Academics
College Counseling

Planning for College

The College Counseling Center at Nichols School supports students, parents and family members throughout all four years of Upper School. The College Counselors, in conjunction with Form Deans, work to help our students identify and develop their academic and extracurricular interests and pursue them vigorously. Colleges expect to see high school students fully engage in the programs available to them. We encourage this engagement by helping students realize their leadership potential and connecting them to opportunities that match their individual strengths.

List of 5 items.

  • Freshman Year (III Form)

    Our students are introduced to the college counselors at a form/advisor meeting in the second half of the school year. We want them to know who we are and to feel comfortable coming to speak to us with any questions they may have. These introductions and discussions are intended to help our new Upper School students think about their future goals and aspirations. We also hope to demystify the process as much as possible by these early talks.

    Our freshman class takes the Practice Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) 9. Please know these are just practice tests and that no one sees the scores except the student, family members and the school. These PSAT tests are done so students get used to sitting for the tests, and they are helpful early indicators to see how students do and what can be done to improve their score if needed. Students will take the PSAT again in their sophomore year and start to learn more about the SAT and ACT tests that some colleges require.

    Parents and family members are more than welcome at any time to come in and speak with a counselor.
  • Sophomore Year (IV Form)

    During sophomore year, our students will take the PSAT 10 and gain an understanding of what is to come in regards to SAT and ACT testing.

    In the spring semester, our office will pair students with one of our counselors who will guide them and their family throughout the college process. We will meet with each student individually and discuss their future goals, aspirations, summer plans, class choices for junior year, possible college visits and testing preparation.

    We will also register the students with Naviance Family Connection, a web-based program used throughout the college process. Naviance is an online college search and organizational tool that Nichols utilizes to assist our students in the college search process. Over a number of years, we have increasingly integrated this software into our college counseling program. Naviance provides an excellent search engine, allowing students to easily generate a list of colleges that meet certain criteria, such as geographical location, majors and size of enrollment. It also provides access to a wide range of information about each college as well as numerous colleges. Students receive a registration code in the spring semester of their sophomore year. Counselors will instruct sophomores on how to use the program. Family members will also be given a registration code for Naviance during one of their first meetings. The College Counseling team will use Naviance to submit application documents to almost all colleges and universities.

    Parents and family members are more than welcome at any time to come in and speak with a counselor.
  • Junior Year (V Form) - Fall

    In the fall of the junior year, individual counseling sessions with students and their family will take place. These meetings help introduce students and family members to the college process and the variety of resources available. With attention paid to individual student needs, we look at the timeline for researching colleges, visiting colleges, testing and how to stay organized and focused throughout the process. All juniors will take the PSAT in October and we will discuss on an individual basis about taking the SAT and/or ACT in the fall or early winter.
  • Junior Year (V Form) - Spring

    Juniors start to meet regularly with their college counselor, and family meetings are scheduled at significant times throughout the spring. Students are actively researching colleges and clarifying their priorities during this important year. Topics discussed include teacher recommendations, the college essay, completing the Common Application, SAT/ACT Testing, creating a resume, financial aid, scholarship information, and using Naviance Family Connection to stay organized and communicate with the College Counseling Office.
  • Summer Before and Senior Year (VI Form)

    Seniors continue to work one-on-one with their counselor to complete the requirements for their college applications. This is a highly individualized process, and great care is taken to ensure that students have produced their best work to present to colleges. Counseling is ongoing through the application period and decision time. Positive, timely and helpful communication with parents is a key component of the College Counseling program.