On the Road Again

By Christal Holmes, admissions counselor for marketing and recruitment
View Christal’s bio »


Fall is here again and our counselors are looking forward to hitting the road and meeting you in your high school or at your local college fairs. Your guidance or career counselor should be able to tell you when we will be at your school.  We also post our travel schedules on the Web. This year, you can find the following VCU counseling staff on the road:


Anthony Sherwood – Tidewater/Virginia Beach

Liz Fishman – Central Virginia and Henrico

Christal Holmes – Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico

Elmer Campos – Southeast Virginia, Northern Virginia, D.C., and Prince George County, MD 

Jahnissi Tirado – Maryland and D.C.

Katherine Beck – Northern Virginia

Ryan Hannifin – Southside Virginia and Shenandoah

Artis Gordon – Virginia Community College System

Vishon Luck – selected Richmond and D.C. schools

Rodney Hall – Hanover County, VA

Marge Barbaro – New York

Beth Tartaglia – Philadelphia, PA


To get more information about the representative for your area, view our counselor profiles.


If you ask each of us to list things that we love about our job, somewhere on that list you will always hear us say that we love meeting you, the students.  We hope that you come out to meet with us when we are in your area.  When you see us, please feel free to ask any questions that you may have about VCU, the application process and living in Richmond.  We are all here to help you through this process and answer any questions that you or your family may have.  We look forward to meeting you in the upcoming weeks!

No time for senioritis

By Christal Holmes, admissions counselor for marketing and recruitment
View Christal’s bio »

First, congratulations on reaching your senior year! Although you’ve made it this far, you can’t start to slow down now and end up with a case of “senioritis.” 

Your senior year is one of the most important of your high school career. Contrary to popular belief, colleges do look at grades from your senior year and will use them to help determine whether or not you will be admitted into their school. If your grades take a significant drop during the second semester of your senior year, your admission could be withdrawn.

In addition to maintaining your academic performance and staying involved in extracurricular activities, you also will be applying for college, financial aid and scholarships; taking the SAT or ACT; and graduating!

To help you prepare for this whirlwind, we’ve outlined month-by-month tips for you to follow throughout your senior year.


  • Check your course load to make sure you will have enough credits to graduate.
  • Revise and update your college list based on information from college visits.
  • Make a detailed list of test dates, fees and registration deadlines.
  • Make a detailed list of college application deadline dates, special requirements and fees.


  • Register for the SAT and/or ACT if you haven’t done so already.
  • Request recommendations from teachers and counselors, providing them with recommendation forms and stamped envelopes addressed to the admissions office.
  • Apply for outside funding and scholarships.
  • Mail early decision applications.


  • Register for the SAT and/or ACT again if necessary.


  • Try to complete and mail applications before leaving for winter break.
  • Schedule interviews if required.
  • Contact colleges to obtain any financial aid applications that they require in addition to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


  • Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after Jan. 1.
  • Ask your high school to send your mid-year grades to your colleges.
  • Verify that your colleges have received all of your application materials.


  • Send your Student Aid Report (SAR) to your chosen colleges.
  • Watch the mail for admission acceptance letters.
  • Review financial aid award packages.


  • Visit top schools again if possible.
  • Finalize your decision. Most colleges would like a reply by May 1.
  • Notify your chosen college of your decision and send a deposit to hold your space.

May through July

  • Graduate!
  • Activate your college e-mail account.
  • Ask your high school to send a final transcript to your chosen college.
  • Sign up to attend your college’s orientation.
  • Sign up for housing if you wish to live on campus.
  • Start a list of items to bring to college.