Get College Bound with Dr. Chris

COLLEGE BOUND STUDENTS BOOKMARK THIS PAGE: provides timely tips and up to the minute advice about the College Admissions and College Application Process. - Get College Bound with Dr. Chris

Do I Need to Take the S.A.T Subject Tests?

SAT Sub­ject Tests were devel­oped by the Col­lege Board to mea­sure the student’s knowl­edge or skills in a cer­tain area such as math, his­tory, phys­i­cal sci­ence, lit­er­a­ture, and for­eign lan­guage.  These tests can be taken at any point in the student’s junior or senior year as long as they have com­pleted the related course work in that sub­ject area.

Many col­leges use the SAT Sub­ject Tests for admis­sion, for course place­ment, and to advise stu­dents about course selec­tion. Some col­leges spec­ify the SAT Sub­ject Tests that they require for admis­sion or place­ment; oth­ers allow appli­cants to choose which tests to take.  If you are presently tak­ing an Advanced Place­ment course in one of the areas listed below, you may want to con­sider tak­ing the Sub­ject Test in that topic in May or June since you are already study­ing for the AP test. Click here for list of Sub­ject Tests offered.

How to Email a College Admissions Counselor

Check Your Email Address First!

Yes, you were given a for­mal name at birth and you may be a cre­ative indi­vid­ual who wants to express your­self with a unique email address, but sud­denly you real­ize might not be the most appro­pri­ate email address to use. Who is your audi­ence? What impres­sion will you leave on the admis­sions offi­cer?  Every bit of infor­ma­tion you reveal tells the col­lege admis­sions office some­thing about you. I often ask stu­dents to think about how their grand­par­ents might react to the address. It may be safer and more appro­pri­ate to use your school email address or cre­ate one that will be used for all your col­lege cor­re­spon­dence. Read more on clues on email­ing your the col­lege admis­sions counselor.

Quick Tips for Prepping for the Test

Start soon enough to make a dif­fer­ence. The stu­dent should give them­selves an ade­quate amount of time to pre­pare for the var­i­ous sub­ject areas. Suf­fi­cient prepa­ra­tion will leave the stu­dent feel­ing less rushed and reduce their anx­i­ety.  Var­i­ous test prepa­ra­tion tools are avail­able such as study guides, flash­cards, Inter­net pro­grams, and CD’s pro­duced by the test­ing com­pa­nies. Be sure to get enough sleep the night before the test.  The stu­dent should read, read, read to build your read­ing com­pre­hen­sion skills.

Check out links for free test prep:, ineedapen­cil,,, spar­knotes test prep, grock it, and

It’s College Application Time — Begin by Getting Organized!

Seniors — it’s that time of year. Sum­mer has come and gone and you are about to embark the col­lege appli­ca­tion process. So where do you begin?  First of all, start early! Give your­self plenty of time to pro­duce a stel­lar final prod­uct. You want a win­ning appli­ca­tion, not one that looks hur­ried and rushed. Remem­ber, there are plenty of peo­ple who can help you with the process includ­ing your par­ents, your school coun­selors, men­tors, and teachers.

Have the fol­low­ing pieces of infor­ma­tion on hand before you start to fill out your appli­ca­tion. It’s not a bad idea to save this infor­ma­tion on a card or in a com­puter file.  This infor­ma­tion will be used over and over again in each appli­ca­tion you com­plete. Click here to read list of items.

Hello College Freshman — TopTen Tips

Col­lege not only poses a need for aca­d­e­mic adjust­ment, but an adjust­ment to a new lifestyle. Jug­gling a new sched­ule and expec­ta­tions that go along with it can take its toll on fresh­men emo­tion­ally, phys­i­cally, and aca­d­e­m­i­cally. Many col­leges are attuned to this tran­si­tion and offer sup­port to fresh­men in a vari­ety of ways.

Dorms have trained per­son­nel called res­i­dent assis­tants or RA’s assigned to help stu­dents with every­day issues includ­ing room­mate issues, school rules and guide­lines, activ­i­ties, and other school com­mu­nity issues. “Melt­downs” or emo­tional dis­tress can occur due to grade pressure.

