9th and 10th Grades:
You should focus on transitioning to Upper School and developing study habits that will make your high school and college careers smooth. The best preparation for college that you can do during the these two years is to focus on coursework, get involved in activities you enjoy, and try out new experiences.
You should spend your ninth and tenth grade years exploring and discovering what you enjoy, what intrigues you, what challenges you. Counselors are happy to meet with you and your parents any time during these years.
Students and parents often ask about which extra-curricular activities, and how many of them, students should be involved in. The answer is – there is no “right” type or number. Our counseling team is known to say frequently:
Colleges do not want a student who has a long list of activities and volunteer hours, but who cannot articulate a meaningful interest in any of them. They want students who are engaged, who have active minds, and use their time productively inside and outside of the classroom.
COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION
As you formally start the College Counseling Process in your 10th Grade year, there are two communication platforms you need to be familiar with.
This is our primary method for communicating with you outside of meetings. You will receive both email and meeting requests with important information.
Naviance Family Connection
This is our online college counseling and application tool; it has a powerful search engine and is also your personal site for information and documents related to your college search and application process.
Eventually, the documents that support your application – transcript, school recommendation, teacher letters of recommendation. – are sent to your colleges via Naviance.
PSAT at EPS (October)
The PSAT is offered on the EPS campus in both the sophomore and junior year. It is offered as an opportunity for students to become familiar with what a standardized exam feels like. The most significant outcome of the PSAT is the diagnostic reports students receive with their results. These are very helpful in showing to students what to focus on when doing future test prep. The scores are not sent to colleges, but used as an early indicator of how a student might perform on the SAT. In the junior students with extremely high scores may qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Work Party #1: The Writing Process and College Criteria (April)
During the college counseling process a number of different work parties are held. Students are fed a pizza dinner and give the opportunity to work on different aspects of the college search and application process. They also have access to the our team to have their questions answered. The first work party is focused on familiarizing the students with our Naviance search and application platform, and preparing them for our visit day to local colleges.
Class Visit to Local Colleges (April)
The tenth grade class and the college counseling spend a half day at two different local colleges, one small and one larger. This day is a great way for students to get an idea for what different colleges feel like and might offer. These visits are referenced at the start of the search process.