Dear Families of the Class of 2023,
Greetings from the St. Andrew’s College Counseling Team! While we are busy working with the Class of 2022 as they shape their college plans, we are already thinking about introducing the Class of 2023 to the college admissions process, and with that in mind, we’d like to offer you a framework for the year ahead. We encourage you to review the college process calendar overview for the V Form, and generally explore the college process information available on the St. Andrew's website (bookmark that page and refer to it often!).
The summer after the IV Form year can be a great time to do some casual college visits. Don’t worry too much about seeing specific schools; focus instead on visiting different types of colleges. For example, if you are in the Philadelphia area, you could see small colleges like Haverford and Bryn Mawr, medium-sized suburban schools like Villanova and Lehigh, and larger urban schools like Drexel or Temple. While it is always great to see campuses in action with students in residence, just getting a feel for different types of schools and the areas around them can be helpful to your child’s long-term college process.
Please note that due to COVID-19 protocols, some campuses may not allow casual “walk arounds” during the summer; we suggest checking the school’s admissions website prior to visiting. However, many schools are now reopening for walk-arounds and in-person visits, and either way, all schools have intensified their virtual presence, both on their own websites and via social media and virtual events.
A Brief Overview of the College Counseling Process During the V Form Year
In-person and virtual visits from college representatives
We will gather the Class of 2023 for an initial meeting in September and outline important college process dates for their V Form year. During the fall, we will have approximately 70 college representatives visit St. Andrew's in person or via Zoom informational sessions for our students. We require each junior to attend at least two of these sessions, but we encourage juniors to attend as many sessions as may interest them. While an information session is not a substitute for a campus visit, meeting a representative—who may eventually read and evaluate applications from St. Andrew’s students—can be very helpful. Each week, our office reminds students of the colleges that will be visiting; the schedule of visitors will also be posted here in early September.
College counseling kickoff meeting for families
On Saturday, October 23, V Form students and parents will join the College Counseling team for a college process “kickoff” meeting for the Class of 2023. You'll meet the college counselors and we will give an overview of the college admissions process, researching colleges, and how to use college net cost calculators. We'll also give an introduction to our college process online platform and a general Q&A session. This is a required event for students and coincides with our 2021 Parents Weekend.
We have developed a recommended testing schedule designed to maximize your child’s opportunities for building testing confidence and earning strong scores. Your child took his or her first PSAT exam in October 2020. In October of this year, students will again take this practice exam. PSAT scores never go to colleges, but students with top scores may be nominated for the National Merit Scholars Program. The PSAT is offered here at St. Andrew’s and we oversee registering the students. We distribute the results of the PSAT when we receive them in early December so that students can identify areas they may want to review as they prepare to take the SAT Reasoning exam. Additionally, we will be offering a mock ACT exam to V Formers in September so that students can determine if that might be a better testing option for them than the SAT.
For most students, it is our recommendation that V Formers take either the SAT Reasoning test for the first time in December or March of the junior year, or the ACT exam for the first time in either December or February of the junior year. Please review our recommended testing schedule for details. If you are concerned about your child being sufficiently ready to take these tests in December 2021, remember that colleges will consider a student’s top section scores of the SAT (even if those scores were earned on different test dates), and many now allow similar “super scoring” for the ACT. Therefore, the testing schedule that provides a student multiple opportunities to take the SAT or ACT is more likely to result in a stronger final score. Some students may have specific reasons for a different testing approach. We encourage you to discuss your testing plans with a college counselor.
Last year we partnered with RevolutionPrep to offer families a lower-cost, on-campus test prep option. We will offer a RevoultionPrep test prep course again this year, and we will send course registration information to you in late October. Keep in mind that many students prefer and benefit from doing test prep over the summer months after their junior year, when students can focus exclusively on preparing for the exams. Some students may choose to do test prep this summer, but we have found that most students perform their best on standardized tests taken at the end of the V Form year and the start of the VI Form year.
As always, do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
All the best,
The College Counseling Team
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