College Counseling Resources
Thayer offers a comprehensive College Counseling Program with personalized attention for each student. Our office is a complete “one-stop shop” for researching and applying to college. We believe students should take ownership of their college search as passionately as they do their studies and activities, but here at Thayer, you will do so with the full support of the College Counseling Staff. We help students identify colleges that best match their interests and ambitions. In fact, our students often seek college environments that reflect what they value in Thayer: close relationships with faculty; supportive, yet challenging academics; and active, friendly communities.
COLLEGE PLANNING SESSIONS
- College Planning Presentation for All Parents — Offered every November, this is an opportunity to learn about everything related to college planning, including the college search, course selection, applications, standardized testing, etc.
- January Workshops — Juniors attend workshops in January to begin reflecting on their interests and the types of colleges that will suit their needs. At the same time, they meet individually with their college counselors to develop a customized college counseling plan.
- January Presentation for Parents of Juniors — Parents are included in the college counseling process from the beginning. We discuss the objectives and mechanics of the college search in this first meeting.
- 9th and 10th Graders — While the formal college counseling process begins in a student’s junior year, we find opportunities to speak with the ninth- and tenth- grade classes to address the importance of their early work at Thayer. We are also available to meet individually with parents and students to discuss how a student’s choices (academic, extracurricular, etc.) in the Upper School may impact their college goals.
RESOURCES TO FACILITATE THE COLLEGE SEARCH
We have developed a wealth of resources and opportunities to help students and parents with the college search and application process, including:
The College Counseling Handbook, written by Thayer’s own College Counselors, provides a wealth of information and insights on every aspect of the process:
- Researching colleges
- College visits
- Completing applications
- Standardized testing
- Student-athletes — What is particular to the needs of student-athletes?
- Student-artists — What is essential to the needs of student-artists?
- Financial aid
The College Counseling Guide – A quickstart manual for the college search
NAVIANCE Family Connection • College Search Software
Students are given their own account on this invaluable website that allows you to:
The College Essay & Application — Support from Workshops, English teachers and College Counselors
- Thayer’s College Essay Writing Workshop - writing workshops are offered several times each summer to give rising seniors constructive feedback as they develop their essays for applications.
- English teachers read a draft of each senior’s college essay as one of the first English assignments in the fall.
- Students submit drafts of their college essay to their counselor during the summer before the start of their senior year, and receive ongoing feedback throughout the application process. Counselors are also available to help with every other aspect of the college application.
SAT Preparation Expert Speakers & College Events
A course conducted by Summit Educational Group is offered to juniors in the second semester with discounted prices for families on financial aid.
The College Counseling Office hosts presentations by experts to discuss:
- Athletic Recruiting — for students who might want to play sports in college
- Financial Aid — assist parents of seniors in navigating the requirements of applying for college aid
- College Admission Officers — Visits to Thayer by college reps are scheduled regularly each fall to discuss topics in admissions and higher education.
- College fair in the spring at Milton Academy; Thayer students and faculty are invited.
- Coffee and Conversation - Q&A morning sessions with college admission representatives; a chance for parents to learn more about the admission process by speaking in an informal setting with the experts
Parent Participation in the College Search
- We welcome parent input and make every effort to keep you in the loop.
- We contact parents frequently and hold individual parent conferences regularly.
- The lines of communication are always open through e-mail and phone to sustain a close partnership between the student, parents, and counselor.
- You will feel empowered knowing that the College Counseling Office (indeed, the entire Thayer community) is looking out for your best interests.