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February Newsletter: Seniors

Monday, February 13, 2017

I am constantly reminded of just how extraordinary Breck students are. Recent weeks found our students hosting Special Olympics, competing interscholastically, practicing instruments, prepping for competitions, serving others, doing homework, and many other endeavors. It’s a wonder just how much Breck students accomplish. These commitments coupled with the lingering winter weather can cause some angst to develop this month. 

This is always an exciting time of year for the College Counseling Office as we are working with students at every phase of the college process: sophomores who are stepping timidly into the college sphere with introductory meetings through to seniors, who, for some the process is over, and for others, who are still in the thick of things. Therefore, you will find this to be a longer newsletter; but it is one I trust you will find valuable as you support your child. 

Want to register for other AP exams?

“The waiting is the hardest part…” I don’t often quote musicians in the Newsletter, but I find Tom Petty’s words relevant for our seniors. It’s not easy to wait, and this is just what many seniors must do right now. The work has been done: the essays written, applications completed and submitted, test scores sent. Though the colleges take the next course of action - making the decision to admit, defer or refuse – there is still work to be done! 

  • Remember to check online statuses to make sure applications are complete. Mid-year reports and transcripts have been completed and submitted. Should you receive notices of something missing, notify the College Counseling Office immediately.
  • Grades still count! We have shared with seniors the story of “The Play” from the ’82 Cal-Stanford game wherein Stanford scores in the waning seconds to pull ahead in this heated rivalry. Stanford kicks off, needing only to tackle the ball carrier in order to preserve the victory. After a series of laterals and near tackles, the Cal runner finds himself heading to victory. On the way to the end zone to score the winning touchdown, the ball carrier zigzags his way through the Stanford band that has come onto the field to perform the post-game celebration. Needless to say, the band came on a little too early and the game ended painfully embarrassing for the Stanford Cardinal. Colleges are increasingly asking for the most current grades for students, including spring grades. Seniors are closing in on the homestretch and now it’s time to kick it into overdrive. Use this time to further distinguish yourself. In short, don’t let the band on the field
  • Though most applications are in, it is important for seniors to keep their college counselor apprised of any news or updates as it pertains to the college process. We asked seniors this week to complete a Naviance survey to verify their college list. 
  • We remain in contact with colleges to which our students apply throughout the process and February and March are critical as we advocate on behalf of our students. To that end, we ask seniors to begin thinking about the schools to which they’ve applied and indicate their level of interest; if there is a clear number one school, it is important for us to know.

Though seniors may be waiting for admission decisions, now is the time to complete financial aid forms. This fall, we hosted a financial aid/FAFSA workshop led by Macalester College’s Director of Financial Aid, Brian Lindeman. He touched upon many pertinent topics and answered wide-ranging questions. 

  • Financial Aid deadlines approach quickly (some as early as next week), so be sure to stay on top of the paperwork and deadlines. It is wise to submit the required forms well in advance of deadlines. Please contact your college counselor if you have any questions. 
  • Net Price Calculators may be found on every college website. We advise you to use these to get a sense of any potential aid packages. 

Admission decisions will begin trickling in over the coming months. Please notify the College Counseling Office of any decisions you receive. As you do, please keep in mind that some decisions will require action, whether you are admitted or waitlisted, and you should speak with your college counselor first. Note that enrollment deposits should not be due until May 1. You should only place one deposit. If you have a question about this, please talk to your college counselor.

Advanced Placement Exams

All students in AP courses will be registered for their respective AP exams. Students who have received College Board accommodations will use them on AP tests as well. If there is an exam for which a student would like to sit and is not in the AP course for that exam needs approval from Mr. Nicholson by February 24. Please speak with Ms. Dohr immediately.

Special Parent Meeting on February 27 

For the past five years, we’ve offered an informal conversation to help provide parents with perspectives on how they may best support their child receive admissions decisions in the month of March, navigate any potential waitlists, planning spring college visits and more. Additionally, we’ll offer perspective as your child transitions to college. 

Breck’s College Counseling Office

Jonathan Nicholson
Director of College Counseling

Susan Graham
Associate Director of College Counseling

Andrea O’Connell
Associate Director of College Counseling

Nancy Dohr
College Counseling Office Assistant