College Guidance ProgramLaurel School believes that the college application process is an integral part of a Laurel education involving introspection, articulation of goals and the development of mature decision making. Laurel’s Lifeskills class ensures the college guidance process is integrated into curriculum and that Laurel students are supported and prepared for success in college applications and college life.
Laurel's College Guidance Program begins in the 9th grade when individual advisors help students select courses to meet their academic goals. Student focus is on courses, extracurricular activities and service learning projects which genuinely reflect and engage the student’s passions. All students, including 9th graders, are encouraged to plan a summer that includes a rewarding experience.
The best college advice for 10th graders is to continue a solid academic program while beginning to assess their aptitudes, skills, personalities and subject area preferences. Students should begin to discuss college and financing a college education with their parents. All 10th graders take the PSAT in October. Scores are provided in the context of a class to ensure students have guidance in understanding the results. Some students may also take SAT Subject Tests; this is determined on an individual basis in consultation with the Class Dean or individual advisors. A more complete exploration of summer options is appropriate; again, the goal is an intellectually, emotionally or socially rewarding experience.
A variety of self-discovery and goal setting exercises, essay writing and interviewing workshops are offered Junior year in Seminar class. All 11th graders take the PSAT Test, and will meet with College Guidance to receive the results. Students and parents will meet with their College Guidance Counselor after winter break of junior year. Juniors commonly take the SAT I and SAT Subject Tests during the junior year. Juniors should thoughtfully consider their summer plans, selecting courses, internships, volunteer work or jobs which will add to their experience. Parents and students should have more frequent open discussions regarding college and financing.
The 12th grade Senior Seminar begins with support for the college application process, from college selection to completion of the application. Outside the seminar, the college guidance program includes many individual and family meetings, group parent meetings, financial aid workshops, specialty presentations and visits from college admissions representatives. Parent and student involvement at this point is intense; open and sensitive discussions should continue regarding choices, both in college selection and in financing a college education.
Once the applications are sent, focus in the seminar shifts to the strategies and skills that ensure successful college adjustment. These topics include, among others, financial literacy, time management, technological competence, homesickness and the challenges of establishing limitations in social interactions.