Monthly Newsletter

April 2017


Congratulations on the conclusion of your college search process! Questions and concerns from a year ago were replaced by growing confidence and competence as you took ownership of your applications, met deadlines, and waited patiently for decisions. We could not be more proud of how each of you has managed what we know at times can feel like an arbitrary process, one which requires a certain degree of vulnerability as you self-reflect and present your "best self" for review by admission committees. Again, congratulations!

To-Do List

  • Deposit – You need to deposit at one school prior to May 1. You may not deposit at more than one school.
  • Waitlist – Be sure to reach out to the schools where you have been waitlisted to let them know of your level of interest.
  • Final Transcript – Once you select your school and send the deposit, you will begin receiving requests for a final transcript. Please do not worry; final transcripts will be available after graduation and are sent to each senior's selected school by the College Counseling Office in early June.
  • Celebrate! – Please be on the lookout for an email from the College Counseling Office inviting you to a congratulatory celebration in recognition of a great year!


Though a busy spring for the junior class, our juniors have been wonderfully pro-active about meeting with us and reaching out when they have questions.
Student-Parent Meetings
Please reach out to Mrs. Sanford if you have not yet scheduled this meeting.

Junior Parent Questionnaire
Thank you to those who have already taken the time to complete the junior parent questionnaire available on Naviance. Since parents know their child best, we truly value and appreciate the insight you provide. If you are having trouble accessing Naviance, please let us know.

Teacher Recommendations
All juniors should have already completed the Teacher Recommendation form by asking two teachers to write on their behalf. These forms were due in College Counseling by Thursday, April 20; in the event this still needs to be done, extra forms are available in our office.
Essay Writing Workshop
On Tuesday, April 18, juniors spent a portion of their afternoon with Ryan Hargraves, senior associate dean in the Office of Admissions at the University of Virginia, for an engaging and humorous glimpse into the art of writing the college essay. Whether writing about the best sandwich they've ever eaten or examining a personal attribute, students came away with a deeper appreciation for why they should avoid the "McEssay." For students who missed Mr. Hargraves' presentation, we will be scheduling an upcoming Opp Block to show the video version of his talk.

Summer Essay Writing Workshop
If interested in getting a head start on your college essay, Dr. Simeone is offering two essay writing workshops this summer. For more information, please click here.
We shared college counseling assignments with sophomores earlier this month, and we are excited to get to know the Class of 2019. We have invited our sophomores to come and meet with us, and we are already impressed by the number of students who have scheduled meetings. The focus of these meetings is to get to know what matters to each student and to learn about individual academic and extracurricular interests.
Optional Practice SAT/ACT Test - Sunday, May 21
Over the last few years, we have offered juniors the opportunity to take a practice ACT in November of their junior year. This year, we are offering sophomores the opportunity to take a practice hybrid standardized test (half of the test will be an ACT test and the other half will be an SAT test) on Sunday, May 21 at 1:30 p.m. in the SAC. The exam will be administered by Clayborne and will last approximately three hours. This test is offered at no cost to you. Within a few weeks of taking the test, Clayborne will provide you and your child with a detailed breakdown of the test results. This will help determine whether your son or daughter should take the ACT or SAT. Students who currently receive extended time from the College Board will also receive extended time for this test.

Please note that this is an optional test. If your child chooses not to take the practice test or a conflict prevents your son or daughter from taking the test, you can schedule a diagnostic exam at your convenience at Clayborne, Champion, Georgetown Learning Centers, Kaplan, or with a test prep agency of your choice. Regardless of when your child will take their first SAT or ACT, having a diagnostic exam in hand will be helpful. Please note that in the fall and winter of the 2017 - 2018 academic year, we will offer SAT and ACT test prep classes on the Greenway Rise campus. I will share information about these classes in the fall.

Please speak with your son or daughter to find out if one of these optional tests will fit into your schedule. Then, please click here if you would like to sign up for the test.

Sophomore Parent Fireside Chat
On Thursday, May 4, the College Counseling Office will host a Fireside Chat for sophomore parents from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. in the Upper School Commons. We look forward to providing you with updates about the college application process and answering questions you may have about what parents (and students) might consider heading into the summer. This will be a very informal gathering, and we look forward to seeing you.

2017 - 2018 College Counseling Handbook
Please click here to view the 2017 - 2018 College Counseling Handbook. The Handbook is designed to provide an overview of the college application process, to answer some frequently asked questions, and to share general information about how our office supports students through this process. Please to read through the handbook and let us know if you have any questions. 


Featured Blog

For the parents reading this newsletter, this month's blog selection is a little bit like looking in the mirror. Author Will Dix highlights the importance of letting students "be themselves" when crafting their essays and completing their college applications, and he identifies many of the "traps" we adults (parents, teachers, and college counselors alike) fall into with our well-intentioned efforts to support our children and students during the college application process. Click here to read.

Spring Break Trip Recap

Over Spring Break, Ms. Hedgspeth and 11 St. Anne's-Belfield students traveled to New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. for a six-day college tour. They were joined by a group of students and College Counselors from Suffield Academy, and the tour was facilitated by EF Tours. During their excursion, students had the opportunity to visit different types of schools, both liberal arts colleges and larger research universities, experience colleges in a variety of locations, and consider institutions of different sizes.
The itinerary included stops at New York University, Columbia University, Princeton University, LeHigh University, Villanova University, Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, University of Pennsylvania, American University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, and the University of Maryland. This trip was extremely valuable in allowing students to gain a deeper understanding for the college application process and begin to identify schools that are the right "fit" for them as students and individuals. As we think about next spring, we plan on offering a tour to the Midwest, specifically visiting college institutions in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois, and we hope to entice more students to join us on this valuable college visit experience!
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