Students benefit from the Academy’s very systematic approach to the college search process. Outlined here in brief is the multi-prong method of the College Guidance Program.
Each student chooses a Senior Advisor in the spring of Grade 11. That Senior Advisor will work with the student and the student’s family over the course of that next year, serving as a point of contact and guide through the college search and admissions process.
A series of College Nights, beginning in Grade 9, educate and expose students to the wide variety of colleges and universities to which they may apply. Beginning with Grades 9-10 College Night, students are familiarized with categories of college selectivity and are introduced to the questions they and their families should be asking over the course of the next two-to-three years. In later years, College Nights become more and more focused on the practical matters at hand as students begin to visit and apply to college.
In Grade 11, after mid-year grades are available and the Grade 11 College Night is held, students fill out a Student Assessment which asks a variety of questions concerning their academic and extracurricular experience. This is followed by an individual meeting with Mr. Acquilano, the Director of College Guidance, and then a family meeting so that the family’s approach, responsibilities, and aspirations are clearly articulated.
The College Fair
All members of Grade 11 participate in the Brooklyn/Staten Island Independent Schools College Fair held in late April. The Fair rotates location and is held on the campus of Staten Island Academy every five years. In the other years, Academy students travel with their Senior Advisors to the Fair at the host school. The Fair is attended by over 150 of the best colleges in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Grade 11 College Retreat
In June, all Grade 11 students participate in a college retreat with their classmates and Senior Advisors, which focuses on class assessment and goal setting, as well as a college counseling session preparing students for their summer responsibilities.
In late June, the Summer College Tour is offered to students in Grades 11-12 (rising juniors and seniors). These trips usually visit six to eight colleges within a two-hour radius of New York City. The tours are free to students and highly encouraged.
College Representative Meetings
In the fall of senior year, seniors have the opportunity to meet with approximately seventy college representatives who visit the Academy specifically to meet with them. Advisory sessions focusing on essay writing and interviewing skills also take place during the fall. Individual appointments between students and Mr. Acquilano continue throughout the fall to identify good fits to complete the application list.