What Do I Need And When?
The college process at Prep begins as soon as you walk through our classroom doors. Regardless of which year you begin at Prep, there are several important steps to take that will help prepare you and your family for the college selection and application process. Please see our suggestions below and be sure to review our planning guidelines for each grade.
1. Meet with your academic advisor: This is to be sure you are challenging yourself with the appropriate level of academic rigor and extracurricular activities. Advisors encourage students to try new activities and courses and explore passions more deeply.
2. Come to our annual financial aid presentations: Every year, we host a financial aid speaker to provide an overview of this complicated process. It is never too early to start planning for this major investment in a student’s future.
3. Be aware of test dates and test prep options: We have listed all critical dates on the College Counseling Pages for each class. More detailed information explaining the different types of tests as well as tutoring and prep options can be found at the Testing and Test Prep link.
4. Visit colleges when you travel: There is no need to wait until the spring of junior year to visit colleges. We recommend seeing colleges while you are on a vacation to start becoming familiar with what kind of school will be a good fit and to learn more about what admissions committees are looking for in their applicants.
5. Learn to use SCOIR: We work closely with juniors during the spring, showing them how to research colleges through SCOIR and other very helpful resources. We offer tutorials for parents as well and encourage them to learn how to use this very accessible and helpful resource.
6. Use your summers wisely: Summer is a wonderful time to decompress from the hectic school year, and it is also an opportunity to pursue an area of interest in more depth: volunteer locally, get an internship, travel, do a language immersion program, push yourself physically or with an academic or pre-professional endeavor. We also encourage students to get a local job and start earning money to help offset college costs.
7. Most importantly for parents: Be sure that your child is leading the way! We have some helpful tips on our resources page that we hope will provide perspective and advice as you navigate this critical process of self-discovery. You should also feel welcome to join our college counseling reading group, which runs through the fall and is open to families in the upper school.