What to Expect
While course selection has been guided since freshman year, the formal college planning program begins in junior year. Of course, a SEM student can talk to a college counselor whenever she feels ready. The Dean of Students, her teachers, the school librarian and her faculty advisor are additional resources.
In January juniors are formally introduced to college planning at SEM. In mid-February an informational meeting is hosted for junior parents. It includes an overview of the planning calendar and an introduction to Naviance, the web-based college planning tool that SEM makes available to parents and students.
Over the next few months, each girl meets individually with her college counselor. Together they discuss her goals and aspirations and begin to create a list of colleges for her to research.
During the spring, parents are encouraged to meet with their daughter’s college counselor. Working together, the student, her parents and the college counselor create a plan for visiting various schools. A preliminary timetable for applications is established.
A College Case Study Night is scheduled in the fall of senior year. Facilitated by guest admissions directors from regional colleges, parents and seniors form mock admissions committees to read, analyze and assess actual applications. Through this exercise, each girl and her parents gain a better understanding of the college admissions process.
SEM schedules college representatives from universities across the country and around the world to visit and to meet SEM students on campus, most often in September and October.
Also during the fall, college counselors hold a workshop for seniors on the Common Application. Seniors are also coached on how and when to ask for teacher recommendations.
In the early winter, SEM offers a Financial Aid Workshop, led by seasoned financial aid professionals, to help students and families understand this critical component of the college decision process.
Some of the public resources incorporated in the planning process at SEM include: