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January Newsletter: Juniors

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Now that the New Year is upon us, the college process will begin accelerating rather quickly for many students. Thank you for everyone who attended our November 8th program and for making the evening a success. The first conversations between students and counselors will center on getting to know one another and discussing a testing plan and scheduling. The concluding conversations we will have heading into the summer will involve creating a balanced college list. There is a lot that will happen between now and then. The process requires active communication; parents are welcome to join their child when they meet with their college counselor, to meet separately or to communicate via the phone or email. We expect one family meeting in the spring to make sure parents, student, and counselor are on the same page. To schedule an appointment, please contact Carrie Papillon

JUNIOR APPLICATION WORKSHOP – JANUARY 24, 6:30 PM. This event is always one of our most popular events in the college process! You will read applications and serve on the admission committee led by a senior admission officer from University of California - Los Angeles, Tulane University, Morehouse College, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Connecticut College and our very own University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. The applications will be posted online for parents the first week of January and juniors will participate in a workshop earlier in the day. We strongly advise parents to read through the applications prior to the evening in order to get the most from the conversations with the deans. We will send another reminder as the date approaches.

SAT AND ACT TEST DATES AND REGISTRATION DEADLINES ARE APPROACHING.  Now is the time to register.  Please remember that you are responsible for registering for the tests you plan to take. The counselors will meet with juniors to revisit the testing plan for the rest of this school year. Students who have not yet met with their counselor should schedule an appointment through Ms. Papillon. 

  • ACT Registration deadline for the February 10 test is January 12. This test will be held at Breck School. If you miss this deadline you can register late. There is an additional fee for late registration and you may not receive your preferred testing site.  If you miss the late registration deadline, you can try to test as a standby on test day. Specific directions for standby testing can be found at The last three ACT test dates for this school year are April 14, June 9 and July 14; Breck will be a test site for the June 9 date only.
  • SAT test dates are March 10, May 5 and June 2. Deadline for the March SAT is February 9. Breck will be a test site in June. For registration deadlines and to register go to

SAT AND ACT TEST PREP OPTIONS: There are many different ways to prepare, both free and at cost. The best approach is to develop a long-term plan using a combination of coursework and practice tests. The key ingredient to improving results is the use of practice tests.

  • Self-preparation through a book or online. Both the SAT and ACT websites offer services through ACT Online and the SAT’s My College Quickstart.
  • One-on-one tutoring.
  • Test preparation course.
  • Combination of the above.

As you notice, doing nothing is not advisable.

PRACTICE TEST RESULTS. Practice test books and Practice ACT results were distributed at the November college night. The College Board released scores electronically in December. If you did not receive an email from the College Board, please drop by the college counseling office to pick up your results.

Course planning for juniors.  Mr. Nicholson, Dr. Graham, and Ms. O’Connell will meet with juniors to discuss course selection for next year.  Each junior should visit the College Counseling Office and speak with Ms. Papillon to make an appointment with her/his counselor. These meetings should take place before conferences in the beginning of March. As we approach conference weekend, counselor schedules fill quickly; please allow a week or two lead time.  
Application Workshop for Students & Parents on January 24. This is our most highly anticipated program of the process. Deans and directors of admission from 5 national colleges will be on hand to lead admissions committees comprised of you, the students and parents! 
Spring Semester Coffee Talks. The College Counseling Office will host a series of informal conversations focused on specific topics. Please watch your email for these opportunities! 
 AP Exams. Every student currently enrolled in an AP course is already registered for that exam.  If a student is interested in taking other AP exams, you must speak with Mr. Nicholson and then inform Ms. Papillon in the College Office by March 9. AP exam dates are May 7-11 and May 14-18.

Looking Beyond the Ivy League, by Loren Pope. ISBN 0-14-023952-9
I ‘m Going to College – Not you!  Edited by Jennifer Delahunty. ISBN 978-0-312-60729-6
Colleges that Change Lives, by Loren Pope. ISBN 0-14-023951-0
Fifty College Admissions Directors Speak to Parents, by Sandra F. McGowan and Sarah M. McGinty. ISBN 0-15-601595-1
College Admissions: A Crash Course for Panicked Parents, by Sally Rubenstone and Sidonia Dalby. ISBN 0-02-861931-5
The College Admissions Mystique, by Bill Mayher. ISBN 0-374-52513-7

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

Carrie Papillon
College Counseling Office Assistant