Starting college prep in middle school may come as a shock to many. Students and families who start thinking of college education early on, can plan and prepare better.
Most students in middle and early high school are still understanding themselves and their place in the world. Students who sign with Academic Advisors complete our Self Discovery Tool that provides a snapshot of the student’s personal strengths, passions, and interests. Through our proprietary Psychometric Test, we build an in-depth profile of the student. We identify the student’s personality traits, their key goals and aspirations, and their primary areas of strengths. A personalized report is generated for the student based on an analysis of the Self Discovery Tool and the Psychometric Test. This report encourages the student to understand career choices based on their own personality type, their strengths, and goals specific to them.
Starting early allows our counselors to work with the student to identify the optimal courses to study during high school. This will be based on the student’s abilities and courses that interest them. Our team will also explore possible college courses and dual enrollment that can be leveraged. Many of our students graduate high school with enough college credits to start college as a sophomore or junior. Based on possible career choices and majors of study, our counselors will recommend specific activities inside and outside school.
At Academic Advisors, we pride ourselves in constantly being connected with our students. Our monthly touch base enables our counselors to stay connected with our students, ensuring that the student is on track.
We kick off high school with a discussion of the family’s financial situation, savings, etc. This allows our team to identify the best colleges for the student as well as possible financial aid and scholarships. In parallel, we work with the student and parents to begin identifying certain themes or a brand image that needs to be created for the student. This is the picture of the student that colleges look at. Based on this review, our team will create a Personalized Roadmap of activities with timelines for the student to follow.
A unique differentiator in how Academic Advisors works is that we draw on governmental databases to help us identify careers on the rise and those that may not have opportunities in the coming years. Syncing this information with student specific interests, we are able to identify career options and areas of study for our students.
Leveraging all the data we have gathered about the student, the Academic Advisors team will build a list of three or four possible majors for the student to study. A list of possible colleges to consider will also be developed. College visits are an important tool for students to gain an understanding of what college life will be like. We strongly encourage our students to visit the colleges at the top of their interest list. Our team will help student families plan and prepare for campus visits.
We administer a SPORK test for our 10th-grade students, to help determine if they are better suited to take the SAT or the ACT test. Once this is determined, it allows our students to focus on preparing for just the one test that suits their aptitude and they can excel at. Early and planned preparation for the SAT / ACT exams helps our students be less stressed and perform better. We recommend that our students complete all required standardized tests by the end of 11th grade.
The PSAT exam is administered in October of each year to all high school students. The PSAT exam the student takes in their 11th grade determines their eligibility for the National Merit Scholarships.
Teenagers change! That is why we re-administer the Self Discovery Tool and the Psychometry Test to our students, to validate that their interests and passions remain the same. If changes are seen, our team will work with the student to recalibrate the Personalized Roadmap and the activities linked to it.
Junior year is very important from a testing perspective. The PSAT will be administered in October and our students will complete their SAT / ACT tests. If the student is looking to apply to the elite colleges requiring the SAT Subject Tests (SAT II), those too will have to ideally be completed in the junior year.
The Academic Advisors team will along with the student families arrive at the final shortlist of colleges to apply to. We will review this list with the student to enable them to understand the application process, requirements for admissions, financial aid, scholarships, etc.
Our Summer Workshops are a fun way to complete the Common App and we encourage our students to sign up for these workshops. This will allow them to be ready with their Common App and the Essay before start of senior year.
Our team will work with the student to complete all the college applications including any additional essay requirements. We handhold our students every step of the way, to ensure that this is a smooth, organized, and stress-free experience for all involved. We also provide a personalized list of external scholarships that the student can apply to. If the student is applying to a university that requires an interview with alumni, we prep our students to ensure that they put their best foot forward.
When acceptances start rolling in, we will be there to help our student families decide on each step. Should they take a spot on the waitlist? What to do when your dream school defers you? We also guide our student families on how to negotiate for more financial aid. And then the final decision – where will you spend the next four years of your life? Start preparing for the exciting times ahead!!