GNA college and career guidance newsletter: September 2018

Welcome back GNA! Get ready a great year!

Hello GNA and welcome back! I’m so incredibly excited to be here and to be serving as your college adviser. Many of you have yet to meet me, so I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. I’m Mr. Joe Yamulla and GNA will be my home for the next two years. I’m a recent graduate of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. I’m originally from Hazleton, Pa., so it is a great privilege to return home to work at this school. I will be working with each and every one of you to provide guidance and options for you to achieve your next steps after graduation. Please do not be shy! My door is ALWAYS open. So come talk to me. I’m here to do everything I can to be there for you as you prepare for your future endeavors. The college application process is a lot of work and no one should do it alone. When it comes to test taking, applying, financial aid, scholarships, resources, etc., I’m here for you. I’m excited  to get to know all of you this year. September is the beginning of a very busy year, and I can’t wait to get started! – Mr. Yamulla

[email protected]   (570) 735-7781 ext. 4436

So much to do, where to start?



  • With so much in store for you, many of you are probably wondering where to even begin. There is the common app, SAT, ACT, financial aid, other apps, scholarships, and more! My first piece of advice to you is to come sit down and meet with me. Come by guidance during your study halls or free time / lunch and we can start the conversation about your goals and direction for college and the future. When we meet, we can discuss your interests and aspirations and then I’ll help you achieve as many options as possible for the coming year. My goal is to meet with every senior before the end of September. I’ll be reaching out to you if I don’t hear from you. So there’s no need to be shy!


Rep Visits

  • Throughout the Fall, there will be reps coming from various different colleges and universities to visit and provide information for you. I will have all the upcoming visits posted on my door. Come by and sign up for them! Colleges CARE a lot that you are expressing interest in them. The reps who come are genuinely interested in you and it could make a big difference if they meet you, especially you are unable to make the drive out to visit their campus. So, keep an eye on the visit postings and if a college you are interested is making the trip up here, please sign up to register for the meeting. We will be having rep visit info sessions in the library. Reps will come at either 9:30 AM or 11:00 AM.


Research some Colleges

  • If you have time, make the trip to visit a college that you find interesting. Or if you can’t drive there, check it out online and send an email to their admissions office and express your interest. Early in the game, it’s best to get an understanding of many different schools and their programs so we can establish a list. Each school is incredibly different and offers unique resources to its students. Before we meet, feel free to check them out and then we will look further together.






This is a time in which I will help you register for the October 6 SAT. There will be tea and snacks while you sign up for a collegeboard account and get registered. You must sign up for an appointment and will then meet me in the computer lab when it is your time. This day is the deadline for SAT registration. Please register by Wednesday! Don’t forget to email me a picture that you are going to use for the ID.




Linda Pacewicz from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) will provide an overview of the financial aid application process. Topics will include how to apply for the FAFSA, PHEAA Grant, CSS Profile, and scholarships. Bring your parents! Linda is great and this will be a wonderful introduction to the process of applying for and receiving aid.


September Rep Visit Schedule

Thursday September 13th

  • 9:30 AM. Kutztown University
  • 11:00 AM. King’s College


Monday September 17th

  • 9:30 AM. Misericordia University
  • 11:00 AM. Susquehanna University


Tuesday September 18th

  • 9:30 AM. University of Pittsburgh – Johnstown
  • 11:00 AM. Pennsylvania College of Technology


Thursday September 20th

  • 9:30 AM. Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania


Tuesday September 25th

  • 9:30 AM. The University of Scranton
  • 11:00 AM. Arcadia University


Wednesday September 26th

  • 11 AM. Cedar Crest College


SAT Prep and Resources


The October 6th SAT will be here before you know it! Make sure you prepare properly with some practice. Visit The Khan academy provides excellent (and free) resources for students to work on specific sections and subjects of the SAT or ACT.


You also can take full length SATs and ACTs on their website. Test taking is a skill that requires work! Be mindful of your time, and work on strategies to make sure that you are able to perform to the best of your ability. On Khan academy, you’ll also find resources that will help you work on your critical reading skills, as well as your writing. It’s very important to take advantage of these resources. If you need help navigating the Khan academy website or with the SAT or ACT in general, come to see me in my office!