Men­tal health cen­ters on cam­pus offer coun­sel­ing ser­vices from licensed psy­chol­o­gists and psy­chi­a­trists for coun­sel­ing issues such as depres­sion, eat­ing dis­or­ders, anx­i­ety, chem­i­cal depen­dency, and so on. If stu­dents need med­ical atten­tion, the med­ical cen­ters on cam­pus can han­dle those requests. There are a vari­ety of spir­i­tual cen­ters that can also offer sup­port to stu­dents who want to con­tinue involve­ment in their faith life, attend­ing retreats, and com­mu­nity ser­vice oppor­tu­ni­ties. Career Cen­ters are open to stu­dents inter­ested in career explo­ration, intern­ships, resume build­ing, study abroad oppor­tu­ni­ties, and appli­ca­tions to grad­u­ate school. The fol­low­ing list includes a col­lec­tion of sug­ges­tions made by upper­class­men for incom­ing fresh­men. Read Top 10 Tips by click­ing here!

Build Your College Planning Library! The 2014–2015 Editions Are In!

It’s that time of year where stu­dents, par­ents, and edu­ca­tors stock theircb-2015-front-cover (2) shelves with col­lege plan­ning tools. Dr. Chris­tine Hand Gon­za­les has writ­ten sev­eral books you may find help­ful to you in the col­lege search and appli­ca­tion process,  as well as the finan­cial plan­ning and schol­ar­ship search.

Top rec­om­men­da­tions include Col­lege Bound: Proven Ways to Plan and Pre­pare For Get­ting Into the Col­lege Of Your Dreams,the com­pan­ion work­book, My College Bound Plan, Your Col­lege Plan­ning Survival Guide: Smart Tips From Stu­dents, Par­ents and Pro­fes­sion­als Who Made It Through, and Pay­ing for College With­out Break­ing the Bank: The Ulti­mate Stu­dents, Par­ent and Educa­tor Guide to Over 500 Finan­cial Aid and Schol­ar­ship Resources  ( Read more about book choices — click here.

 “Col­lege Bound” and the com­pan­ion work­book, “My Col­lege Bound Plan” guides you through the col­lege plan­ning time­line, the search and mcbp-2014-proof-cover[1]appli­ca­tion process, and cam­pus vis­its, with addi­tional tips and resources. It will show ways to approach coun­selors, teach­ers, or mod­er­a­tors to request an effec­tive let­ter of rec­om­men­da­tion, give tips on self-marketing through the col­lege essay, pro­vide sug­ges­tions for a top-notch resume of extracur­ric­u­lar activ­i­ties, and offer advice for tak­ing stan­dard­ized tests. If you are a bud­ding artist, a com­pet­i­tive ath­lete, or inter­ested in a mil­i­tary career, or tran­si­tion­ing from being home-schooled to col­lege, this book is for you. If you have spe­cial needs or a dis­abil­ity, this book is for you. If you are think­ing about learn­ing a trade or attend­ing com­mu­nity col­lege, this book is for you. Inter­ested in under­stand­ing the “nuts and bolts” of finan­cial aid and where to find schol­ar­ships? This book is for you. Look­ing for an exten­sive list of pub­li­ca­tions and inter­net resources that is beyond com­pare? “Col­lege Bound” is for you – giv­ing you all these resources and more.Each book offers time­lines, check­lists, reli­able inter­net resources and much more. See more books here!

Grade 12, Senior Year Action Plan

Fall Semes­ter


Check your tran­scripts to make sure you have all the cred­its you need to get into your college(s) of choice. Find out from the col­leges to which you are apply­ing whether or not they need offi­cial copies of your tran­scripts (sent directly from your high school) at the time of application.

Reg­is­ter for October/November SAT Rea­son­ing Test, SAT Sub­ject Test, and ACT (with writ­ing) tests.

Take another look at your list of col­leges, and make sure that they still sat­isfy your require­ments. Add and/or remove col­leges as necessary.

Make sure you meet the require­ments (includ­ing any tran­script require­ments) for all the col­leges to which you want to apply. Double-check the dead­lines, and apply.

Give any rec­om­men­da­tion forms to the appro­pri­ate teach­ers or coun­selors with stamped, college-addressed, envelopes mak­ing cer­tain that your por­tion of the forms are filled out com­pletely and accu­rately.  Be sure to give them a resume of your activities.

Most early deci­sion and early action appli­ca­tions are due between Octo­ber 1 and Novem­ber 1. Keep this in mind if you intend to take advan­tage of these options and remem­ber to request that your high school send your offi­cial tran­scripts to the col­lege to which you are apply­ing. Read what seniors should be doing dur­ing the appli­ca­tion process each month of their senior year.