Academic & College Advising


College Counseling

The following is a concise summary of the college and career counseling program at Alverno. The philosophy of our college-prep high school refers to empowering young women and the college admission process presents an excellent opportunity for increased responsibility and preparation for the demands of university life. The college counseling program begins with an introduction at the ninth grade level, and increases in scope each year to culminate in extensive and individualized counseling in the twelfth grade. Counselor remains current on developments in all aspects of the college application process by attending several workshops each year.

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Freshman Year

  • Review Official transcript and make a plan of action for all four years of high school
    Focus on achieving high grades
    Selection of challenging course load for sophomore year
    Consider summer programs such as courses on college campuses and enrichment/ leadership courses
    Begin to build resume on Family Connection

Sophomore Year

  • Take PSAT 10 (October)
    Maintain high grades and seek extra help in areas where subject matter is challenging
    Course selection for junior year, including potential honors courses in strongest subjects
    Register for summer programs and acquire internships in potential career field of interest
    Continue to build resume of activities on and off campus
    Take the career interest inventory on Family Connection to explore potential majors

Junior Year

  • Meet with coaches to discuss NCAA requirements and register for the NCAA Eligibility Center
    Take PSAT 11 (October)
    One to one meeting with college counselor (November) to begin building college list. College lists should be larger at this point as the student continues to explore what aspects of the college or university are best suited to meet her needs for collegiate success.
    Register for January – May SAT/ACT/ TOEFL testing. All testing should be registered for before spring break.
    Review list of potential college and university applications for required SAT II Subject based testing
    Register for summer programs and acquire internships (December/January)
    Review transcript with advisor/college counselor to evaluate GPA and courses for graduation (February)
    Begin college essays and personal statements (February). Common Application essays for the coming application year will be sent out to students once Common Application releases them online (February)
    Apply for scholarships through,, and other online portals. Research local community, church, and businesses that offer college scholarships to high school students.
    Visit colleges and universities (anytime throughout the year, esp. during school vacations)
    Attend college fairs (Ex. NACAC Spring College Fair)
    Solicit 2- 3 core (English, math, science, history) teacher recommendations from teachers who have taught the student during junior year (April). Other letters such as foreign language teachers, coaches, or advisors can be requested but only after requesting at least two core teacher letters.
    Begin Common Application (March)
    Take SAT II Subject tests if necessary for applications (May)
    Finalize long and short essays for applications (Summer/September of senior year)

Twelfth Grade

  • Meet with college counselor to finalize application list (September). College lists at this point should be between 6 – 8 colleges and universities. The most an applicant should consider applying to is 10 and any number after 10 colleges will result in a family meeting with college counselor
    Update resume to include any summer activities/awards/college courses
    Continue to seek out scholarship options online and in your local community
    Complete college essays and have reviewed by counselor and English teacher (October)
    Take final testing if necessary – SAT/ACT/ TOEFL (October/November depending on deadlines). All testing must be taken prior to the application deadline. Scores must be sent to the college or university at least two weeks prior to the application deadline and sent directly from the testing website
    Submit financial aid forms (FAFSA and CSS Profile). The list of schools that require the CSS Profile and the application are found on Go to to get updates on the new Prior year FAFSA and Prior Prior Year FAFSA being released in October of 2016 (October)
    Submit majority of college applications before December 30th (early decision/early action/rolling/regular decision)
    Evaluate college decisions and financial aid offers. Schedule a meeting with college counselor to discuss options and decipher financial aid offers (March/April)
    Prepare for college transition (April)
    National Decision Deadline for students May 1st

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