True to Dublin School’s mission, the College Office strives to offer an individualized and supportive college counseling experience. At the same time, the process requires balanced ownership by students, parents, and the college counselor. The main role of the counselor is to help guide students through the process. Students get into college by advocating for themselves, by keeping up with school work, and by being an active part of the process of choosing colleges, completing applications, and meeting deadlines. The process can be fun if each step is done in a timely fashion and with open communication.
Please take advantage of the link below to Dublin School's College Counseling Handbook. This document will take you step-by-step through the college process. It is important that you review it and understand your responsibilities within the process. Please contact me if you would like a hard copy of the Handbook.
During the freshman and sophomore years, college counseling takes the form of sound academic advising. Students are encouraged to take a challenging course load and to recognize that the quality of one’s academic performance at this stage will impact the college admissions experience. Advisors work with underclassmen to reflect on their education both inside and outside of the classroom and encourage students to seek ways to enrich their experience by getting involved in clubs, athletics, the arts, and service. Tenth graders will take the PLAN (practice ACT) standardized test, which is designed for sophomores. The feedback from this test helps students to gain practice with standardized testing-taking, assesses academic skills, and encourages students to think ahead to the college process.
Juniors take the fall PSAT at Dublin School and soon after begin the college process. The process is begun by having students complete a Meyer’s Briggs Assessment, Interest Inventory, and College Office profile form. This information is used by the college counselor to gather background information and push students to reflect on their past high school experience, talents, interests, and future goals; it is the centerpiece of a student’s first college meeting. At the same time mid-winter, juniors attend a workshop with the counselor to work on topics such as: researching colleges, using Naviance, standardized testing, what colleges are looking for, and interviewing skills. Parents have the opportunity to meet with the counselor for individual meetings as well as attend a winter workshop. The counselor, with input from students and parents, will form a list of prospective colleges prior to March break, at which time families are encouraged to make some campus visits. Vacation weeks a great time in which to invest energy in standardized test preparation offered to students free through Dublin School’s subscription to Method Test Prep for ACT and SAT.
During the junior-year spring term students will attend a College Fair, take the ACT and/or SAT, and continue fine-tuning the college list with the guidance of the counselor. In May the college counselor works with English 11 teachers in class to introduce and work on the college essay.
The senior year is dedicated to the application process itself and completion of standardized test taking. Seniors return to campus a day early in September to attend an “Application Boot Camp” hosted by the college counselor. Thereafter, students are supported in polishing applications and essays and finalizing the college list. During the fall over twenty-five colleges will visit Dublin School campus to provide an opportunity for our students to meet with college admission counselors. In October parents are invited to attend a financial aid information session to learn about the intricacies of that separate application process. Students are free to meet with the counselor as often as needed throughout the fall. As the needs of each student will differ, the counselor strives to support each student in a manner and at a level appropriate for each individual.
College Admissions 101