The SAT and ACT may seem intimidating. But with the proper preparation and confidence, it’s nothing to fear! REMEMBER to sign up at SATea Time if you have yet to register. The SAT is at GNA on October 6th so you will be in a familiar and comfortable environment for the test. Get plenty of sleep the night before and have breakfast. Don’t forget your no. 2 pencil, snacks, water, and a calculator! Talk to me if you need any of the necessary items for taking the test, such as a calculator. I’ll figure out a way for you to get what you need. And of course, on test day, make sure you bring your printed ticket!





CLASS OF 2019: OR text @gnasen to 81010




Make a list of colleges you plan to apply to. I recommend each college-bound senior apply to a minimum of 3-5 colleges. You want to be sure you apply to a nice variety of schools. I generally recommend students apply to these 5 kinds of colleges:

  1. Your “dream” college – a school that might be a bit of a reach beyond your SAT/ACT/GPA range, but that is a school you’d like to aim for.
  2. A “safety” college – a school whose average SAT/ACT/GPA range you are slightly above. Remember: your safety school should still be a college you’re genuinely interested in! Make sure it has what you want from a college.
  3. A Pennsylvania State System of High Education (AKA PASSHE) University: Pennsylvania has 14 state universities — Millersville, Shippensburg, West Chester, Cheyney, Slippery Rock, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg, Lock Haven, Edinboro, Clarion, California University of Pennsylvania, and Kutztown. PASSHE schools are your most affordable 4-year college option upfront. They range from approximately $22,000-$25,000 per year (room and board included!).
  4. &   5. Your final two schools should be colleges whose SAT/ACT/GPA range you fit into perfectly.


  • All colleges have links to their application portals on their websites. For colleges that have their own application platforms (Penn State especially!), it’s important that you set up an account as soon as possible.
  • The Common Application is an application platform used by over 700 colleges and universities nationwide. I strongly recommend that all 4-year college bound seniors create a Common Application account at org. The Common App will help you streamline your application process. See me if you need any help creating your Common App account.


  • Many colleges require or suggest students to submit a personal statement or essay with their application. The college essay is a great way to introduce yourself to your prospective college. Your essay should be engaging, creative, and personal. Show and don’t tell a college why they should want you as a student. Have a draft? Send it to me via email or share it on Google Docs (send links to [email protected]).
  • Most colleges include a section on their application where you can list activities and jobs or where you can upload a resume. This is a great way to show colleges what your interests are and what experience you have outside of school.


  • Many colleges require or recommend 1-2 letters of recommendation. Ask teachers, faculty members, or coaches who know you well and can speak to your achievements both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Make sure you give your recommenders plenty of time to write your recommendation — request recommendations well in advance of your application deadlines.
  • When you request a letter of recommendation, give your recommender a list of activities, jobs, and/or accomplishments you think they should be aware of so that they can write a well-rounded letter.


  • Some schools, including any college that accepts the Common App, will prompt your counselor to upload your transcript electronically.
  • For schools that do not accept electronic uploads, you can request your transcript in the Guidance Office. There is a red book on Mrs. Golanoski’s desk. Sign the book with your name, date, graduation year, and the school(s) where you’d like your transcripts to be sent. Ms. Iacovazzi and Mr. Hischak check the book regularly and will process your request from there.
  • Please note: unless you request otherwise, your transcript will automatically include your SAT/ACT scores on the bottom of the document. If you are applying to a test-optional school and would not like your test scores listed, please specify next to you transcript request.


  • Most colleges require an application fee. If you qualify for SAT/ACT fee waivers, you can see me for application fee waivers. Some schools will also waive application fees if you visit campus.



The University of Scranton: October 21, November 4

Keystone College: September 22, October 20

Wilkes University: September 15, November 10 (both instant decision)

Misericordia University: September 29, November 10

Marywood University: October 20, November 10

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania: September 29, October 20

Lycoming College: September 29, November 10

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania: September 22, October 20, November 17

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania: September 29, October 20, November 10