College Process Timeline
Planning for college can feel like a daunting task, but by starting early and breaking it into steps there is no need for it to be overwhelming. Each year, there are specific ways that we work with students to make sure they're ready for the big leap after graduation!
In 9th grade, the Director of College Counseling meets with students in grade-based Advisory programs around course planning and setting college goals. All students and families are welcome to arrange appointments to discuss their college plans and how they might best prepare for the journey ahead.
In addition to regular counseling and advising services in grade meetings, 10th grade students work with their teachers and the College Counseling office to prepare for the PSAT in the fall. The College Counselor works with students and their advisors as they plan junior year course selection in their advisories. Sophomores end their year with a three-day Pre-College Program in their English classes, introducing them to all aspects of the college admissions process.
Once again, juniors take the PSAT in October, this time as the qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship Program as well as the last full practice before taking the SATs in their spring semester. They also begin the official college application process by attending a mandatory Junior College Meeting for them and their parents in the fall. In February, they meet individually with the Director of College Counseling to discuss what they are hoping for in their college experience. The director then meets with juniors and their parents in order to make a specific plan for their college application process (standardized testing, college visits, senior year courses, etc). Families also discuss with the College Counselor specific college recommendations based on student preferences, academic performance, and preliminary standardized test results.
All seniors complete standardized testing by the fall of their senior year (SAT Reasoning Test, SAT Subject Tests and/or the ACT with Writing). Students and parents attend a mandatory Senior College Meeting in September to assure that everyone is clear on the next steps in the college process. Seniors participate in “Senior Week” during which the Director of College Counseling works with them in a group setting on their college application process. Throughout the fall semester, the director regularly meets with seniors to finalize college lists, complete college applications and compile letters of recommendation and other necessary school forms. Seniors have the luxury of having their college essay work built right into their English classes early in the year. Finally, the director works with seniors and their families in making final decisions once they receive acceptance letters and financial aid packages in the spring.