College Guidance and Counseling
- To Guide, encourage, motivate and coach students and parents through the complex, confusing and stressful process of college preparation and admission.
- Establish realistic educational goals and expectations.
- Review the student’s academic record for balance, notable achievements, and weaknesses.
- Realistically assess talents, skills, accomplishments and interests, and determine how best to present exceptional abilities and goals.
- Enable the student and family to determine at least eight colleges appropriate for application.
- Develop a personal admission plan and schedule.
- Provide guidance and timetable for obtaining necessary standardized test preparation (SAT, ACT, TOEFL).
- Provide preparation and guidance for college visits and interviews.
- Assist the student in highlighting strengths in a personal presentation (‘brag’) sheet.
- Provide guidance about whom to ask for recommendations, and how to approach recommenders.
- Recommend initiatives and programs to maximize and demonstrate strengths or to improve student’s weaknesses through enrichment and/or summer programs.
- Guide and motivate the development of, and provide editing for, the student’s all-important essays and personal statements, and all parts of the application preparation. (Yes, spelling and grammar, too!)
- Mentor the parents as well as the student, to facilitate both the child’s preparation for college and the parents’ preparation for that moment of change when their child becomes a college student.
- Listen to the student; listen to the parents.
- Respect individual learning styles and recommend support systems when needed. Make sure each student understands how s/he learns best and that s/he applies to colleges with appropriate teaching/learning philosophies and facilities.
- Encourage applicants to take ownership of the admissions process so they know exactly why they are applying to each school on their list, and that they know, understand and are excited about the opportunities that are available to them there.
- Help the student to make appropriate contacts on the campuses to which s/he is applying so s/he can arrive on campus knowing where to go for advice and support with academic and personal interests.
- Help review and evaluate the student’s admissions and financial aid options after colleges have made their decisions, to help determine the best possible outcome.
Every wonder how your college application is evaluated?
Growth and Potential
- Have you reached your maximum academic and personal potential?
- Have you been stretching yourself?
- Have you been working to capacity in your academic pursuits, your full-time or part-time employment, or other areas?
- Do you have reserve power to do more?
- How have you used your time?
Do you have initiative? Are you a self-starter? What motivates you?
- Do you have a direction yet? What is it? If not, are you exploring many things?
- Where will you be in one, five, or 25 years? Will you contribute something to those around you?
- What sort of human being are you now? What sort of human being will you be in the future?
Interests and Activities
- Do you care deeply about anything—intellectual? Extracurricular? Personal?
- What have you learned from your interests? What have you done with your interests? How have you achieved results? With what success or failure? What have you learned as a result?
- In terms of extracurricular, athletic, community, or family commitments, have you taken full advantage of opportunities?
- What is the quality of your activities? Do you appear to have a genuine commitment or leadership role?
- If you have not had much time in high school for extracurricular pursuits due to familial, work, or other obligations, what do you hope to explore at Harvard with your additional free time?
Character and Personality
- What choices have you made for yourself? Why?
- Are you a late bloomer?
- How open are you to new ideas and people?
- What about your maturity, character, leadership, self-confidence, warmth of personality, sense of humor, energy, concern for others, and grace under pressure?
Every wonder how your college application is evaluated?
Make Sure You’re Ready-Set career goals and pick majors that support those career goals.
Khan Academy Sat Prep Site
For the first time ever, the creators of the SAT have given Khan Academy exclusive access and advice to build a personalized practice program for anyone, anywhere.
The ACT is a multiple-choice test with an essay option. In general the ACT is more curriculum-based and tests academic preparedness, factual knowledge, and specific skills from subjects studies in high school. There are four required sections (English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning) and an optional writing section. Students receive a separate score for each of its four sections, plus an overall average score, with a maximum score of 36. Register for the ACT here
Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
AP exams are for completed college level work in high school. Specific subject area exams determine whether a student may gain advanced credit or placement in college. The test results for seniors have no bearing on college admissions because scores are not reported to students or colleges until July. College policies in granting credits differ. AP Exams are offered in May. AP Courses
The SAT works well if you have an aptitude for solving problems. It is a multiple choice and essay test for verbal and mathematical aptitude as well as writing skill, resulting in three scores of up to 800 each (2400 total). The test focuses on test-taking strategies, critical thinking, and the ability to problem solve. The math portion asses skills up to and including 9th grade Geometry and Algebra 3/4. It is similar in style to the PSAT. You will need to sign yourself for the SAT and Register for the SAT here.
Most Widely Accepted, Most Popular and Most Convenient Choice The TOEFL® test is the most widely respected English-language test in the world, recognized by more than 9,000 colleges, universities and agencies in more than 130 countries, including Australia, Canada, the U.K. and the United States. Wherever you want to study, the TOEFL test can help you get there. What Is the TOEFL iBT Test?The TOEFL iBT test measures your ability to use and understand English at the university level. And it evaluates how well you combine your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills to perform academic tasks. Apply Here
Students in 10th and 11th grade can take the new PSAT/NMSQT for the first time in October 2015. The PSAT 10 will be available to 10th-grade students in the spring. BenefitsThe PSAT/NMSQT and the PSAT 10 cover the same content areas. Both tests provide students and educators with the chance to check in on progress toward college and career readiness and success. And both serve as an excellent way for students to preview and practice for the SAT, because they are tightly aligned with the new SAT. The new PSAT/NMSQT and the PSAT 10 will give students access to free personalized SAT study. With students’ explicit permission, Khan Academy will use their PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10 results to create a study plan especially for them. Taking the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 can also connect students to:
The PSAT/NMSQT is the official route of entry to the National Merit® Scholarship Program.
