Skip Navigation

Done Always With God's Spirit

College Planning

In the Spring, all freshman will take the Explore test. This is the freshman level of the ACT college admission exam. 
Grade Point Average
The most important thing that a freshman can do is to get off to a good start academically. College test scores are directly related to classroom performance. College admission is based on academic performance and college admission exams. 

Career Cruising
Sophomores continue with developing their portfolio and career planning. 
In the Spring, all sophomores will take the PLAN, this is the sophomore level of the ACT.  It prepares students for the ACT in their Junior year.  It will give them college readiness scores and suggest improvement strategies.  When the results are returned, Mrs. Brinkmeier will set times to explain them to students.  Both am and pm sessions will be available for parents to attend.  
Continue to stress academic performance. 
Admission and scholarship people are looking for quality not quantity. Leadership positions and volunteerism receive the greatest consideration in admission and selection.

Career Cruising
Continue developing their individual portfolio and work on college planning, selection and admission. 
Practice ACT
In January, all juniors will take a full ACT practice exam. 
Date TBA
Continue to build your resume.
College English Dual Credit
Seniors have an option to select as one of their electives ‘College English for Dual Credit’. Successfully completing this class will earn the student one credit at Aquin Catholic High School and 6-9 hours of college credit in English. Students must have good English and Essay writing skills. 

Engl 121 - Rhetoric and Composition 1 = 3 Credit Hours 
Engl 122 – Rhetoric and Composition 2 = 3 Credit Hours 
Engl 222T – Modern Literature (Poetry) = 3 Credit Hours (optional) 

MWF – students attend class on the campus of HCC 
T,Th – students stay on Aquin campus 

Students enrolled at HCC must follow HCC’s calendar and policies. The HCC instructors will issue the grade for the college classes. This letter grade will not be used in calculating Aquin GPA and class rank. 

Registration Procedures: 
In March, students will register for College English at Aquin. 
2. Students will take the HCC placement essay exam. 
Student must score at the appropriate level on their essay 
placement exam to be placed into ‘Rhet and Comp 1’.
If they do not, they have three options:
  1) they can retake the test one time and try to earn a higher score
  2) take Comp 090 (Preface to Rhetoric-3 hr non-transferable class) in the summer
  3) earn a score of 22 on the English portion of the ACT
3. In April, as early as possible, students must register at HCC for Engl 121 – Rhetoric and Composition 1 – pay tuition in full within five days, or you may elect to pay a $25 holding fee and pay the balance later. The $25 is in addition to the full tuition and fees. 
4. During the Fall (usually Nov), students will go online to register for second semester classes. 


Retake ACT
If necessary, September, October, December
Senior Conference
Review checklist of activities to be completed during senior year, parents are invited to attend. 

. Please Note . 

1. is an excellent resource for students and parents. It is everything you want to know about college planning, selection, admission and finance. 


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 
To apply for Federal or State financial aid, including student loans, students and parents must complete the FAFSA. This should be done as soon as possible after October 1 (see update below).

The home page at shows you step by step what to do: 
1. Before beginning a FAFSA
    FAFSA on the web worksheet, apply for pin # (parent and student)
2. Filling out the FAFSA
    Fill out the form, open saved FAFSA or make corrections, signing electronically with your pin
3. FAFSA follow-up
    Check the status, make corrections, view and print your Student Aid Report.

Key Points from Guidance Office:

  1. File as early as possible after October 1.  Especially, if your student is attending a college in Illinois. 
  2. Federal - PELL Grant - money is available to all who qualify.  State - MAP Grant - money is limited (currently,$0 because there is no budget).  When approved, the money is issued until it runs out (in 2014, that was February 22).
  3. If you will not have your taxes ready by early February, you can file using last years and marking the box that you will be filing corrected tax information later. 
  4. Contact your college financial aid office for details or call Kathy Bangasser at Highland - 815-599-3486.
  5. New IRS Data Retrieval Tool is now available.  This will automatically transfer your tax information to the appropriate line on the FAFSA.
  6. The FAFSA is strictly tax data and financial information at the time it is filed.  Changes to your circumstances, new job, lost of job, divorce,medial expenses, etc are dealt with at the college you attend.
  7. Be aware that all college Financial Aid Offices have procedures for Special Circumstances. 



