The main responsibility of guidance services is first to aid young people in becoming familiar with the opportunities available to them; second, to help the students understand the significance of test data and other information about themselves; and third, to provide a continuous program of individual counseling and group guidance which will lead young people to discover and recognize the opportunities best suited to their personalities and abilities. Olive Branch High School counselors are committed to the individual growth and development of each student and toward that end will work diligently with parents and students to gain the greatest good from the school experience.
Guidance Office Phone
662-892-6106 or 662-893-3344 ext. 106
Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Alumni and former students request all transcripts online from www.desotocountyschools.org
College Planning Resource
BestColleges.com partners with HigherEducation.com to provide students with direct connections to schools and programs suiting their educational goals. These college planning resources have been featured by New York State, UCLA, and others with a vested interest in quality higher education.
When should I begin thinking about college or technical school?
- Preparing for college begins NOW. Several universities, colleges and technical schools offer Preview Days for high school sophomores and juniors. Email or call the admissions offices of the colleges or technical schools you are interested in so they can invite you to these and other events.
- Make a list of several factors that are important to you - what kind of college do you think will be the right fit for you? (student body size, average class size, types of degree programs offered, location, cost, etc.)
- Consider using part of your Spring Break and summer vacation to visit college campuses. Contact their admissions offices to schedule your visits so that you can make the most of your time. Treat your campus visits as a time to make your best first impression and to get acquainted with administrators and educators who may be an important part of your daily life for the next several years. After your visit, write a thank-you note, letting the admissions staff and others know how much you enjoyed your visit. Remember, colleges receive thousands of applications and you want to make yours stand out from the crowd.
- If you have not already done so, begin a list of your activities, accomplishments and interests for the past several years. Create a rough draft of your resume, which can be adapted for scholarship, admissions and employment applications.
- Write a rough draft essay about your career and study interests, hopes and dreams. This will be revised and adapted for your scholarship and admission applications.
- Begin submitting college admissions applications in August of your senior year. Some colleges will accept applications beginning in July. Stay ahead of deadlines set by each college/technical school.
How do I send my high school transcript to a college or technical school?
After submitting or mailing your admissions application(s), notify the OBHS Guidance Office so we can send your official high school transcript. You will be given a Transcript Request Form which you should complete and return with your signature, your parent's signature, and the date submitted. Transcripts generally are mailed within 1-3 days after the Request Form is returned to the Guidance Office. Make sure to print the name and address of each college admissions office accurately and legibly so that your transcripts can be sent quickly and successfully. This information can usually be found on the college website or by calling the college admissions office.
What if I need student housing while in college?
If you plan to live on campus while in college, you should submit a student housing application a.s.a.p. after you have already applied for admission to that school. Campus housing spots typically fill up quickly. Housing applications usually require a fee, and waivers are generally not available for housing application fees. However, if you later learn that you will not need housing on their campus, most colleges will refund part or all of your housing application fee if you notify them prior to their deadline. Check with Student Housing offices for their specific policies. Note: Some colleges require that all freshmen reside on campus. Be certain that you allow for the cost of housing and meal plans (room and board) if you plan to attend such a college.
Athletes must register with the NCAA Clearinghouse if you are planning to play a sport in college. Visit www.eligibilitycenter.org for more information. The fee to register is $70; fee waivers may be available in some circumstances. Students should have their ACT scores sent directly to the Eligibility Center, using the code 9999. Contact Mrs. Dye, lead counselor, for additional information if you plan to play a sport at ANY college.
How can I pay for college?
To whatever extent is possible, work toward paying for your college expenses by earning scholarships, obtaining grants and using campus work-study opportunities. Many sources are available for finding these types of financial aid, free of charge. Some of the best FREE places we have found to seek financial assistance include:
- www.Get2College.org (MS-based non-profit organization offering free financial aid services)
- www.mississippi.edu/financialaid (state-funded grants and scholarships)
- www.riseupms.com (see scholarship finder tab)
- Local scholarships and contests (posted on bulletin board in Guidance Office)
- www.ms.bridges.com (see scholarship finder tab)
Most importantly, contact the financial aid offices at the various colleges that you plan to attend. At least once per semester while you are in college, you also should check with your financial aid office to inquire about additional scholarships, work-study opportunities and internships that may be available for the upcoming semester/year. Stay ahead of any deadlines the college sets for financial aid applications!
If you have exhausted all other opportunities for scholarships or grants and still have more college expenses that must be covered, carefully examine options for requesting reputable student loans through your college. Be aware that all student loans must eventually be repaid, with interest, and that college-related debts can accumulate quickly and require many years of being in debt. Speak personally with financial aid representatives at your college to find out about the most economical and manageable student loan options for your situation, always thinking ahead to what your other financial obligations may include during future years.
How do I apply for financial aid?
Complete all applications for scholarships and/or financial aid for each college or technical school you are considering. Most can be found online at their websites. Make sure you meet all the deadlines. Check their Net Price or True Cost Calculators to help estimate your financial aid options at each school. Some schools may require a CSS/PROFILE in addition to the FAFSA.
File FAFSA documentation a.s.a.p. after January 1 each year that you will be in college. FAFSA information is automatically forwarded to the financial aid departments at whatever college(s) you specify, so list all colleges you might possibly be interested in attending. Usually within a few weeks after your FAFSA information is completed, you should begin receiving letters and/or emails from the college financial aid office(s) about the specific amounts of aid they can make available for you. NOTE: Be sure that you are using www.fafsa.ed.gov, NOT fafsa.com. This can help avoid unnecessary delays or possible "fees" that some sites may attempt to charge.
If you will be attending college in Mississippi, apply for state grants and scholarships (MTAG, HELP, or MESG, etc.) a.s.a.p. after January 1 each academic year that you will be in college. Stay ahead of deadlines, which are different for each scholarship. Call the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid at 800-327-2980 or 601-432-6997, or visit www.mississippi.edu/financialaid.
Request information about work-study, scholarships, co-op and internship opportunities - check with educators, administrators, and department bulletin boards at your college.
Remember, if you work hard on your academic studies and keep in good communication with professors and department heads during your freshman year, you likely will be able to learn about additional scholarships and financial aid sources for each year you are in college. Also visit www.get2college.org for more scholarship options.
If you begin your studies at a community college and maintain good grades and academic standing, you may become eligible for substantial Transfer scholarships (such as Phi Theta Kappa) offered by four-year colleges and universities. Check with financial aid representatives and transfer coordinators at each school to find your best options.
Apply for as many scholarships and grants as you can! Your goal is to have a minimum of student loans, to be as debt-free as possible, when you finish college or technical school.
- Student Survey
- Applying for College or Technical School College and Technical School FAQ's.pdf
- Parent Survey
- 9 Things To Do For College.pdf
- Resume tips.pdf
- Financial Aid (applying for grants, scholarships, etc.).pdf
- federal and state aid reminder.pdf
- FAQs ACT and SAT exams.pdf
- Do you have any scholarships I can apply for.pdf
- College Fall Webinars.pdf