Director of College Counseling
(706) 731-5260 ext. 2309
100% College Acceptance
College counseling at Westminster is a partnership that brings students, parents and our college counseling office together for the support and encouragement of our students as they invest their efforts in college planning:
Through the college search and admissions process, we strive to:
- Assist students in making appropriate college choices
- Foster student initiative, independence, and self-understanding
- Strengthen decision-making and goal setting skills
Our primary objective is to address each student's individual college needs and ensure that Westminster students are active, energetic, and investigative participants in the process.
Our Students Are Going Places
Senior year of high school is a busy time, particularly in the first semester, for the college search and application process. Use the Senior Year Timeline and Senior Year Checklist to make sure you meet all deadlines. Parents, check out this Senior Parent Checklist for ways you can help your senior.
Senior Year Focus:
Why should that college accept you?
Westminster has offered you a rigorous education, and you have worked diligently to graduate well. In college essays and interviews, make sure you articulate your hard work and highlight your many accomplishments. Explain what makes you unique and share your gifts. Articulate your interests and curiosities. Brag on yourself. Show the admissions officers your strengths, talents, goals, passions, and plans. Considering the multitude of applications that admissions officers read every day, you must strive to make your application stand out. Why should they accept you?
Schoolwork: Do not get “Senioritis.” Even though this is your last year, your grades are just as important as every other year. Colleges request a mid-year transcript with fall semester grades as well as a final transcript. Admissions officers review these transcripts to ensure that you have continued to meet their academic standards. Also, if you are deferred, your grades will be an important factor in the decision process.
Skills: practice strong interpersonal skills. This is the time that you must ask teachers for recommendation letters. You will also start interacting with college admissions personnel and have a few interviews.Planning: create your own checklist to keep up with deadlines. Mrs. Hanley will help you with this as you move through the application process. Each school will ask you for different materials at different times, so it is imperative that you keep a detailed list of deadlines.
Junior year of high school is a crucial year for beginning the college search and preparing your application materials. See the Junior Year Timeline and Checklist Sheet to make sure you meet all deadlines.
Junior Year Focus:
Visit as many colleges as you can
Visit small colleges, large universities, public, private, Christian, local, and far away if possible. This will give you a better understanding of the different types of schools and the multitude of options available to you. Go on visits on holidays, or even squeeze in a visit while on a family vacation. Take a school tour. Ask plenty of questions. Sit in on a class. Talk with people who aren’t involved in admissions. Make a list of all your impressions. This information will be extremely beneficial to you when it’s decision time. Start looking at colleges now so when you are a Senior with a long to-do list, you already have a good idea of what you are considering.
Schoolwork: keep your grades up. This becomes extremely important in your junior year because colleges want to see that you can do well in high-level courses. Also, your grades during this year will often be used when considering scholarship money.
Skills: develop strong reading and writing skills. These will be crucial in the application and testing process. Continue building strong relationships with teachers by asking questions, going to back work, and taking time to get to know them In addition to your college counselor Mrs. Hanley, your teachers will be your advocates and your cheerleaders as you apply to schools.
Planning: begin preparing for standardized testing, SAT or ACT. Most students will take the test during the Spring semester of Junior year. Register for these tests online - SAT www.CollegeBoard.com and ACT www.ACT.org. Visit the website for practice materials and test day tips. You can also visit www.GAcollege411.org for more test prep courses.
Sophomore year of high school is an important time to continue laying the strong foundation for a solid application. This means taking appropriately challenging classes, making good grades, and staying involved in and outside the classroom. See the Sophomore Year Checklist for more helpful tips.
Sophomore Year Focus:
Develop a theme in your extracurriculars
Rather than joining in a multitude of activities, focus on a few areas that you truly enjoy or excel in. Colleges do want to see that you’re active outside the classroom. However, a shallow spread across too many areas is not nearly as appealing to colleges as a focused, developed interest or ability. Find out what you love and look for different ways to serve in that area or to build that skill. If there’s nothing available, organize something yourself. This initiative will be highly impressive to admissions officers.
Schoolwork: continue to work diligently in class, so you can maintain a strong GPA. Continue to appropriately challenge yourself with courseload. Ask your teachers for help when needed.
Skills: utilize good time management and organizational skills. This will be increasingly paramount as you begin developing your resume, visiting colleges, and meeting deadlines within the next year. If you need help with these skills, remember Mrs. Hanley is here to help you. She will schedule a time to meet with you and will provide you with organizational tools.
Planning: use websites such as www.GAcollege411.com and www.Naviance.com to begin browsing colleges and majors that interest you. It’s never too early to begin considering your career goals and college options.
Freshman year of high school is a wise time to begin preparing for the college application process, and the best way to do this is to think seriously about your course load and your grades. See the Freshman Year Checklist for more tips.
Freshman Year Focus:
Maintain a strong GPA
As a freshman, all of your grades from this point forward will count toward your GPA which is one of the main statistics that colleges consider you for acceptance. They will also look at the courses that you’ve decided to take over the years. Remember to take a challenging but appropriate course load. If available and appropriate, sign up for honors or AP courses.
Schoolwork: work diligently in class now. Colleges will look at your grade point average, or GPA, for your entire four years in high school, so the grades you’re earning now really do matter.
Skills: begin developing good study skills now. Do not procrastinate. Ask teachers for help when needed. Keep up with deadlines. Put your cellphone away when you are completing assignments or studying. It is much better to develop these study skills now than to wait until you’re in a totally new environment with college assignments and a less structured schedule. If you need help with these skills, remember Mrs. Hanley is here to help! Send her an email or stop by her office to schedule a time to meet.
Planning: login to Naviance.com and begin recording information about yourself. Complete the “Career Interest Profile” and begin thinking about your options. These steps will help you later when you are creating your resume, selecting colleges, and looking at schools’ programs.
All Sophomores and Juniors will take the PSAT at school on October 16. Juniors and Seniors will take the SAT or ACT - spring semester of Junior year and fall semester of Senior year. Register for these tests online - SAT www.CollegeBoard.com and ACT www.ACT.org. Visit the website for practice materials and test day tips. You can also visit www.GAcollege411.org for more test prep courses. Test Dates
Please check the calendar below for upcoming College Counseling related events. Questions? Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.