Dear Class of 2025 Students and Families,
Greetings from the St. Andrew’s College Counseling Team! While we are busy working with the Class of 2024 as they shape their college plans, we are already thinking about introducing the Class of 2025 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 —click the “College Process Calendars” tab on this page of our website, and generally explore the college process information available throughout the college counseling section of the SAS website (bookmark that link 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.
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 2025 for an initial meeting in September and outline important college process dates for their V Form year. During the fall, approximately 70 college representatives visit St. Andrew’s to provide information sessions for our students. We require each junior to attend at least two of these sessions, but we encourage V Formers 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 under the Upcoming College Rep Visits tab on this page of our website.
College Counseling Kickoff Meeting for Families
In November, the college counseling team will meet with the Class of 2025 to give an overview of the college admissions process; at this time students will also be assigned an individual college counselor and invited to register for Scoir, our college application platform. In the same month, Class of 2025 parents will also have a webinar with the college counseling team and be invited to register for Scoir.
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 their first PSAT exam in October 2022. In October of this year, students will again take this practice exam. PSAT scores never go to colleges, but students with top scores in the junior year may be nominated for the National Merit Scholars Program. Students take the PSAT 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. Additionally, we will offer 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.
We recommend that most students take either the SAT Reasoning Test for the first time in December or March of the V Form 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 2023, remember that colleges will consider a student’s top section scores of the SAT (even if those scores come on different test dates), and most allow similar “super scoring” for the ACT; 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 them to discuss their plans with a college counselor in the fall.
Many students prefer and benefit from doing test prep over the summer after their V Form year, when they can focus exclusively on preparing for the exams. Some students may choose to do test prep this summer, but we find that most students perform their best on standardized tests 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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