  • Keep copies of all your forms and information.
  • Work closely with the Financial Aid Office at the school.  If it is a large University, find one person in the Office and establish a relationship with them.
  • Kathy Bangasser at HCC is available to answer financial aid questions for any student in HCC's district--even if the student is not attending HCC.
Website for Sorting Colleges by Price:
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education has created an invaluable tool that you can use to sort 3,000 colleges by price. Using this online resource, you can search for colleges by price nationally or by state. You can search by a specific school, by state, private or public. It's also useful to see what each college charges for room and board. This varies greatly from school to school. 
    Click here to access the site.

January–March is the period when many colleges and organizations offer scholarships. 

The first place students should check is with the financial office or foundation office at the schools to which they have been accepted (HCC usually makes their scholarships available online in February with April 1 due dates). It is also time to redo a scholarship search at A number of local agencies will be offering scholarships through the high school which will be handed out to seniors in class.

Aquin's CEEB number is 141970. 

High School Senior GPA 3.0 or higher 
Participate in at least one sport 

1.  Go to, click on student/parent 
2.  Click on “Apply Now” 
3.  Register and fill out your online application by October 1 
4.  Select a school administrator (Guidance Counselor) to review your application 
5.  Notify Mrs. Brinkmeier that you have completed the application by October 1 
6.  After October 22 you will be able to check for School Winners and follow your progress online. 
7.  Any questions about the program?  Email or call 800-205-6367. 

One male and one female will be selected from Aquin to be our representatives in further competition.

A listing of all scholarships offered by HCC is available online. Students should click here. Make sure you review and apply for all scholarships for which you are eligible--the 'Edward Buss Scholarship' is available for all majors.

Applications should be typed! Scholarship committees look at many scholarships and neatness counts. Students can go online to the HCC website, complete the form and print it out. If forms are not typed, they should be printed neatly.

All scholarships require an unofficial transcript. Aquin has a special form for seniors to complete so they do not have to fill out a separate form for each application. 

The Most Valuable Student (MVS) program is open to any high school senior.  It is based on academic performance (500 points); leadership and participation (400 points) and financial need (100 points).  Three male and three female applicants will be selected by Freeport to advance to the District competition.  Students who receive awards at the State level usually receive a minimum of $2000 over four years.  Students winning National awards receive $1000 to $15,000 per year for four years.

The 2010 Legacy Awards contest is for children and grandchildren (includes step children, step grandchildren and legal wards) of Elks.  Applicants are judged on the core values of the Elks National Foundation:  knowledge, charity, community and integrity.  Deadline: 

Applications may be obtained online at Freeport Scholarship Chairman is Fred Klipp. Contact him at

At least two Aquin students will receive $500 scholarships. These are given after completing the first semester and earning a 3.0 GPA.  The selection is based on Academic, Community Service, Extracurricular Activities and Financial Need.  Deadline: TBA

Any graduating senior who has completed or is undergoing a full course treatment and has an ACT score of 22 or higher . $300 

Pursue a career in livestock production, crop production or related agricultural field
. $500 
. Essay and application
. Deadline:  TBA

Highland Community College
. $500 per year for 2 years
. Application, recommendations and transcript
. Deadline:  TBA

At least one Aquin Graduate . $500 . essay, application, recommendation . financial need . Deadline:  TBA

Highland Community College
. up to $500 awarded after 1st semester at HCC
. essay, application
. Deadline:  TBA

$500 scholarship in each county
. essay
. application available at 
. Deadline:  TBA

up to $500
. academic achievement, community service, financial need, leadership skills
. application, essay, recommendation
. Deadline:  TBA

up to $500
. testimony of faith, recommendation, transcripts

. special consideration given to those pursuing a career in spiritual servitude or planning to attend a private college
. Deadline:  TBA

24-$1000 scholarships within the 42 county territory
. further education in an agricultural or agriculture-related field
. applications at 
. Deadline: TBA

. must live in Stephenson County but outside Freeport city limits
. applications can be obtained online 
. renewable for up to 4 years

. $1000 (2yr college) 
. $2500 (4yr college) 
. Rank in class; financial need; test scores; potential 

Deadline: TBA 

senior (male or female) with interest in Humanities (social studies) 
. Christian Education or Health related field
. $500 

Deadline: TBA 

Write an essay, promote your entry, winners chosen--every month!

Click here for the details and this month's topic.