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College Advising Timeline

 

GRADE 9

 
ALL YEAR:
  • Do your best academic work.
  • Get involved in the extra-curricular activities (athletics, clubs, and volunteerism).
  • Complete the Strength Explorer assessment in Naviance.
  • Complete the PSAT 9 (optional). This is good introduction to and practice for future standardized testing.
  • With RARE exception, there are no additional standardized tests to take appropriate for age/grade level.
  • If you have questions about this, please contact the college advisor.

 

GRADE 10

 
ALL YEAR:
  • Do your best academic work.
  • Get involved in the extra-curricular life of Hill like athletics, clubs, and volunteerism.
  • Begin to think about potential leadership opportunities.
OCTOBER:
  • Take the PSAT-10. This is good practice for future standardized testing.
FEBRUARY/MARCH:
  • Prior to course selection for Grade 11, discuss the most appropriate options with your college advisor.
MAY/JUNE:
  • For a small number of students, SAT Subject Testing in Math, Chemistry, or World Languages may be appropriate. Please discuss with your college advisor prior to taking any standardized test.
SUMMER AFTER:
  • Summer is a great time to explore interests, get a job, take a class, and have fun! Remember — do not do anything just because you think it will look good on your application; do it because you are interested in the experience!

 

GRADE 11

 
ALL YEAR:
  • Do your best academic work.
  • Involve yourself deeply in activities.
  • Enthusiastically participate in your College Seminar class; this class will provide you with important information relative to the college process.
  • Speak to your college advisor if you are considering any standardized testing in the fall (in addition to the PSAT every student will take in October).
JANUARY:
  • Individual meetings begin with college advisors.
  • Meetings will continue through the spring and will cover topics including testing schedule (SAT, ACT), course selection for Grade 12, teacher letters of recommendation, and crafting an appropriate, balanced college list for consideration.
  • Potential Division I and II athletes and students considering service academies are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment as early as possible.
  • Begin to think about/plan college visits over February break.
  • Register for standardized testing
  • If planning to take a summer course or participate in a program, be mindful of dates and requirements (transcripts, letters of recommendations, etc.).
FEBRUARY:
  • Attend College Seminar sessions.
  • Register for standardized testing if appropriate.
  • Discuss course selection for Grade 12 with your college advisor.
  • If possible, visit colleges over February break.
MARCH:
  • Attend College Seminar sessions.
  • Register for April standardized testing if appropriate.
  • Meet with your college advisor to discuss college visits (if applicable) and finalize teacher letters of recommendation.
  • Discuss course selection for Grade 12 with your college advisor.
APRIL:
  • Attend College Seminar sessions.
  • Register for May standardized testing if appropriate.
  • Finalize summer plans, including college visits.
  • Finalize teacher recommendation requests with your college advisor.
MAY:
  • Attend College Seminar sessions.
  • Teacher Recommendation Request Forms must be completed and given to teachers by May 1. Requests are final.
  • Register for summer standardized testing if appropriate.
  • Work on college essay ideas in English class and with your college advisor.
  • Concentrate on finishing well!
SUMMER AFTER:
  • Write a rough draft of your main college essay over the summer.
  • Work on completing the Common Application.
  • Visit colleges.

 

GRADE 12

 
FALL TERM:
  • Communicate and meet with your college advisor regularly.
  • Work with your college advisor to attend to all the details of the application process, including:
  • Completing applications
  • Writing the essay
  • Updating college list/application plans
  • Standardized testing
  • Confirm letters of recommendation with your teachers.
  • Take advantage of meetings with college admission representatives.
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER:
  • Complete standardized exams (SAT/ACT).
  • Review ALL Early Action/Early Decision applications with your college advisor. This should happen at least 2 weeks in advance of the application deadline(s).
  • Submit early applications as appropriate.
  • DECEMBER:
  • Review ALL Early Action/Early Decision and Regular Decision applications with your college advisor. This should happen at least 2 weeks in advance of the application deadline(s).
  • All applications with a January 1 deadline must be complete and reviewed prior to the start of Christmas Break.
JANUARY:
  • Review ALL Early Action II/Early Decision II and Regular Decision applications with your college advisor. This should happen at least 2 weeks in advance of the application deadline(s).
FEBRUARY:
  • ALL applications should be reviewed and submitted by February 15.
  • (Exceptions to this deadline are rare and must be approved by the college advisor.)
  • Be sure to thank the teachers who have written letters of recommendation on your behalf!

 

College Advisor/Student Partnership

The College Advisor Student Partnership is an important one. Saint Dominic Academy’s College Advisor works collaboratively with faculty and staff to support the entire senior class. The college search should be a student-centered process. To support it, I strive to form a relationship with each student and their family. My work respects ​the goals, requirements, and limitations that each student brings to the process and then tailors their college search and application process to support them through an experience that can foster growth and build life skills. As students reflect on their own interests, strengths, and weaknesses, college advisor help them to form a plan that is both aspirational and realistic, and, following our clearly articulated timeline, they complete the process over the course of their senior year. For this partnership to thrive, certain expectations exist for each partner.    
 
Students should: 
  • Communicate with their college advisor, scheduling and attending individual meetings, attending group meetings, reading and responding to emails, and monitoring email for important announcements.
  • Complete the tasks assigned on or before the deadline, for example, the Junior & Senior Surveys which provide the college advisor with important information. 
  • Notify their college advisor if there are special considerations in their candidacy, for example, Athletic Recruitment.
  • Identify two appropriate teachers to ask for recommendations and then complete the steps required to request the recommendation and invite the teachers to their application process. 
  • Maintain an accurate COLLEGE LIST on their Naviance account. 
  • Turn in forms and paperwork as required. 
  • Keep college advisor informed of college decisions and any changes in plans.   
  • In turn, the College Advisor has their own responsibilities.    
The College Advisor will: 
  • Maintain clear communication with students and families. Updating each at critical points in the process (June and November updates, copying parents and advisors on some communications and announcements and emails/phone calls as necessary).
  • Help students define their college search criteria and provide resources and support in selecting an appropriate balance college list.
  • Advocate for each student by writing an effective and informed School Statement (based in part on information collected from both student and parent/guardian questionnaires), collecting required supporting school documents, submitting documents to each college listed on the student’s COLLEGE LIST which they control on their Naviance account. 
  • Assist with the financial aid process as necessary and appropriate and advise students on possible merit scholarship opportunities.
  • Follow up with colleges over the course of the winter in order to confirm applications and advocate for students where the opportunities exist.   
Honesty and Integrity in the college process. Considering the Varsity Blues scandal that consumed so much media attention in 2019, it is worth noting how important it is for all partners in this process to maintain the highest ethical standards. As such, students are expected to represent their achievements and activities honestly. They are expected to do their own work whether completing applications or testing. Before any applications are submitted, each student will meet with the college advisor to review their applications. While the college advisor is not an “editor” they will offer suggestions and note errors they see. Suggestions are offered to help students write the most effective applications possible. Believing as we do that each student has their own “story” we want to work with them to help them tell it well. In turn, college advisors will represent students honestly and present Saint Dominic Academy information accurately.   
 

Resources: 

  • College Advisor
  • Student Services Administrator/Registrar
  • Teachers/Coaches
  • Naviance
  • College Advising library, posters, brochures, email, workshops, and announcements

Excellent reading on the college process​: ​

The Truth about College Admission by Brennan Barnard and Rick Clark,
​Admit One, Writing your way into the best colleges by Thomas Richards,
​Sending your Millennial to College, A Parent’s Guide to Supporting College Success by John Bader,
​Dear Parents, A Field Guide for College Preparation​ by Jon McGee     
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