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College Counseling at Allen

Allen Academy’s College Counseling Department offers parents and students advice in preparation for the entire college admission process. Guidance in preparing for the college application, finding the right college fit, locating summer enrichment opportunities, understanding college admission guidelines (GPA and rank) and testing requirements, learning about financial aid and scholarships are topics provided throughout the four-year program.

Administrators, teachers, and staff work as a team to support and engage students and stay updated on current college admission trends, and partner with college professionals. The College Counseling department hosts college representatives each fall to visit with freshmen through seniors in preparation for their college application and visits to colleges and universities.

Individual conferences, as well as, grade level presentations with students and parents are available to all upper school students to communicate and prepare for the admissions process. Allen Academy College Counseling believes in an active and hands-on approach to keep students informed about schedules, deadlines, and college application requirements.

Upper school students grade 9-12 are provided and encouraged to participate in a college tour in the fall, to tour a college campus, meet with admissions personnel, and get a feel for the campus.

The college counselor works with grade levels, as well, throughout the year during Student Life and Advisory time periods which are built into the daily and weekly schedule.

Each year, Allen Academy graduates matriculate to a wide variety of colleges and universities which are public and private, large and small, and located throughout the United States and some foreign countries.

Below is a breakdown of grade level and College Counseling/Advising students and parents.

9th Grade Year:  A great place to start! Make it Count! Ninth grade students put together a four-year academic plan while they learn to take advantage of all that high school offers in preparing for college and beyond. The Director of College Counseling and the student’s grade level advisor help students adjust to upper school and explore their extracurricular interests. Students also identify their interests through learning styles inventories and career assessments. Ninth grade students are given the opportunity to participate in college tours and speak with college admission counselors. Students take the PSAT 9 exam in the fall of their ninth-grade year to check for their college readiness skills in Reading, Writing, and Math. Students are encouraged to investigate summer opportunities, community service, and academic enrichment. Parents are provided the opportunity to attend a college counseling session in the fall in regard to the college admissions process and expectations at all levels.

10th Grade Year:  The Director of College Counseling works with students to select appropriate courses to stay focused on their academics and college planning. Visits and tours to colleges help students gain exposure to different school environments, learn to tour a school effectively, and talk openly with admissions counselors. Tenth-grade students take the PSAT 10/NMSQT exam in the fall to check for college readiness skills in Reading, Writing, and Math. Parents are provided the opportunity to attend a college counseling session in the fall in regard to the college admissions process and expectations.  Students and parents are presented with information regarding Pre-College Summer Programs and the benefits of a summer program as well as continued activities that relate to the student’s course of study and future career interests.

11th Grade Year:  In the junior year, students begin to research colleges in detail and come up with a list of potential colleges that are a good fit. Students are advised on their college choices, based on their academic record, co-curricular record, personal interests, and future career goals. All juniors take the PSAT/NMSQT exam in October and this provides meaningful preparation for the SAT and ACT exams.  In November and December of the junior year, students begin the SAT and/or ACT testing process. Juniors in coordination with the English department begin writing rough drafts of their college application essays. Juniors are given a comprehensive occupational and personality assessment to help them identify strengths, behaviors, motivations, and interests (The Birkman Method). This assessment allows students to explore their careers and talents and to utilize this information as they are exploring colleges. Students and parents are highly encouraged to visit potential colleges and universities and meet with admission counselors from those schools that are of interest to them. The Director of College Counseling meets extensively with students and parents between January and May to articulate educational goals, review SAT and ACT test scores, and develop a list of best-fit colleges and universities. Students begin to ask teachers and community contacts for letters of recommendation. In the summer of the junior year, students continue to work on college admission essays and create their ApplyTexas and Common Application accounts.

12th Grade Year:  College Kickoff for seniors begins in August to help seniors coordinate their applications, essays, letters of recommendation, college entrance exams and other admission materials, documents, and deadlines. The Director of College Counseling individually guides seniors and parents in managing the application process. Students and parents receive information regarding FAFSA and the CSS Profile and making the most of scholarship and financial aid opportunities. Seniors continue to visit colleges and meet with admission counselors from prospective colleges and universities. Seniors are encouraged to take a strong course schedule as colleges look at the classes and grades in the admissions process during their senior year. Students provide to the Director of College Counseling up to date information of their acceptances, denials, and other admission decisions from the colleges. Students and parents discuss with the Director of College Counseling decisions and the next steps in final enrollment deadlines, fees/deposits, and housing considerations. All decisions must be submitted by May 1.