Senior Year- Post Secondary Planning
You will be able to access a list of all the scholarships we have on file, find out when college reps are going to be visiting our school, get the dates for upcoming events, find great links to career websites and much more!
Visit college campuses every chance you get!
Search for scholarships. There’s lots of free money you can get your hands on if you just put in a little effort!
- Sign up for the SAT October 3, 2015 is the first available test date
- SAT Subject Test December 5, 2015
- Sign up for the ACT (if you didn’t take it as a junior, or if you aren’t satisfied with your score, or if you’ve learned a lot since you first took it.
- Review ACT test results and retest if necessary
- Attend college fairs (If possible).
Make sure you have all the applications required for college admission. Write, phone, or email to request missing information, or apply online whenever possible.
- Identify your application deadlines for schools and for scholarships. They may vary and it is essential to meet all deadlines!
- Review your applications, transcript, resume and college essays with your family & school counselor to ensure they are accurate and complete.
- If you have not completed the required tests or if you are not happy with your scores register for the upcoming SAT’s, ACT’s and SAT II’s.
- Have official test scores sent to the colleges you are applying to.
- If the colleges require recommendations, ask the appropriate people to write on your behalf with 4 working weeks of advance notice.
- Senior Meetings with your Counselor!
- Columbus Day weekend is a great time to visit college campuses. Many plan programs for prospective freshmen on this weekend.
- Know your deadlines and keep working on applications!
- Start your Financial Aid process. Both you and your parents need to obtain a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov so you can fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
- Check to see if the colleges to which you are applying require any other financial aid forms.
Keep looking/applying for scholarships- get your college paid for! Check to make sure ANY and ALL of your current scholarship application material is complete and ready to be sent.
- Know your deadlines and keep working on applications.
- Keep looking/applying for scholarships- get your college paid for!
- Complete the FAFSA (For U.S. citizens) at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
- Keep working in your classes! Grades and courses continue to count throughout your senior year.
- If you completed a FAFSA, you should receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) within four weeks after submitting the FAFSA. Review the SAR carefully and check for any inaccuracies. If necessary, correct any items on the SAR and return it to the FAFSA processor (If a college transmitted your data directly, notify the college of any change).
- Complete scholarship applications and continue to check Naviance and emails for new scholarships added throughout the year! You may be eligible for more scholarships than you think, so apply for as many as you can!
- Stay focused and keep studying- only a couple more months to go!
- Review your college acceptances letters and financial aid awards. If you know which college you will attend, send your tuition deposit and follow all other instructions.
- Take Advanced Placement exams, if appropriate and request that your AP scores be sent to the college you will be attending.
- Complete your Senior Survey! This lets the Mr. Beland know where to send your final official transcript.
- Notify the college of any private scholarships or grants you will be receiving.
- Know when the payment for tuition, room and board, meal plans, etc., is due. If necessary, ask the financial aid office about a possible payment plan that will allow for you to pay in installments.
- Congratulations! You have completed a difficult task, now it’s time to look forward to graduation!
Your college is the best source for financial aid! (Please see the links further down the page for college scholarship opportunities)
Most colleges include financial aid information in their application packets that describe the process and due dates for obtaining financial aid, scholarships and loans. There are also a number of private scholarships available. Most scholarship funds are provided by the colleges and are based on information provided on the federal FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Scholarships are free. You may fill out the FAFSA beginning January 1st of the year you will enter college. It could be a scam if you are asked to pay for a scholarship application.
Types of Aid:
Grants and Scholarships: “Free money” that may be based on financial need, academic ability, talent, geography, or life experience.
Loans: Money loaned to students or parents that must be paid back to federal government and/or private lenders.
Work Study: Provides work for pay on campus, based on need.
Academic Summer Program Recommendations
How your child spends his or her summers is of critical importance in the college/university application process. Colleges and universities strongly prefer students who are active during the summer break, be it by working/interning in an industry of interest, volunteering locally, or enriching their education through a summer study program.
In general, there are two types of summer programs: those that are held on the campuses of boarding schools and offer high school credit, and those that are held on college campuses and offer college credit.
Additionally, some programs of short length offer valuable experiences but no credit.
Please find below a list of recommended summer programs with links to their websites. Note that some applications are due as early as February 1. Feel free to contact me for recommendations on which programs are most appropriate for your child.
Middle/High School Programs at Boarding Schools:
- Choate Rosemary Hall: www.choate.edu/summerprograms/
- Philips Andover Academy: https://www.andover.edu/SummerSessionOutreach/SummerSession/Pages/default.aspx
- Philips Exeter Academy: http://www.exeter.edu/summer_programs/7324.aspx
- Tabor Academy: http://www.taboracademy.org/summer/
High School Programs at Colleges and Universities:
- Harvard University: http://www.summer.harvard.edu/programs/secondary-school
- Johns Hopkins University (middle and high): http://cty.jhu.edu/summer/index.html
- University of Miami: http://www.miami.edu/dcie/index.php/ssp/
- Duke University: http://www.learnmore.duke.edu/youth/
- Penn State: http://www.summerstudy.com/penn-state
- Georgetown University: http://scs.georgetown.edu/departments/21/summer-programs-for-high-school-students
- Columbia University: http://ce.columbia.edu/high-school/nyc
- Yale University: http://summer.yale.edu/
- Georgia Tech: http://www.gotech.gatech.edu/plugins/content/index.php?id=71
- Wake Forest University: http://lens.wfu.edu/