College Counseling

April College Counseling Newsletter

Upcoming College-Related Events (see below for additional information)
PNACAC College Fair – April 24 – University of Portland noon-3:00 PM
Mock Application Review – April 25 – Central Catholic HS 6:30-8:30 PM
Sophomore College Night – April 28 – St. Mary’s Academy 7:00-8:30 PM
Jesuit College Fair – May 18 – St. Mary’s Academy 12:50-1:30 PM

Students should stay in touch with their college counselor! We love to hear good news but are here to offer support should your daughter be disappointed. Each student should have good choices, but it may take time to work through a grieving process and refocus. Please remind your daughter to update Naviance with her decisions and her college choice. Reply Date Rights and Responsibilities. In the college admissions process, May 1st is the deadline for students to let colleges know their decisions. Unless she was admitted under an Early Decision deadline, your daugter can wait to respond to an offer of admission and/or financial aid until May 1. If she has any questions or concerns about the May 1 deadline, please have her check in with her counselor.

Final Campus Visits: If your daughter is trying to choose or has not visited her favorite option, this is a good time to visit campuses. Many colleges have visit days for admitted students. These are excellent opportunities if students feel they need more information to make the best choice. Parents can help think about spring commitments and when a visit might make the most sense.

What if students are waitlisted?: Some colleges and universities may offer students a place on a waiting list rather than a clear admit or denial. What should be done about a waitlist offer?

*She should carefully read the information the college has supplied about the waiting list. Students need to affirm they want to remain on the list for further consideration.
*She should check in with her college counselor for any additional insight.
*Even if she hopes a waitlist option will work out, if she does not hear anything by May 1, she needs to deposit at her next best choice to save a space.

By May 1st: A student must notify each college that offered her admission whether she will attend or decline her offer. She must pay the deposit at the college she plans to attend. She should let the others know she has made a different choice. (An email to an admission office is sufficient.) Students may only send a deposit to one school. Double depositing is unethical and can result in a college changing its admission decision. St. Mary’s will only send a final transcript to one college.

Meeting your College Counselor: If your daughter still has not met with her college counselor, please encourage her to do so. Too, if you have not filled out the junior parent questionnaire in Naviance, please get in touch with Meg Bowman to figure out how to access the questionnaire. This parental input can really help us as we understand where your daughter is in the process and how we can help. Please get in touch with your daughter’s college counselor if you would like a meeting.

College Lists: Using information from the questionnaires and our conversation with each student, we have developed an initial college list in Naviance. This list is not meant to be a list of schools your daughter should apply to, but offers schools to consider and a place to begin research. We try to make sure each student has at least one affordable option, usually an in-state or Western Undergraduate Exchange university.

Standardized Admissions Tests: We would like all juniors to take the SAT or the ACT by June of this year. We recommend taking the optional writing section on either test. If your daughter has not yet registered, please look over the calendar with her and choose a date that works for your family. It is possible to register ‘late’ for a given testing date, but space is limited and the fees increase substantially.
SAT and ACT Testing Dates:
ACT: Test Date – June 11 – Registration Deadline – May 6, 2016

SAT: Test Date – May 7 – Registration Deadline – April 8, 2016
Test Date – June 4 – Registration Deadline – May 5, 2016

Free Standardized Test Preparation: SMA students have two options for free online test preparation. Khan Academy has partnered with the College Board to offer personalized test prep, based on students’ PSAT results. Students can link their College Board and Khan accounts and get started practicing for the SAT. For the ACT, TutorMe, a commercial test prep company has offered its course to SMA students at no charge. Check out their program at and see if it is a good fit. If you like what you see, check in with your counselor to get the code for six months of free access.

Teacher recommendation requests: On April 6th we will have a class meeting with juniors to discuss the how they request letters from teachers to support their college applications. Because most of our students apply to four year colleges, most will require two teacher letters of recommendation in addition to a counselor letter of recommendation. To spread the work load fairly across the faculty, we ask juniors to fill out a form requesting who they would choose to write their letters. Although we can’t promise everyone her first choice, we try to provide each student with at least one of her top choices. The form will be due Friday, April 15th.

Upcoming Events:
PNACAC Spring College Fair – Sunday, April 24th, Noon, University of Portland Chiles Center -This spring fair offers students the opportunity to meet with admissions officers from a wide variety of colleges. Juniors and sophomores should make plans to attend.
Mock Admission Review – Monday, April 25th, 6:30 p.m., Central Catholic High – This year, St. Mary’s Academy is partnering with Central Catholic High School to bring juniors and their parents the opportunity to experience a “mock” college application review facilitated by a college admissions officer. These discussions help clarify how applications are evaluated and provide helpful perspective on the admission process. Space is limited; students and parents can register here:
Sophomore College Night – Thursday, April 28th, 7:00 p.m., SMA – This evening meeting introduces sophomores and their parents to the college search and application process at St. Mary’s. Families are introduced to Naviance, the web-based college information system we use, and provided with a general outline of how we support students in their college application process. Sophomores and their parents should plan to attend.
Jesuit College Mini-Fair – Wednesday, May 18th, 12:50-1:30 p.m., SMA – Interested sophomores and juniors can use their lunch hour to get acquainted with participating Jesuit colleges and meet with admissions representatives.