Monday, September 28, 2015

Texas High School Aerospace Scholars - Current Juniors

The High School Aerospace Scholars program (HAS) encourages high school juniors from across Texas to explore opportunities in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students participate in online lessons, interact with other students across Texas and qualify for travel to the NASA Johnson Space Center for a six day residential summer experience. Lodging, meals and transportation to and from Johnson Space Center are provided at no cost. For more information and to apply, visit the HAS program website at:

Click here for a program brochure and video.
Deadline to Apply: November 3, 2015 at 2:00 PM CDT

Thursday, September 24, 2015

College Admission Presentation: Big Take Aways

If you were unable to attend the college admissions panel presentation last week, the Program PowerPoint has been posted on the Westwood Counseling Blog.  We had a great turn out with approximately 350 parents and students attending and representatives from Rice, UT-Austin and the University of Tulsa. Our presenters shared so much information the presentation went a little longer than expected. I have tried to recap some of the main points.

Demonstrating Interest
Visit college campuses. Not only does this demonstrate interest in the university it helps the student determine if the school is the right fit. Get on college mailing lists early.

While all schools are required to have a Net Price Calculator, this does not always equal what the final cost will be for the student. A high sticker price at a private university can be offset with institutional scholarships.

Take the ACT and SAT; they are both widely accepted. Repeat the test on which the student scored the best. Submit all test scores. Many universities super score and subtest scores can help a student get in their first choice major.

What are colleges looking for in a student?
According to the NACAC 2012 Survey, colleges are looking for grades in college prep courses, rigor of courses, test scores (ACT/SAT), grades in all courses, and essay/writing samples. Colleges look for the rigorous courses offered at  the student’s school and what courses the student took. Colleges do not compare the competitiveness of the high school and admit students from more competitive schools over less competitive schools.

There is no magic number regarding the number of volunteering opportunities a student should complete. The student should demonstrate passion and impact.

Checking Application Status
Students should always check the status of their applications at the college website or through Common App.

Assured Admission for UT-Austin
Class of 2016 - Top 8%
Class of 2017 - Top 7%


Students and parents should complete the FAFSA by the school's priority deadline. Around March 1st.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

UT-Dallas Information

Students from Westwood have a lot of interest in The University of Texas at Dallas. For the class of 2015, it was the second most popular four year university. Recently three of the Westwood counselors attended the UTD counselor update. We have summarized some of the main topics below.

UTD will be at Westwood on September 24th at 10:15 AM in the Great Room.

Assured Admission
Top 10%
SAT of 1200 on CR+M (UTD will super score for admission)
ACT Composite Score of 26

Admission Tips
Apply Early
Take both the ACT and SAT
Write the optional ApplyTexas Essay C
Have letters of recommendation submitted which highlight the student’s character.
Submit a resume with a detailed list of accomplishments

UT-Pact - Seven year BA/MD Program with UT-Southwestern Medical Center
3 Years at UT Dallas
4 Years at UT Southwestern
Information session for current juniors on October 24, 2015 at UTD. Go to the website below.
Students are able to begin clinical experiences early in the undergraduate program.
For the Freshman class of 2015 there were 400 applicants for 20 spots.
For more information go to the UT-Pact website.

Health Profession Advising Center
65% admitted to medical school. (National average 45%)
For more information about Pre-Health programs at UTD, visit the Pre-Health page

Pre-Law Advising Center 
Support for students hoping to attend law school.
93% of students admitted to law school.
For more information, visit the Pre-Law website.

Honors College
For information about programs in the Honors College please visit

There are many generous scholarships at UTD. For information about scholarships and financial aid at UTD, visit the UTD Financial Aid Website.