The college counseling program at Hockaday is as individual as each of our students. Four full-time college counselors support students and their parents, meeting with them regularly throughout the college research and application process. Our goal is for each student to find and be admitted to colleges that meet her personal interests, ensuring the most successful college career possible.
While the formal college counseling process begins in the junior year, we know families have questions throughout the Upper School years. To best serve parents of freshman and sophomore students, we host a series of coffees throughout the year specifically designed to offer guidance and answer questions in advance of the junior year. In addition, the college counseling team will visit form meetings to speak to freshmen and sophomore students about standardized testing, planning their courses, their summer activities and other relevant topics. Many sophomores will choose to attend College Previews, one of the largest college fairs in the city.
The college counseling program becomes even more robust in the junior year, beginning with an informational meeting for all juniors and their parents. Students may meet with college representatives who visit Hockaday in the fall, they can opt to take a mock ACT on campus, they and their parents can attend workshops on topics related to college admission, such as the financial aid process, standardized testing, visual and performing arts portfolios and auditions, and collegiate athletics. In addition, college admission deans will offer their candid advice on the admission process at the annual College Deans Panel.
In the second semester of the junior year, while the counseling program continues to offer topical workshops, the college counselors begin to engage students in a process of self-reflection. Through personal interviews and anecdotes from parents, counselors learn their students’ hopes and dreams. The college research process, while guided by the college counselors, is primarily driven by the student’s growing awareness of her own interests and strengths and is conducted with the goal of finding colleges that are a good match for the student as an individual.
By the time the college application season arrives in the fall of the senior year, students have been educated about every element of that process and can prepare their applications with the confidence that they are presenting themselves as personally as possible to colleges which they are eager to attend. When decisions are returned, our college admission list is always as varied as our student body. Once more, at this last stage of the process, the college counselors listen to and guide students toward their final decision. Each year we watch our bright young women go on to begin their brilliant lives at the colleges of their choice.