Through the college counseling department, students and parents are offered expert guidance and support in order to undergo the college admissions process of colleges and universities around the world but with special emphasis on US universities.
The college counseling department formally begins orienting students in the second semester of 10th grade and continues working with them through 11th and 12th grade.
The college counselor assists students in preparing for college admission and with course planning, scheduling standardized testing, writing applications, choosing colleges, responding to questions posed by both students and parents about the college application and acceptance process.
The department also organizes and delivers financial aid workshops, college application workshops, writes letters of recommendation for all students and organizes College Fairs.
Students are also advised on available scholarships, and assisted in writing marketable admission essays, obtaining letters of recommendation and preparing for college interviews.
EA students are admitted to prestigious universities and colleges around the world, and are awarded financial aid and scholarships by many of top universities.
Preparation for college in Upper School is the culminating task of the Counseling department. Students are invited to explore their strengths/weaknesses and career interests through Guidance lessons. There is a skill lessons on this topic that has the students explore and learn about different career options. If a student is much disoriented in regard to what they want to do we refer them to a vocational guidance testing.
Preparation for college includes taking the PSAT as a 9th, 10th and 11th grader. Our students take the PSAT test 3 times and each time they receive their results they have an opportunity to review them so they can reflect on how they could improve their performance next time around.
College counseling includes a parent/student evening in 11th grade where the college admissions process is presented. This talk allows parents and students to share a common language that will be necessary to move the process forward. Students are encouraged to prepare for the College Board exams and several options for doing so are outlined and emailed to the families. Individual family meetings also take place as needed, however, there are two scheduled ones: one in their junior year, another in the fall of their senior year. The objective in these meetings is to determine the basic information crucial to the college process. What does the student want to study? Where? Will financial aid be needed? With this information the counselor then suggests the exams the students will need and school he/she should be looking into.
The college counselor also organizes and advertises College Fairs and College representative visits to Escuela Americana. For those students who pursue their studies in El Salvador, the counselor coordinates visits to the local universities. The counselor also organizes and delivers financial aid workshops, college application workshops and writes letters of recommendation for all students.
Preparation for college is the culminating task of the Counseling Department. The primary mission of the Escuela Americana College Guidance Counselor is to offer students and their parents professional guidance, information, feedback and support in order to navigate the college admissions process at colleges and universities around the world with special emphasis on U.S. and Salvadoran institutions of higher education.
COLLEGE PLANNING TIME LINE
- Make sure you are enrolled in the appropriate college-preparatory courses for the type of college you would like to attend, and do this every year of High School. If you have questions talk with your counselor about it.
- Get off to a good start with your grades. The grades you earn in ninth grade will be included in your final high school GPA.
- College might seem a long way off now, but grades really do count toward college admission and scholarships.
- Explore your interests and possible careers.
- Get involved in extracurricular activities (both school and non-school-sponsored).
- Talk to your parents about planning for college expenses. Continue or begin a savings plan for college.
- Use the Internet to check out college Web sites.
- Tour a nearby college, if possible. Visit relatives or friends who live on or near a college campus. Check out the dorms, go to the library or student center, and get a feel for college life.
- Investigate summer enrichment programs.
- Discuss your PSAT score with your counselor.
- The people who read college applications aren’t looking just for grades. Get involved in activities outside the classroom. Work toward leadership positions in the activities that you like best. Become involved in community service and other volunteer activities.
- Read, read, read. Read as many books as possible from a comprehensive reading list.
- Work on your writing skills—you’ll need them no matter what you do.
- Find a teacher or another adult who will advise and encourage you to write well.
- Keep your grades up so you can have the highest GPA possible.
- Ask your counselor about Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
- Continue to explore interests and careers that you think you might like.
- Attend college fairs.
- Keep putting money away for college.
- Consider taking SAT II Subject Tests in the courses you took this year while the material is still fresh in your mind. These tests are offered in May and June.
- Take a long, hard look at why you want to continue your education after high school so you will be able to choose the best college or university for your needs.
