In keeping with our mission of promoting “the development of the total person by bringing together a diverse community in a rigorous, college preparatory environment,” Bishop Lynch High School provides a comprehensive college planning and preparation program beginning with Freshman Orientation, and continuing until students graduate from BLHS and matriculate to their college of choice.
From day one of their BLHS experience, incoming freshman students and their families become part of a team of teachers, counselors, and a college advisor who will work collaboratively to provide them with the guidance and support they need to successfully pursue acceptance to the college/university of their dreams and ambitions.
Here is a representative sampling of the types of college guidance and support services that we provide:
Naviance Family Connection – A powerful online college search and application software tool which includes personality and career assessments, the SuperMatch College Search program, online SAT/ACT test prep programs, resources for resume writing, college essay writing, and for pursuing financial aid for college. If you would like a preview of this Naviance Family Connect program, you can go to the BL Homepage, click on “Academics,” then click on “Guidance,” and on the left-hand side of the Guidance homepage, you will find a link entitled “Naviance Family Connection YouTube Tutorials,” and viewing the first tutorial will give you a fairly comprehensive overview.
College Planning & Preparation Parent Programs – In addition to the college planning and preparation information shared with parents and students in general orientation meetings, a number of specific college planning and application parent programs are conducted throughout the year, such as “College Financial Aid,” “College Freshman Forum,” a “Submitting Your FAFSA” workshop, and “Navigating Naviance” parent training. Certain workshops such as “College Financial Aid” are conducted by college admissions representatives from various public and private universities of different sizes. In other programs, such as the “College Freshman Forum,” we bring some of our alumni and their parents back to share with you their journey through the college application, admission, and freshman year experience.
SAT/ACT Test Prep Opportunities – In addition to the numerous online test prep resources available in Naviance Family Connection, the Guidance Office maintains an extensive list of private tutors and commercial test prep providers through which students and parents can obtain quality services. BL faculty members also provide SAT/ACT Test Prep Summer Camps which are reasonably priced, as well as private tutoring. Our campus is an approved test site for both the SAT and ACT which affords our students the comfort and convenience of testing in a familiar environment. In addition to administering the PSAT to our freshmen and sophomores, as well as the PSAT NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) to our juniors, we also arrange with Kaplan to administer practice SAT and ACT tests at various times throughout the year.
College 101 Summer Sessions – As students transition from their junior to senior year, they attend a mandatory two-hour session where they review every aspect of the college application process, from the proper procedure for requesting letters of recommendation from teachers, to managing admissions and scholarship deadlines, to requesting transcripts and other application documents. By attending this College 101 Summer Session, students can better position themselves to create their Apply Texas and Common Application accounts, and to begin submitting college applications as soon after August 1 as possible.
To enhance the competitiveness of our students as college applicants, our English Department faculty also integrate college application components - such as creating detailed personal resumes and writing college essays – as part of their curriculum. Starting in the summer of 2015, students will also be offered the opportunity to participate in a summer “College Essay Writing” workshop taught by a BL English teacher.
Financial Aid & Scholarships – Because Bishop Lynch students are provided a rigorous, college-preparatory program of study, they are awarded millions of dollars in merit-based college scholarships annually based on such factors as GPA, class rank, ACT/SAT test scores, and other talents. Here are the scholarship amounts for the last six-year’s graduating classes which total almost $110 million:
- Class of 2010 - $16,764,090
- Class of 2011 - $16,926,409
- Class of 2012 - $14,686,954
- Class of 2013 - $20, 091,942
- Class of 2014 - $18,510,941
- Class of 2015 - $22,832,646
*Scholarship totals fluctuate due to varied size of the graduating class
Many students are offered college scholarships for attending a Catholic high school, in addition to other merit-based and/or need-based scholarships that they may receive. Because of the strong working relationship that we have with organizations such as the Communities Foundation of Texas, students have access to many other scholarship opportunities.
In addition to providing workshops and individual consultation to students and families for the purpose of submitting their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and College Scholarship Service application (CSS Profile), we also provide continuous access to private scholarship opportunities through our campus subscription to eScholarshipsUSA, an online scholarship search engine which lists thousands of college scholarships annually.
College Recruiting of BL Students – Each year, approximately 200 college representatives from the finest colleges across the nation visit the Bishop Lynch campus to recruit our students. Bishop Lynch students are highly-prized by college recruiters because they know that our students are well-prepared and college-ready, which is a great tribute to the quality of our college-prep curriculum and instructional programs.
In addition to these recruiting visits to the BL campus, our students attend other area college fairs such as the fall Jesuit College Fair, the spring National Association of College Admission Counselor (NACAC) College Fair, and the Dallas Area Network of College Admission Counselors (DARN) Summer Series College Fairs. BL hosts college mini-fairs such as the Jesuit Excellence Tour (JET), and when a sufficient level of student interest exists, field trips to area colleges are also conducted.