Volume 1 | November 2018
College Counseling Newsletter - Class of 2020
Hello, Phelps Parents and Families!

This newsletter offers information about college admissions as your son prepares for exciting opportunities ahead. My name is Lauren Walton. I'm the Director of College Counseling at Phelps. Please feel free to contact me about your son's college search and application process. You may also visit the Phelps College Counseling website (linked below) for tons of helpful information and timelines. I have already begun working with the Class of '20 (juniors) to ensure that they stay ahead of the game in all aspects of college admissions. Even so, application timelines are accelerating. More than ever, junior year is a pivotal time in the process. So don't wait!

What can you and your student be doing this year to prepare? Read on!
Get Onto a Campus!
Visiting Colleges - Already this year, our juniors have enjoyed opportunities to explore colleges online and to meet admissions representatives here at Phelps. Still, there is no substitute for seeing a college campus in person. Parents of juniors are encouraged to take their sons to visit different colleges and universities during the upcoming winter, spring, and summer breaks. Try to schedule visits when college classes are in session. Most colleges provide tour request forms online. (A few sample links are to the right.) Some even offer high-school students the chance to stay overnight in the dorms with a host student. Increasingly, colleges are tracking "demonstrated interest" (whether a student visits campus, talks to an admissions representative at a college fair, etc.) and factoring that information into admission decisions. Colleges want students who are "good fits." They seek applicants who have taken the time to discover what makes their college unique. They seek students who can articulate how their personal goals, gifts, interests, and perspectives that will contribute to the college's unique learning community.

Prepare for Standardized Tests
Juniors took the PSAT on campus on October 10. Scores have been released and we will communicate with the students about them soon. Juniors will continue preparing for the SAT using College Board's Official SAT Practice (Khan Academy) throughout the winter and spring. They'll take the SAT here on campus on April 23, and they may also take the ACT on campus on April 2. Students who take the SAT multiple times and devote at least 6 hours to test preparation typically increase their scores by over 90 points. International students also prepare for the TOEFL, which many colleges require to establish English proficiency.

More than 700 colleges and universities are now "test-optional," which means they don't require SAT or ACT test scores for admissions. Nonetheless, test scores are still considered a vital factor in college admissions, especially at selective institutions. Other important tests are the AP exams (which can earn students college credit) and the SAT Subject Tests. See the useful links below:

The College Board - SAT, SAT Subject Tests, and AP tests
ACT - ACT exam
TOEFL - Administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS)
Look Ahead: Consider Summer Programs Hosted by Colleges for High School Students
Compared to previous generations, the college admissions timeline your son is working with is significantly accelerated. Increasingly, colleges are offering summer programs to help high school students get "college ready" -- and colleges are looking for experiences like this on students' resumes and transcripts. Below is a sampling of several programs to consider.

College Counseling | The Phelps School | (610) 644-1754 | thephelpsschool.org