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March Newsletter: Seniors

Friday, March 2, 2018

Looking Forward: College Admissions Decisions and Senior Spring

The college counselors led an informal discussion last week for senior parents to share insights on admission trends and what to anticipate through spring, summer, and into next fall. Staci Prior and the counselors offered advice and perspective on how we can best support our seniors. They also shared insights on other items such as how to approach spring college visits, how to make the decision on which college to deposit, and how to support your child in their transition through the first year of college. 

All college admissions decisions should be received by April 1, with many decisions arriving prior to this date. In preparation, we encourage students to consider the following:

  1. Keep your focus on what is important. We decide what defines us. College admission decisions do not give value to what you have accomplished and who you are as friends, children, students, and citizens. Most students will hear a combination of “good” and “bad” news. Families should therefore prepare for the discussions that allow for a range of decisions. Remember, students applied to colleges they wished to attend, and admission to any combination of them is celebrated. 
  2. It’s not personal. It is difficult to not take decisions personally, especially when you put so much of yourself in your application. However, colleges are building a class and decisions are not made in a vacuum. There are many reasons that colleges will make the decisions they do. 
  3. Open all correspondence from colleges to which you applied, both hard copy and electronic. Many institutions who release decisions electronically will email applicants prior to the posting and releasing of decisions. 
  4. Keep your college counselor updated. The College Counseling Office is in contact with all institutions to which our students apply, but colleges release decisions to applicants. Do not expect us to know college decisions unless you inform us!
  5. Conversations can be helpful. Deciding which college to attend can be the most stressful part of the entire process. The college counselors are here to assist.
  6. Waitlists. You may remain on one or multiple college waitlists. Prior to taking action, speak with your college counselor.
  7. April can be busier than you think. This is the last push for colleges to yield students they have admitted. There will be admitted student weekends, offers for an overnight visit and more. Remember, if you are to miss school, you must receive permission from your teachers, the Upper School Director and the College Counseling Office one week prior to making your plans. 
  8. Financial Aid could factor into the decision. A general rule of thumb is for a student to not borrow more than they will make in their first year out of college, which some financial aid experts put at $8,000/year, for a total of $32,000 over four years. If you have questions about your financial aid package, contact your college counselor. And, you should not deposit at a college until you know the financial aid package
  9. Deposits. Due by May 1. Only place an enrollment deposit to one school. Once you deposit, please notify the remaining colleges that you respectfully decline their offer of admission. You may remain on waitlist(s) elsewhere.  If you elect to stay on a waitlist, anticipate paying a deposit to another college as many students will not learn of acceptance off a waitlist until after May 1. 
  10. You are part of a community. Your classmates are going through the same emotional roller coaster as you. Be respectful and positive. 
  11. And, you are a leader. Remember you set the tone for the entire school. The younger students are watching you. So are the faculty, staff, parents and others. Your actions will continue to affect others.
  12. All decisions are based on successful completion of senior year. Don’t just cross the finish line, sprint past it. Colleges require final transcripts before a student can enroll, and Breck will send your final transcript to the college to which you deposit. However, they reserve the right to retract an acceptance if grades or behavior slide. 

AP Tests

Students have received confirmation of his/her AP enrollment and the CollegeBoard’s Bulletin for AP Students and Parents from AP teachers. Students and parents are expected to review the material. AP tests will be given on Breck campus. All students enrolled in an AP class are required to sit for the AP exam per Breck’s Handbook:

For students in AP courses, the AP exam will stand in for the final. Students are expected to demonstrate effort commensurate with their abilities on these exams. Those students who are deemed to have not demonstrated such effort may be required to take the final. 

Information for All Upper School Students

Best of UK Consortium

Breck will be hosting the Best of UK Consortium on Monday, March 12, from 6:30-9:00 PM in Breck School's Chapel. The program consists of information and guidance for students thinking about applying to a UK university, about the UK UCAS application system, as well as an introductory presentation about the advantages of studying in England, and short presentations about each represented university (Bristol University, Durham University, Southampton University, and the University of York), before breaking out to a mini fair. This is for both parents and students. Please RSVP here.

2018 AP Exam Information 

AP instructors have distributed the Bulletin for AP Students and Parents 2017-2018, a reference for families and students. AP classes are constructed to emulate a college-level course, and the AP tests are designed to assess student proficiency on the material. AP scores may be used for placement and credit at post-secondary institutions, but each institution sets its own policy. To learn more about AP courses and exams, visit or speak with a college counselor. 

Please keep the bulletin handy as it contains helpful information, including:

  • Page 5 has important exam day information
  • Page 6 explains how to ensure all your exam material matches properly
  • Page 8 has a useful checklist. AP STUDIO ART students should discuss their portfolio submission timeline with Ms. Affleck or Ms. Sagar.

AP Registration

All students currently enlisted in AP courses at Breck are automatically registered for the respective AP exam(s) and their Breck account charged the AP testing fee.

AP Testing Calendar

The AP exam dates and times are set by the College Board and may be found below. Please mark your calendars now and reserve these dates and times. All AP exams will be conducted on campus. Students will be expected to be ready to enter the room at their respective time. Late arrivals may not be admitted to the testing room.

Note that AP exams take place during the school day. Therefore, students will need to plan ahead and discuss with the teachers of classes they will miss on how they should proceed with class notes and assignments. If students will miss their exam day, they should notify Ms. Papillon as soon as possible. 

Monday, May 7 Chemistry  
Tuesday, May 8 Spanish Language and Culture Art History
    Physics I: Algebra Based
Wednesday, May 9 English Literature and Composition  
Friday, May 11 U.S. History  
Monday, May 14 Biology Physics C: Mechanics/Electricity and Magnetism
  Music Theory  
Tuesday, May 15 Calculus AB French
  Calculus BC  
Wednesday, May 16 English Language and Composition  
Thursday, May 17   Statistics

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