College Counseling Program
Helping each student find the right fit
We know the college application process can be overwhelming, and that is why we are here to help every step of the way! Our college counseling program takes an in-depth, multi-year approach with a primary focus on helping each student find the right fit—the college, university, gap year, or post-graduate career path that best meets the needs of the student. Each Oldfields student takes responsibility for their higher education plan with the support of the college counselor and faculty.
SELECTING A COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY
College preparation begins early in high school. We get to know each student and help them develop skills needed to succeed in high school, college, and beyond. All students have access to Scoir, an internet-based college and career readiness program, and families are provided with accounts to enable them to log into their child’s account in order to be involved in the process. Students can complete career profiles, track their GPA, and test scores, research colleges and keep track of those they find interesting, and more. We use this program extensively with juniors and seniors to guide students and track their progress throughout the college application process.
Admissions representatives from a large variety of colleges and universities visit Oldfields each year. These visits are listed on Scoir and on Oldfields’ College Calendar as well as announced to students during Morning Meetings and in Advisory. All students are encouraged to attend these information sessions, as it allows them to learn about different types of schools and the vast opportunities available to them.
Beginning in the eighth grade we begin to guide students to develop good study habits, get involved in extra-curricular activities, build leadership skills, and discover what they’re enthusiastic and passionate about. We also talk to students about summer enrichment opportunities that would allow them to further explore and develop their interests and talents. Eighth, ninth, and tenth graders take the PSAT exam in October to practice taking standardized tests and to develop time management skills associated with standardized testing. We can also help them identify trends academically and to encourage them to focus on their interests and passions.
College counseling formally begins as early as eighth grade and is the beginning of the process to develop an in-depth, comprehensive four-year college going plan when they enter high school. All students meet regularly with the Director of College Counseling individually and in group seminars. Students explore educational and career interests, learn about different types of colleges and universities, and discuss elements of the application process including interviewing, standardized testing, essays, and the various components of applications. Juniors take the PSAT again during this year when it also serves as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. We analyze and use the test scores as one criterion as students search for appropriate college and universities that will be a good fit. Students develop balanced college lists consisting of appropriate reach, fit/match, and safety schools that represent their academic, social, athletic, religious, and/or financial needs. At the end of junior year, students leave for summer break with a specific list of responsibilities to be completed over the summer as they prepare to return to school. This will include beginning to write their college essays to be used when submitting their college applications. The Director of College Counseling will be in touch with students throughout the summer to ensure they are on track and are ready and prepared to return for their senior year.
During senior year, students meet with the college counselor in seminars, one-on-one meetings, and for an application workshop in October. Support is available throughout the process, including for financial aid, scholarships, and making a final selection in the spring. The college counselor will also assist students and their families with questions on and issues surrounding college enrollment.
Open, frequent communication with families is essential. Parents/Guardians may attend a Fall Family Weekend college session, schedule on-campus meetings with the college counselor, or communicate by phone, email, Google Meets, or Zoom.
Senior year is an exhilarating time for students and families, but we also know it can be stressful. The college counseling program is designed to assist and support students and their families to have an enjoyable and celebratory college application process. Always know that the college counseling office is available to assist all students and families, and we look forward to working with you during this exciting time in your child’s life!