College counseling at Georgetown Day School mirrors how we, as a school, encourage students to learn. We believe that the college process is a wonderful adventure of self discovery and personal growth, and we encourage students to navigate it from a place of empowerment, not fear, resulting in a healthy college search and application experience. Our approach lays the foundation for students to apply to colleges that meet their individual needs and ultimately join a college community in which they will thrive.
Through authentic self-reflection, we encourage students to articulate their talents, communicate effectively, and engage in thoughtful decision-making, and we guide them and empower them to accomplish the required tasks along the way.
A successful college process at Georgetown Day School is about students:
- Believing in their own ability to navigate a complex process
- Articulating who they are (in flux) and who they want to become
- Developing goals for the college experience beyond admission
- Making decisions grounded in their own values
- Building skills for success beyond high school and college such as: self reflection, resilience, and decision-making
- Celebrating good matches and each other’s individual choices
The beginning of high school is a time of exploration and discovery. Connecting with teachers, identifying areas of interest, and engaging in the life of the school are all ways to begin building a strong foundation for high school and beyond. The best preparation for the college process is to simply be a high school student. The College Counseling Office hosts 9th grade parents at a Meet and Greet in the winter to introduce our program and field questions about how to plan for college.
Sophomores continue to deepen their engagement in the high school experience. In 10th grade, students will sit for the PSAT exam in October, which will be their first exposure to college admissions testing. In the spring, parents are invited to schedule an individual meeting with a college counselor in order to begin discussing their student’s interests and goals and to get any questions about the college process answered.
The formal college counseling program begins in the second semester of junior year. Students are assigned to a primary counselor, yet we all work as a team to counsel the entire class. Students participate in a two-day college workshop in January, and all families are asked to attend our College Kickoff to learn about our program and the years ahead. We meet individually with all students and parents throughout the college process. Students are invited to participate in a one-week college application workshop over the summer following junior year to begin writing essays and preparing their applications. Throughout junior year, there are a number of programs for both students and parents to learn more about the college process and to investigate college options.
We guide students at every stage of the application process. At each point, our approach focuses on empowering students to make decisions and to present themselves authentically in their applications. Students also have the opportunity to meet with more than 100 college admissions representatives who visit the School.
Throughout the fall of senior year, students and college counselors meet frequently to:
- Shape the college list
- Discuss application strategies
- Establish individual timelines to complete all application components
- Brainstorm, draft, and edit essays that reflect students’ authentic goals and interests
- Prepare for interviews
- Review applications
- Make final enrollment choices