We believe preparing for college is a four-year process.
Students need to be aware that decisions on their academic program or extracurricular activities and involvement will have an ultimate impact on how they present themselves to colleges. All of our college nights are mandatory for students and parents. Each college night presents topics that are relevant to a specific year in the Upper School.
Grades 9-10 College Night
Students and parents in Grade 9 are given an overview of the Academy’s College Guidance Program at the Grades 9-10 College Night, usually held in late winter. Establishing high college aspirations and creating a plan with which to meet those aspirations is an important theme of Grades 9-10 College Night.
The session also includes: information on all of the standardized testing that students will be taking during their time at the Academy including the PSAT, SAT, SAT-II Subject Tests, and the ACT; an examination of the Academic Transcript; the importance of schedule strength and rigor in the admissions process; how students should be spending their summers; and the importance of leadership in activities. The Grades 9-10 College Night also features a guest speaker every year. Admissions professionals from Columbia University, Bucknell University, City University of New York, Union College, and Drew University have presented at this program in the past.
Grade 11 College Night
During Grade 11 College Night, which takes place in January, an overview of the entire college admission process is presented to students and parents. The discussion includes: application options and categories, importance of each element of the application, acceptance rates and selectivity of schools, the importance of standardized testing, and basic financial aid terminology and timelines. Discussed, also, is how students with special talents -- athletics and performing and visual arts -- should approach the process. A month-by-month calendar is presented to students and families indicating student responsibilities and expectations, deadlines, etc.
Students and parents learn how to conduct a college search using identifying factors personal to each student’s needs and goals. Various college options are presented to students and parents including liberal arts colleges, research universities, women’s colleges, and international colleges and universities. Various research methods and suggested reading lists are shared. Students in Grade 11 receive a comprehensive college handbook with calendars, standardized test and application deadline information, information on visiting colleges and interviewing, NCAA guidelines, test optional schools, the Common Application, and a comprehensive college selectivity guide.
Grade 12 College Night
In October, the Grade 12 College Night centers on a step-by-step discussion of the application process, the senior year calendar, the importance of visiting and interviewing at colleges, and the elements of the financial aid application process.