT Subject Tests.
College Reality Check: A collaboration between The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Gates Foundation to provide statistics including graduation rates, net price for colleges, and debt loads and repayment time frames, and earning potential for graduates.
The Common Application: The Common Application was established in 1975 by 15 private colleges that wished to provide a common, standardized first-year application form for use at any member institution. Almost 500 colleges/universities now accept The Common Application.
Peterson’s Guide: One of the first college guides; provides a searchable database and profiles for thousands of colleges.
Unigo: College reviews by current students, student photos and videos.
College Results Online: Data heavy site that offers profiles of freshman retention rates, graduation rates and demographics of the student body.
Academic Common Market: Maryland participates in a consortium with 16 southern states to offer in-state tuition at out-of-state institutions for academic programs not offered at Maryland institutions.
Noodle: "Noodle will tell you not just a list of colleges matching your search--if you enter your grades and transcript information, it can tell you which ones you are likely to get into, and which ones are rated most highly by students like you." NPR
Possibility U: A great tool to assess admissibility and affordability, two of the most important criteria of "fit."
College Navigator: U.S. Department of Education college search
National Survey of Student Engagement: What You Need to Know Before You Go
ECampus Tours: Virtual campus tours
- College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step. Mamlet, Robin & Christine Vandevelde. Three Rivers Press, 2011
- Where You Go is Not Who You Will Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. Bruni, Frank, 2015
- How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success. Lythcott-Haims, Julie. 2015
- The Fiske Guide to Colleges. Fiske, Edward B., 2017
- I’m Going to College—Not You! Delahunty, Jennifer, 2010
- Colleges that Change Lives. Pope, Loren. Penguin Books, 2006
- Looking Beyond the Ivy League. Pope, Loren. Penguin Books, 2007
- Harvard Schmarvard: Getting beyond the Ivy League For The College That is Best for You. Matthews, Jay. 2003
- The Gate Keepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College. Steinberg, Jacques. 2003
SAT/SAT Subject Tests
ACT: The ACT is another college admissions standardized test; all colleges accept either the ACT or the SAT for admissions; GFS encourages girls to take the ACT as well as the SAT in the spring of the junior year.
Fairtest: Non-profit organization that maintains a searchable list of test-optional colleges.
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language; for international students applying to college in the U.S.
Khan Academy: free, online video tutorials for SAT prep help
Free SAT Practice Tests: Varsity Tutors is a test prep company that offers free practice tests online.