College Advising Process
The college planning process at Chase is designed to introduce students and their families to the importance of course selection and academic achievement as early as the freshman year. Parents and students are encouraged to become familiar with the College Office throughout their time at Chase to help them develop a relationship with their college counselor and work together to ultimately select a college in the senior year that will best fit the student’s individual talents, interests, and aspirations. The college advising process timeline outlines the four year process of college selection.
While the focus of students’ goals and efforts in Grade 9 should be on making the adjustment to the Upper School community, conversations about college do filter into their experience through planned programs.
- Grade 9 Parent Coffee: Planning for college is more likely on the minds of the parents of students in the 9th grade than the actual student; to help answer questions from parents and to begin a conversation about making good academic decisions, the Director of College Counseling attends the Grade 9 Parent Coffee discussions.
- College and Cocoa: Students meet with the Director of College Counseling in the Spring semester of their 9th grade year to participate in activities designed to help them understand the importance of good study habits, getting involved and how to direct their studies toward preparing them to make curricular choices that will benefit the college process in the senior year.
By grade 10 students should be on track to solidify their academic and extracurricular experience at Chase. During the sophomore year, more of an emphasis is placed on becoming familiar with the College Office and standardized testing.
- PSAT Administration: All students in grade 10 are required to take the PSAT (preliminary SAT) administered on the date designated by the College Board in mid-October.
- College by the Numbers: Grade 10 students meet in small groups in the College Counseling Office to review how to interpret their PSAT scores and understand how to read their transcript. They are introduced to how colleges use test scores, GPA, and other factors in the college admission process.
- Course Selection Advising: Students may elect to meet with the Director of College Counseling to discuss their academic plan for junior and senior years.
The bulk of the college advising process takes place within the junior year. Students and families will begin with a kick off meeting to discuss the ins and outs of the process and proceed with one-on-one conferences with their college counselor throughout the year to develop an individualized approach to the college search including the development of prospective college lists, college visit strategies, interview practice, and more.
- PSAT/NMSQT Administration: As in the previous year, all students are required to take the PSAT/NMSQT in October. By taking this exam as a junior, students are eligible to enter the National Merit Scholarship Corporation programs and gain access to valuable college and career planning tools.
- Grade 11: Intro to the College Process: This mandatory event for all students and families is designed to provide detailed information about the college process and tools that are used in the College Office to assist students throughout the college search and application process. In the past, representatives from a variety of colleges were invited to speak and share their advice with students and families.
- Standardized Test Preparation Courses: The College Office has partnered with Summit Educational Group (www.mytutor.com) to provide SAT and ACT preparation courses for students in Grade 11. The courses are available during the fall semester to assist students in preparing for the earlier test dates the following year. These courses are available for all interested students for an additional fee.
- Essay Writing Workshop: In an effort to prepare Chase students to write an authentic college essay, a workshop is held to discuss approaches that will help them understand the importance of topic choice and finding their own voice. Grade 11 students will then continue working on their college essay with their college counselor throughout the Spring semester.
- College Visits: Students and their families are strongly encouraged to various college campuses during their March break and the summer before their senior year. Visits are a good way to gain a better understanding of the academic environment and college atmosphere that is most appealing to them.
- College Fair Participation: Chase Collegiate School partners with the Taft School to host a college fair for area students. All students in Grade 11 are required to attend and transportation is provided. During the fair, students have the opportunity to interact with college representatives from across the country to discuss academic programs and admission criteria. Families are encouraged to attend as well.
The focus of the beginning of the senior year is finalizing lists and submitting college applications. Grade 12 students and families work together with the College Office to submit all necessary materials to be considered for college admission. Once college decisions are released, students will work with their college counselor to review options and finalize their choice on which college to attend.
- Senior College Night: A final meeting with all parents and students in Grade 12 to discuss admission plans, including Early Action, Early Decision, Regular Decision and Rolling Admission. Additionally, students will review their transcripts and submit all necessary paperwork to the College Office to authorize the processing of their application materials.
- College Representative Visits: Each year the College Office hosts close to ninety college admission representatives for individual visits in the fall. The goal of these visits is to renew and strengthen the school’s existing relationships with college admission officers, as well as to reach out to new ones. Whenever possible, students are encouraged to attend these sessions to make important face-to-face connections with the representatives. Grade 12 students and families are able to see a complete list of scheduled visits in Naviance.
- Financial Aid Workshop: Grade 12 families and students are encouraged to attend a presentation on the Financial Aid process at the college level. A representative from a University Financial Aid department will present this valuable information.
- Grade 12 Transition to College: This evening program is presented by the College Office and the School Counselor. It takes place toward the end of the spring semester, after all students have made their decision on a college of choice. Parents and students are presented with topics of conversation and difficult questions to consider as they prepare to say “goodbye” make the transition to college.
Understanding that standardized testing is an important part of many college admission review processes, the Chase Collegiate School College Office works with students to develop the best approach to a standardized testing plan. Additionally, through partnerships with test preparation organizations, we are able to offer both SAT and ACT preparatory courses on campus every year.
- SAT (www.collegeboard.org)
The SAT is the most widely recognized college admission test designed to demonstrate what you know as well as how well you can apply that knowledge. The test is comprised of three sections: Critical Reading, Math and Writing. Beginning in the March 2016, a redesigned SAT will be released. The redesigned SAT will provide more evidence-based reading and the Essay (formerly Writing) section will be optional; however, all Chase students are strongly recommended to take the SAT including the Essay section as individual colleges will have the option to determine whether or not they will require this section for the application review. Students are encouraged to take the SAT more than once because many colleges will “superscore” their results. This means that the college will put together the highest subset score regardless of exam date to determine the most competitive total score for consideration.
- SAT Subject Tests
The SAT Subject Tests are offered in five general subject areas: English, History, Languages, Mathematics, and Sciences. Not all colleges require the submission of SAT subject scores for admission consideration. Students should meet with the Director of College Counseling to receive individual guidance on whether or not they should take the SAT Subject Tests.
- ACT (www.actstudent.org)
The ACT is a national college admission test that consists of subject area sections in: English, Math, Reading, and Science. An optional Writing portion is also available. Again, all Chase students are strongly encourage to take the ACT with Writing as many colleges require this section during the application review. While most colleges do not “superscore” the ACT, students are still encouraged to take the test more than once since the ACT allows students to elect which scores they want to send to colleges.
- TOEFL (www.ets.org/toefl)
The TOEFL test is the most widely accepted English-language proficiency test in the world and the primary test required by colleges for admission consideration for international students. The internet based test is formatted to include four language skills measured in: reading, listening, speaking and writing. All international students attending Chase will take the TOEFL as well as the SAT and/or ACT for college admission consideration.