- Make a list of your most important criteria in a college (size, location, distance from home, majors, academic rigor, housing, and cost). Weigh each of the factors according to their importance to you.
- Continue visiting college fairs. You may be able to narrow your choices or add a college to your list.
- Speak to college representatives who visit your high school.
- If you want to participate in Division I or Division II sports in college, start the certification process. Check with your counselor to make sure you are taking a core curriculum that meets NCAA requirements.
- Attend the College Counseling Junior Family Meeting second semester.
- Collect information about college application procedures, entrance requirements, tuition and fees, room and board costs, student activities, course offerings, faculty composition, accreditation, and financial aid. The Internet is a good way to visit colleges and obtain this information. Begin comparing the schools by the factors that you consider to be most important.
- Discuss you PSAT score with your counselor.
- Begin narrowing down your college choices. Find out if the colleges you are interested in require the SAT I, and/or SAT II Subject Tests for admission.
- Register for the SAT and/or ACT Assessment.
- Begin preparing for the tests you’ve decided to take.
- Have a discussion with your parents about the colleges in which you are interested. Examine financial resources, and gather information about financial aid.
- Set up a filing system with individual folders for each college’s correspondence and printed materials.
- Discuss the college essay with your guidance counselor or English teacher.
- Stay involved with your extracurricular activities. Colleges look for consistency and depth in activities.
- Consider whom you will ask to write your recommendations. Think about asking teachers who know you well and who will write positive letters about you. Letters from a coach, activity leader, or an adult who knows you well outside of school (e.g., volunteer work contact) are also valuable.
- If possible, over the summer visit campuses of your top-five college choices.
- Talk to people you know who have attended the colleges in which you are interested.
- Practice filling out college applications.
- Compose rough drafts of your college essays. Have a teacher read and discuss them with you. Proofread them, and prepare final drafts. Proofread your final essays at least three times.
- Develop a financial aid application plan, including a list of the aid sources, requirements for each application, and a timetable for meeting the filing deadlines.
- Keep working on your grades.
- Continue to participate in extracurricular and volunteer activities. Demonstrate initiative, creativity, commitment, and leadership in each.
- Talk to counselors, teachers, and parents about your final college choices.
- Make a calendar showing application deadlines for admission, financial aid, and scholarships.
- Check resource books, computer programs, and your guidance office for information on scholarships and grants. Ask colleges about scholarships for which you may qualify.
- Give recommendation forms to the teachers you have chosen, be sure to fill out your name, address, and school name on the top of the form. Talk to you recommendation writers about your goals and ambitions.
- Give School Report forms to your high school’s guidance office. Fill in your name, address, and any other required information on top. Verify with your guidance counselor the schools to which transcripts test scores, and letters are to be sent. Give your counselor any necessary forms at least two weeks before they are due or whenever your counselor’s deadline is, whichever is earlier.
- Register for and take the TOEFL, ACT Assessment, SAT I, or SAT II Subject Tests, as necessary.
- Be sure you have requested that your test scores be sent to the colleges of your choice.
- Fill out financial Aid Forms.
- Send midyear grade reports to colleges. Continue to focus on your schoolwork!
- Mail or send electronically any remaining applications and financial aid forms. Make sure you apply to at least one college that you know you can afford and where you know you will be accepted.
- Follow up to make sure that the colleges have received all application information, including recommendations and test scores.
- Watch your mail for acceptance notifications from colleges.
- Watch your mail for notification of financial aid awards.
- Compare the financial aid packages from the colleges and universities that have accepted you.
- Make your final choice, and notify all schools of your intent by May 1. Send your nonrefundable deposit to your chosen school by May 1. Request that your guidance counselor send a final transcript to the college in June.
- Complete follow-up paperwork for the college of your choice (scheduling, orientation session, housing arrangements, and other necessary forms).
- Congratulations! You are about to begin the greatest adventure of your life. Good luck.
Escuela Americana School Profile: