“School is the path, not the point.”

Magnify your prospects

College Counseling

St. Mary’s College Counseling Department provides a proactive, comprehensive, and developmentally appropriate program to address students’ academic and career goals. This is accomplished through a partnership with parents/guardians, staff, and community members to enable all students to become successful, productive citizens and lifelong learners in a diverse and changing world.  

In the senior year, SMA’S college counselor helps students with the application process by helping with the organization of applications, process applications, reading/editing essays, and offering counsel for all of the many components of the application process


Students will begin their college process in November of their junior year with an introduction to Naviance, a college application software used to research colleges and create resumes.  Student meetings with the College Counselor begin in December of the junior year. Parent meetings follow in January after winter break. 

November: Naviance training, student questionnaires, and resume building

December: Meetings with the college counselor

March: Teacher recommendations; take the ACT and/or SAT

April: College essay workshops

Summer: Take another ACT and/or SAT, attend an enriching summer program (if possible), solidify your college list, work on your college essay, and meet with the college counselor


The College Admissions philosophy is to focus on process—This process includes evaluating the student’s academic history, evaluating the student’s options, and submitting applications. There is no shortcut to being admitted to college, and no way to achieve the desired outcome without some time, effort, patience, and thought.

On-Campus College Rep Visits

On-campus College Rep visits are one of the best ways to meet the college representatives for our school. Typically, college reps come to Mercy’s campus to meet with juniors and seniors to showcase their university campus and answer any questions from students. Students should take advantage of the opportunity to meet college reps and attend college fairs. Seniors are encouraged to sign up via Naviance for each school visit.

Upcoming college fairs:

For more details, visit virtualcollegefairs.org

For more details, visit gaprobe.org

Colleges that visit SMA

Paying For College


HOPE and ZELL eligibility are determined by the GSFC. 

GSFC will calculate each student’s GPA once a final transcript is submitted after graduation. 

Transcripts through the first semester of the senior year are submitted at the end of February. A preliminary GPA is calculated by GSFC at that time. 

You can access your HOPE GPA after that first calculation by creating a GAFutures account at gafutures.org. 

Students should create an account. You do not need a Georgia Testing Identification Number to complete this online account/application. 


Continue to look for merit scholarship opportunities at the colleges and universities where you are applying. Deadlines are different for all, so careful browsing of the college and university web sites is a good idea. 

Be wary of any organization or company that charges a fee. A good rule of thumb is to avoid scholarship programs and scholarship search programs that charge any type of fee, including an application fee. 

7-Full-tuition Scholarships

The Financial Aid tab in the Common Application also has resources for scholarships. Log in to your Common Application account for more details.


FAFSA is for federal financial aid 

CSS Profile is for institutional aid (grants, merit aid). 

If you’re applying for Early Decision, and you intend to apply for financial aid, confirm if the college or university requires the CSS Profile. Both of these forms are available and can be completed early in the application process. For the FAFSA, please be aware that you can use prior tax year information. 

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