The college admissions process at Convent & Stuart Hall is an engaging and collaborative effort that includes students, families, faculty and staff. We believe that the college counseling process is an exciting invitation for each student to aspire and grow in self-knowledge and purpose.
Convent & Stuart Hall’s college counselors help students and families navigate the landscape of college and university admission, educating them to understand and interpret the quantity of information surrounding the admissions process. In the freshman and sophomore years, the program features group conversation and information sharing, equipping families with a foundation for junior and senior years when all students take a weekly college counseling class and begin working individually with a dedicated counselor.
To ensure that students make an informed choice of college, the process begins with self-reflection that invites an examination of personal strengths and interests. The comprehensive four-year program allows college counselors to develop a genuine rapport with each student; in consultation and partnership with teachers and coaches, counselors develop a multi-faceted picture of every student. The process is a significant step on a life-long journey. It is a passport to self-awareness and a marker of readiness for reflective, purposeful and conscientious decision-making.
College Planning Timeline
- The best way for you to prepare for college is to continuously work to the best of your ability and build a strong academic record in high school.
- Explore and develop your interests both in and out of the classroom. Take initiative and begin to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Pay attention to your school work, ask for help when you need it, and be willing to try new things.
- Develop good study habits and good personal habits (including eating right and getting enough sleep!).
- Take the PSAT in October.
- The best test prep is doing well in your classes. Read often to build vocabulary, comprehension and writing skills.
- Attend college fairs.
- Keep track of your activities, service experiences and any awards you receive.
- Use the summer to explore interests that may not be available or that you may not have time for during the school year.
- Parents: In the spring, attend one of three College Coffee Chats for advice and perspective from the Convent and Stuart Hall College Counselors.
College Counseling Course
- We begin working more closely with students in January of junior year, after the seniors have submitted their final applications.
- The required course on the college admissions/application process will meet beginning in mid-January of your junior year. Students are divided into groups and enrolled in the course during free periods.
- We will explore the various factors that can influence college choices, such as location, size, proximity to a city, relative degree of competitiveness and selectivity and the availability of special programs or facilities. Students will research colleges and reflect on what is important to you.
- We will touch on essay writing, testing, interviews, recommendations, campus visits, the admissions decisions process and any other concerns that the students in each group may have.
Mid-January Meeting for Parents
In mid-January, parents receive an invitation to a meeting with their child and his or her college counselor.
February Break and Spring Vacation
- This is a good time to make preliminary college visits while college students are on campus. Admissions offices will be in the thick of their meetings and thus tours and information sessions may be limited, but an informal visit will help you think about what type of college you might be interested in and why. If possible, visit both a larger university and a smaller college.
- Prior to the fall semester, there will be a college application workshop where students receive feedback on their Common Application and essay.
- In the fall, College Counseling Class will resume, and seniors will use this time to focus on college applications and essays.
- College counselors will meet with each student again to discuss thoughts developed about schools over the summer. Students will narrow their lists. (In past years the average number has been eight).
- Throughout the fall, college admissions representatives will visit Convent & Stuart Hall. Most sessions will be held in groups as they are simply informational. It is the student's responsibility to see those representatives when they are on campus, and to arrange with teachers to be excused from class when necessary.
- As decisions from colleges arrive, the college counseling office helps each student and their family in making their final choice.