College Counseling Process

CA’s college counselors — most of whom have hands-on experience in college admissions offices — work in alliance with academic advisors and parents to guide and support students as they consider the numerous possibilities beyond CA.

 

Formal college planning begins in January of junior year, when students and parents meet for a workshop. Students meet regularly with an assigned counselor to identify strengths and interests, to learn to self-advocate, and to devise a strategic plan that helps them discover which colleges and universities best suit them. In addition, during the spring semester, juniors take a weekly seminar that emphasizes, among other topics, how to research colleges, what to expect during a campus visit, and how to distinguish themselves as applicants.

Junior Year at a Glance

January

Attend College Counseling Workshop

February
  • Focus on college process during junior seminar meetings
  • Arrange spring vacation visits
  • Plan to see a variety of colleges and universities, both in terms of size, program, and selectivity
January/February
  • Life skills classes begin
  • Begin self-assessment
  • Make an appointment for your first individual counseling conference with your college counselor
  • This is also a good time to browse through college catalogs and comprehensive guidebooks, and to put yourself on colleges’ mailing lists
  • Check out all the options—this is shopping time
Spring Vacation
  • Visit at least two colleges over spring vacation
  • Call ahead or check online for tour schedules
  • Don’t expect an interview as admissions officers will be busy evaluating senior applications
  • Take excellent notes in your college journal
March/April/May
  • SAT Reasoning Test
  • Continue to explore types of colleges and universities
  • Make an appointment for your second individual counseling conference with your college counselor; you may invite your parents
  • Discuss appropriate matches and begin to plan your senior curriculum
April
  • Attend BISCCA College Fair at Milton Academy

May
  • Take Advanced Placement (AP) exams, as appropriate
  • Create preliminary list of colleges
  • SAT Reasoning Test (if not taken earlier)
June
  • SAT Subject Tests
Summer
  • Visit college campuses, if possible, and interview where available
  • Consult guidebooks and Web sites; collect applications
  • Keep a journal to help with work on essays
College Counseling Process 2
College Counseling Process 1

Senior Year at a Glance

September
  • Establish a senior program that is reasonable and balanced, and work hard in your courses
  • Ask teachers to write recommendations (if you have not already done so)
  • Attend the portfolio workshop given by the Visual Arts Department (if applicable)
September/October
  • Narrow list of colleges to which to apply
  • Decide whether to apply Early Decision (ED) or Early Action (EA)
  • Sign up for a counseling session
September/November
  • Attend sessions in the College Counseling Office (CCO) with visiting college admissions officers
September/December
  • Plan to visit colleges on long weekends and college visiting days
October
  • If applying for financial aid, file the CSS PROFILE registration form
  • Begin submitting applications with rolling deadlines (if any) to CCO
  • Retake SAT Reasoning Test or SAT Subject Tests, if necessary
November
  • Contact colleges to which you are fairly certain you will apply to request interviews (on campus or with a local alumnae/i)
  • Finalize your college list
  • Most Early Decision (ED)/Early Action (EA) application deadlines
  • Retake SAT Subject Tests or SAT Reasoning Test, if necessary
  • If applying for financial aid, submit the completed CSS PROFILE
Thanksgiving Break
  • Devote time to finalizing application essays and applications
November/December
  • Complete your applications
December
  • Update virtually final college list on Naviance
  • SAT Reasoning Test or SAT Subject Tests, if necessary
  • Results received from EA/ED applications
  • Finalize applications with December 31 and January 1 deadlines
January 1
  • DEADLINE: JANUARY 1 – Applications due for many colleges
  • If applying for financial aid, file FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1
  • DEADLINE: January 15 – Applications due for many colleges
February
  • DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 1 – Applications due for many colleges
  • Continue to work hard in your classes: Colleges consider final senior grades and, in many cases, matriculation is contingent upon strong academic performance through senior year
April
  • BY APRIL 15 – Receive decisions from colleges
  • Visit colleges and universities to which you have been admitted
  • Decide which to attend
May
  • DEADLINE: MAY 1 – Nationwide Candidate Reply date: Decide which college’s offer you will accept and send deposit if required
  • If applicable, decide whether or not to remain on any waitlists and communicate your decision to the colleges in question
  • Beginning of May: Take AP exams in selected courses; have scores sent to the college you plan to attend
May/June
  • Graduate — Good luck!
June
  • June 30 – Close of waitlist for the majority of private colleges