College Counseling

College counseling at The Meadows is a comprehensive program focused on helping students find the best-fit college or university at the end of their senior year based on their individual strengths and aspirations.
While the majority of our college counseling program takes place from 9th through 12th grade, we do meet with students starting in 8th grade. At this time in Middle School, students and their parents have the opportunity to talk with our Head of School about our Upper School and begin preparing a four year plan that will eventually lead to college acceptance and matriculation.
 
In the Upper School, each of our college counselors is assigned to work with half of the students in each grade level. Starting in 9th grade, each student will meet one-on-one with their assigned college counselor and will work with that same counselor over the next four years, fostering a strong personal relationship between the counselor and counselee.
 
As freshman year continues and into sophomore year, individual meetings occur at least once a semester so that our college counselors can acquire an understanding of the student’s personality, work habits, extracurricular interests, academic aspirations, and future endeavors. Additionally, our college counselors make sure students are challenging themselves at an appropriate level by guiding them in their course selection each year. Our college counselors also help students think about their involvement in school and beyond including participation in supplemental summer activities. Once students reach their junior year, our college counselors will meet with them more often to discuss a wide range of college counseling issues.
 
This individualized model of counseling allows our college counselors to guide students in their search for colleges and universities on the basis of academic and intellectual interests. Our college counseling program is focused on communicating the distinctions that characterize universities (liberal arts colleges versus engineering colleges, etc.). To this end, through a supplemental Experiential Learning Program their junior year, students will travel with their classmates to visit colleges in select regions to acquire a better understanding of the academic programs supporting their areas of interest.
 
In addition to helping students navigate the extensive college application and selection process, our counselors serve as advisors within the framework of our Advisory Program, assisting students in self-reflection, understanding the greater community, and acquiring the skills required of 21st century leaders.

Additional Information by Grade

Ninth Grade

Ninth grade is a time of transition. It is a time to build on foundational knowledge and to begin to think more critically and independently. Our ninth grade Advisors take the lead in pointing advisees toward community service opportunities and extracurricular involvement. Students will be directed as to how to fulfill the rigorous graduation requirements while, at the same time, taking courses in their area of interest. Our college counselors will also meet with freshmen prior to the class registration fair in March to discuss their high school trajectory. 

Freshmen will take the PSAT/NMSQT for practice and the PSAT/NMSQT score report will be sent home in December.

Tenth Grade

Working with their tenth grade Advisors, students will continue with their four-year academic and co-curricular plan. As sophomores, students will continue to explore relevant extracurricular activities and to speak to their college counselors about making plans to assume leadership positions in the future. By the course registration fair in March, tenth grade students will be ready to select classes for the junior year.  Before this fair, each student will have met with a college counselor who has advised them on the appropriate courses to take for specific college majors or level of admissions selectivity. College counselors also advise students to participate in summer programs to enhance their college applications.

Sophomores take the PSAT/NMSQT again for practice and the PSAT/NMSQT score report will be sent home in December. 

Eleventh Grade

During the eleventh grade, The Meadows hosts a variety of colleges on campus to meet with students. Juniors should take the initiative to meet with these college admission representatives while they are on campus throughout the fall. Students are encouraged to visit with the college counselors prior to meeting admissions representatives so they have a clear understanding of what questions to ask. In January, the college counselors host a College Planning Night that provides students and parents with insight into the college application process. Our college counselors provide insight and educational advice for the college trips (tentatively scheduled for March). College counselors also make recommendations for a senior schedule based on each junior’s grades, teachers' comments, testing history, and post-secondary goals. Juniors receive assistance with resume building, college essay writing, and developing summer plans.

In mid-October, juniors take the PSAT/NMSQT for a final time and the PSAT/NMSQT score report will be sent home in December. This test is the qualifying mechanism for the National Merit, National Hispanic, and National Achievement Programs. Juniors should take their first round of ACT and/or SAT tests in the spring and, if applicable, sit for the SAT Subject Tests in May or June. 

Twelfth Grade

By the beginning of twelfth grade, seniors should have most of their college planning and research completed. They should be enrolled in challenging courses and be reaching the peak of involvement in leadership (within their respective activities).

During the first several weeks of school, our college counselors meet with students individually and in groups during Advisory period to discuss the logistics and practicalities of the college application process: Filling out forms, sending test scores and transcripts, obtaining teacher letters of recommendation, and focusing on classes. A Fall College Planning Night provides the opportunity for seniors and their parents to inquire/address specific questions as a group. Students will be encouraged to visit their college counselors during any free period throughout the day for further clarification. We support each student’s college applications by writing a college counselor letter of recommendation and completing a Secondary School Report. These packages, together with the Upper School Profile and high school transcript, are submitted to colleges and universities.

Students will also be encouraged to take a second round of ACT and/or SAT testing in the Fall. 

Class of 2019 Facts

100% four-year college/university acceptance

$6,402,600 in renewable academic scholarship offers (over four years)

8 National Merit Scholarship Finalists

4 National Merit Commended

1 National Hispanic Scholar

1 National AP Scholar

12 AP Scholars with Distinction