The following monthly listing of events and expectations mark the college process for our juniors and seniors. While general in nature, the college planning timeline below should provide a useful overview of how the college process unfolds.
December-June of the Junior Year
- Juniors assigned a college counselor;
- Small group meetings with the College Office to disseminate general information about the upcoming process;
- Junior Parents’ Day to kick off the process for the parents;
- Juniors sit for SAT I;
- Juniors complete “Knowing the Possibilities” survey on the Naviance Family Connection before meeting with their individual counselors;
- Juniors self-schedule consultations with their counselors as needed;
- Juniors visit colleges during spring break;
- Juniors sit for appropriate standardized testing (SAT I/II, ACT, AP, TOEFL) in March, April, May and June as determined by their counselors;
- Attend Blair Spring College Fair in late April to meet with college representatives;
- With the help of their college counselors, select an appropriate senior-year course schedule;
- Secure at least one junior teacher recommendation; and
- Finish out the junior year strongly!
By the close of the junior year, every junior should have met with his or her college counselor at least three times, sat for an appropriate battery of standardized testing, and prepared a relatively expansive college list. By mid-June, you will be receiving your child’s Summer Parent Letter, an overview of where he or she stands at this juncture of the process and suggestions as to how to proceed with the process through the summer and into the fall.
The Summer Vacation
- Visit colleges;
- Work on personal statements and individual school supplements;
- Read for pleasure…read some more;
- Test prep if appropriate/necessary;
- Work on the Common Application when it goes live in August; and
- Have a productive and enjoyable summer!!
September Though January of the Senior Year
- Continue to consult with college counselors to finalize college lists;
- Take appropriate standardized testing (SAT I/II, ACT, TOEFL) as needed;
- Secure any necessary recommendations and prepare any tapes, auditions or portfolios for the appropriate schools;
- Work with counselors on essays and supplements as needed, and take the time to review completed applications before submitting them when possible;
- Keep the Naviance Family Connection updated and current…manage all of your college affairs online;
- Endeavor to submit all applications online and in a timely fashion…meet submission deadlines and completed Transcript Request Forms (a.k.a., Pink Sheets) for each and every application submitted;
- Submit appropriate standardized testing via the testing services to those colleges that require it. Remember, you are responsible for doing so, not the College Counseling Office, your counselor or Mrs. Byrne; and
- Students applying for financial aid must have their parents complete the necessary financial aid forms (FAFSA and CSS Profile) as soon after January 1 as is possible.
April of Senior Year
Typically, most college decisions are received by April 1. Unless they have committed to a school via an early program (such as early decision), seniors will have the entire month of April to decide where they will enroll. Therefore, the month of April is typically the time when seniors will revisit their schools in an effort to make a final choice. April can also be a time of anxiety as well, as those seniors who have been placed on waitlists hope for good news toward the end of the month and into May. Some important guidelines:
- Deposit at ONE school by May 1, the Common Reply Deadline;
- Respond to all other offers of admission, thanking the colleges for the offer and indicating that you have chosen to enroll elsewhere;
- Send back waitlist offers (hopefully no more than two), indicating an interest in enrolling there should an offer of acceptance come; and
- Update waitlist college(s) in mid-April of your progress/accomplishments and of your desire to attend.
May & Graduation
For the great majority of seniors, the college process ends by May 1, but seniors are hardly done with school. For those students taking AP exams, strong scores could mean college credit and/or placement advantages. Recent studies indicate that eighth-semester performance (senior spring) is the best predictor of success during the first year of college—again, another important reason for seniors to finish strong.
- The College Office sends final, official transcripts to your college; and
- Student athletes intending to play Division I or Division II sports in college must register with the Initial Eligibility Center before leaving Blair in late May.
