College Counseling

Siena prepares its students for successful college matriculation in three key ways:
  1. Siena's high school program is designed to develop the skills, abilities and self-confidence that will successfully position them for college;
  2. Siena individually supports each student and family with college counseling services; and
  3. Siena's administers the PLAN (the pre-ACT test) and ACT
College Advising
Siena provides in-depth college advising. Parents and students receive general information on the college process throughout their time at Siena and receive advice about high school coursework that will best prepare them for college. Individual family meetings take place during a student's 11th grade year, with a goal of helping students explore a variety of colleges and universities that offer support for students with learning differences. We also partner with college placement consultants to support families in the college search, and to help students find a good match with the proper support upon enrollment. Time is set aside for 11th and 12th graders to visit schools, and a number of college representatives meet with Siena students at Siena.
Click on the view larger map in the top right corner to view colleges and universities that Siena students consider.

As part of the college application process, Siena recommends that its students take the ACT, which is accepted by all colleges and universities in the United States. Siena familiarizes 9th and 10th graders with the format of the test, and offer the PLAN (pre-ACT) to 10th and 11th graders.

Students may take the ACT at Siena. In order to receive accommodations on the ACT (extended time, large print type, etc), students must have current psycho-educational testing with specific recommendations for standardized test accommodations.

More information is available at
To experience what it is like to set one’s own timeline for studying, the seniors complete a two-week pre-college experience in May immediately followed by a two-week exam period. During this independent study time, students complete projects set by their teachers, meet deadlines by submitting work online or in person, and come to school for required individual meetings with their teachers.

Parents are not expected to supervise the students. It is the students’ responsibility to complete the work, make contact with their teachers etc. This independent study period was first implemented in May 2010 with the first graduating class and was extremely successful. Students are fully prepped before leaving and continue to have access to their teachers throughout the independent study period, using the scheduled class time as ‘office hours’. Only three months before going to college, this is an important opportunity for students to identify areas of strength and areas they need to work on to achieve at college.
Here are some resources that families may find useful as they apply for financial aid and scholarships.

Scholarships for Students with Learning Disabilities - This site collects opportunities specifically for students with learning disabilities. Several of these scholarships have deadlines of November 15. Let us know if you need help applying for scholarships.

Maryland Higher Education Commission - This site contains information on how to apply for scholarships specifically for students in Maryland.

WISER College Scholarship for Students with Learning Disabilities - Every year, WISER (Washington Independent Services for Educational Resources) supports students with learning disabilities by providing a scholarship to those who demonstrate their originality and leadership skills through community service. The deadline is in mid-March.
Best Scholarship Search PlatformsGuide created to review the best scholarship search platforms and instruct students on how to use them effectively to find as many opportunities as possible.These platforms compile large databases of available scholarships and provide filters to allow students to maximize their searches.

Micro Scholarships

Scholly - With Scholly students pay $2.99 for access to a mobile app that collects and delivers a list of scholarships targeted specifically for them. In total, this app has helped students win over $50 million dollars in scholarships. While individuals can always sign up for the app, Scholly offers a discount for a bulk purchase. Please contact Mrs. Carpenter if you would be interested in signing up. If at least 10 people are interested, we will sign up for you.

Raise.Me - With Raise.Me students can now start earning scholarships for college as early as 9th grade. Log your personal achievements in high school for financial aid in college.

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