Goal: Our goal is for every CCSC graduate to matriculate to the four-year college or university that best meets his/her academic interests and career goals and that is within the family’s budget.
Overview: Our College Counseling Program makes higher education accessible to all students by helping them and their families understand and navigate the complex college admission and scholarship and financial aid application processes. Our guiding principle is that college acceptance is only half of the equation, so our rigorous curriculum is designed to equip students with the skills and competencies they will need to succeed at the post-secondary level and to earn an undergraduate degree.
The Pathway to College Timeline:
Grades 7 & 8: Preparing Students to Excel in High School
In the Lower School, we focus intensively on developing the strong academic skills and excellent study habits that students will need to handle even more challenging coursework at the high school level. High school grades are the most important criteria for college admission, so it is critical that students enter 9th grade well prepared for what’s ahead.
Grades 9 & 10: Building Early College Awareness & Readiness
Freshmen and sophomores attend early college awareness sessions aimed at helping them understand the importance of earning a college degree and of working hard all through high school. We strongly encourage younger students to keep up their GPAs and to participate in extra-curricular activities and pre-college enrichment programs. In individual planning sessions, we help students begin their preliminary college research by viewing college websites, touring local schools, and talking to teachers and advisors.
Grades 11 & 12: Supporting Students & Families Every Step of the Way
The College Counseling Program formally begins at the start of junior year with a series of seminars, workshops and events designed to educate and guide students and families every step of the way. In both junior and senior year, students take a required seminar taught by our college counselor that covers each phase of the college admission process, from creating an appropriate list of schools, registering and preparing for the required standardized tests, and researching scholarship options, to requesting teacher recommendations, completing applications, writing essays, and applying for financial aid and scholarships. Junior and seniors attend local college fairs and on-campus information sessions with visiting college admission representatives. We also sponsor tours of local colleges and overnight trips to schools.
During junior year the focus is college and scholarship research. Juniors build a college portfolio including: a draft college application essay, an activity resume, a sample college application, a preliminary college list, and a list of 10 scholarships.
During the fall of senior year, the focus is on completing and organizing college applications and supplements. In partnership with the college counselor, seniors make a final list of 10 schools that are a good fit for their interests and capabilities and that includes schools that fall into three categories: reach, likely and very likely. Seniors and their parent-guardians receive intensive individual counseling throughout the college and financial aid application and decision process. In the spring, the focus shifts to helping seniors make a successful transition from high school to college. The Senior Internship Program is a critical element to this aspect of preparing seniors for what’s ahead.