The college counseling program at Waynflete is designed to help students navigate the college search and application processes. Its goal is to help students find the best possible “matches” from among the vast array of colleges—literally thousands—available to consider. This should be an exciting time for students; it is a time for reflection, self-discovery, and important decision making. The College Counseling Office works to take advantage of the learning opportunities presented by the processes, and one of the program’s goals is to help students learn how to approach and ultimately make important decisions. Recognizing that this is often a time of great anxiety for students and their families, another one of the program’s major goals is to reduce this anxiety.
It is an important tenet that is often emphasized to the students that they take control of the process as much as possible. The program strongly adheres to the principle that students need to be responsible for their own choices. They need to take the lead in identifying what is most important to them and ultimately, where to apply. It is also important that they take primary responsibility for the actual applications. Not only is this the most honest approach, but colleges regularly report that the best applications are those that provide genuine insight into an individual student. In the College Counseling Office, we work hard to guide students through all parts of the process, to answer any and all questions, and to give important feedback.
The college search process begins formally in the second semester of a student’s junior year with a parent information evening in January (though the Office is happy to schedule meetings with students and families at any time). At that time, the College Counseling team offers a presentation on Waynflete’s approach to the college search process and provides much of the information parents need to help their children. Also, they invite parents to work with them as they assist students through the entire process.
At the same time, juniors begin meeting with College Counselors on a weekly basis in small groups and schedule individual meetings to address specific questions and goals. These meetings continue through the first semester of senior year. With the help of their college counselor, junior students concentrate on how to research and make decisions about where to apply. The primary focus in senior year is on completing applications.
Of course, the college process actually begins well before the spring of junior year. For example, students are compiling their transcripts—the most important part of any application—throughout high school. Faculty advisors work closely with advisees each year on course selections. Students actively consider how their current course selections will impact future options—both in high school and with regard to college. Advisors and the college counselors regularly review course selections with the college process in mind.
College Counselors welcome students and families to schedule a meeting to discuss individual questions and situations.
As an institutional member of the National Association of College Admission Counseling, Waynflete subscribes to the NACAC Statement of Principles of Good Practice, a document that makes clear the high ethical standards that ought to accompany the college admissions process.
Grade 9 – freshman year
- Working with your advisor, pursue the most challenging, sustainable course load appropriate to your interests and strengths—colleges check closely to see what’s offered on Waynflete’s Profile.
- Learn about and join extra-curricular activities, sports, and clubs Waynflete has to offer, as well as opportunities for community service. Remember that a few sustained involvements are better than many shallower ones.
Grade 10 – sophomore year
- Take the PSAT10 and Pre-ACT (given to all sophomores in March).
- Meet with the college counseling office to determine which test you prefer.
- Consider summer opportunities to develop and explore interests, engage in the greater community, or take on the responsibility of summer employment.
Grade 11 – junior year
- Participate in fall college representative meetings that coincide with free periods
- Take the PSAT in October.
- Begin weekly college counseling classes in January.
- Plan for potential college visits over February, April, and Summer breaks.
- Participate in long-term and sustained test preparation.
- Register to take the ACT or SAT (typically the March, April, or June test dates);
- During the summer, continue to pursue activities and employment while making time for campus visits, in-person interviews, and continued online research/engagement.
Grade 12 – senior year
- Continue weekly college counseling classes and one-on-one meetings with counselors.
- Visit with college representatives at Waynflete during the fall.
- Register to retake the ACT or SAT before January 1.
While standardized testing often receives a great deal of attention, it is important to know that test scores are just one of the many pieces that colleges consider during the application process. Many colleges no longer require test scores, and there are several standardized test options available depending on a student’s strengths and interests. Moreover, the importance of scores varies from student to student, depending upon the other attributes that he or she possesses.
At Waynflete, we introduce students to standardized testing via administrations of the PSAT10 and the Pre-ACT in the spring of sophomore year. Students do not have to register for these two exams. The College Counseling office will order the necessary tests directly from the testing organizations. The primary goal in administering the PSAT10 and the Pre-ACT to sophomores is for students to become familiar with the content and format of both standardized tests used by colleges and universities for admission purposes. The college counselors meet with each student to discuss their results on these practice tests and to help them identify which of the tests best suits their approach to test-taking
In the fall of the junior year, Waynflete students have the opportunity to take the PSAT/NMSQT.
Results from the Pre-ACT, PSAT10, and PSAT/NMSQT are NOT used for college admissions purposes. In the winter/spring of the junior year, students meet with the college counselors to discuss their plans regarding the ACT and/or SAT as well as test-optional admissions. (There are additional testing opportunities in the summer following junior year as well the fall of senior year. ) Waynflete cannot register students for the ACT or SAT. Please see below for links students should use to register for the ACT and/or SAT.