- Attend all class meetings;
- Arrange and attend regular meetings with college counselor;
- Use research materials in the College Counseling Office to discover more about colleges;
- Provide the College Counseling Office information on accomplishments/activities in and out of school;
- Complete all assignments given by college counselors;
- Plan (with parents) college visits/interviews during spring and summer vacations;
- Work on applications/essays/supplements as soon as possible;
- Learn which colleges require which tests (SAT I, SAT II, TOEFL and ACT), register for and take them;
- Submit appropriate test scores to colleges;
- Work with college counselor on essays; submit rough drafts well before applications are due;
- Know deadlines and submit Pink Sheets to the College Counseling Office at least two weeks before applications are due;
- Ask teachers to write letters of recommendations by sending them Green Sheets; and
- Insist upon doing your applications on your own. Advice and proofreading is fine, but you should do all the work.
- Be involved in the process; encourage and facilitate visits; read articles and reference books;
- Frankly discuss your agenda with your son or daughter (what you can afford, location, special interests, etc.);
- Research colleges yourself; know what your son or daughter is interested in;
- Provide the College Counseling Office with any additional information that you think might be helpful;
- Meet with your son or daughter's college counselor or maintain phone contact; let us know of special circumstances early;
- Provide access to credit card #s for application fees;
- Allow your son or daughter to do his/her own work on applications or essays;
- Without being invasive, occasionally ask your son or daughter how the process is going;
- Watch and read mail and email from the College Counseling Office; and
- Check to see that official scores have been sent by testing services.
- Hold regular meetings to inform students of their responsibilities;
- Enable students to register for tests before deadlines;
- Advise students on which tests to take and when to take them;
- Through regular meetings, help students to assess themselves and to create an appropriate list of colleges;
- Gather information on students to present to colleges; write comprehensive letters of support;
- Provide school support (recommendations, transcripts, school profile) to colleges in a timely fashion;
- Read and comment upon rough drafts of essays;
- Update colleges on students' progress throughout senior year;
- Attend national conferences to stay current on admission policies and trends; visit colleges to broaden knowledge of appropriate schools for Blair students;
- Host college representatives' visits to Blair (about 100 per year); facilitate representatives' meetings with interested students;
- Provide access to information on colleges, tests and other aspects of the admission process;
- Open and maintain relationships with college admission offices; and
- Answer questions.
Seniors & Underclassmen
As a college preparatory school, Blair Academy is committed to providing the finest college counseling possible. Certainly, an integral part of the college process involves students’ visiting colleges and universities, as doing so is perhaps the best way for students to develop a better sense of what they might like or dislike in colleges.
The College Counseling Office believes that any and all college visits to colleges and universities, from large state universities to small private liberal arts colleges to schools in their hometowns to schools across the country, are a very good thing indeed. Toward that end, we are flexible and accommodating in granting our seniors ample time away from Blair to visit colleges, just so long as these visits do not negatively impact a student’s academic and extracurricular commitments at Blair.
The College Counseling Office, however, strongly discourages underclass students, particularly juniors, from missing any academic or extracurricular commitments to visit colleges. We believe that the best time for underclass students to see colleges is during their breaks from school and during the summers. In that way, students do not run the risk of jeopardizing their academic success at Blair, which, of course, is the most important thing they can do to prepare for the college process.
What’s more, with admission representatives from nearly 100 colleges and universities coming to Blair in the fall and another 80 to 90 representatives visiting Blair in late April for our Spring College Fair, our juniors, as well as other interested underclass students, have a wonderful opportunity to learn about colleges and universities from those representatives who know Blair Academy well. With so much available to our students right here at Blair, we believe that missing any Blair commitments—academic, athletic or otherwise—to visit colleges prior to senior year is not necessary and not in any student’s best interests.
The following information will come in handy as you complete your applications and when registering for standardized testing. You can save yourself plenty of time and aggravation by simply referring to this page.
- School Code # (sometimes called CEEB code #): 310105
- Blair SAT Test Center Code: 31145
- Blair ACT Test Center Code: 197360
- School Address
P.O. Box 900
Blairstown, NJ 07825
- College Counseling Office main #: (908) 362-6121, ext. 5620
- College Counseling Office fax #: (908) 362-2025
Lewis M. Stival
Dean of College Counseling
(908) 362-6121, ext. 5618
Associate Dean of College Counseling
(908) 362-6121, ext. 5619
Assistant Director of College Counseling
(908) 362-6121, ext. 5700
Administrative Assistant to the Office of College Counseling Services
(908) 362-6121, ext. 5620