We believe that it is essential to give each student plenty of time during her freshman and sophomore years to develop her interests, take intellectual risks and change her mind. Every course offered by Spence is appropriate for students planning to attend a rigorous and highly selective college. Indeed, we require all students to take a well-rounded curriculum that pursues subjects in depth.
Although the formal college counseling process begins in junior year, students are welcome to drop in to speak with a college counselor if they have a question. Parents are equally welcome to call at any time with questions.
Our formal college counseling program begins with Junior College Night in January of the junior year. At this time, each junior meets individually with each college counselor several times in addition to one or two meetings together with her parent(s) and both counselors in preparation for visiting colleges over March break. Juniors make regular appointments as well as drop in to talk with a college counselor at any time, especially when they return from visiting colleges in the spring.
January also marks the beginning of the weekly Junior College Seminar, in which each junior starts to identify her own interests and talents as well as begin her search for colleges that are a good fit. Topics covered in Junior Seminar include: self-assessment, types of colleges and curricula, majors and schools of study, interviews and campus tours, financial aid and scholarships, and writing a resume.
While the goal of the junior year college counseling program is to gather information and expand a student’s awareness of her college options, the goal of the senior year program is to narrow her choices to a list of approximately eight colleges and to write effective applications.
The weekly Senior Seminar walks seniors through every aspect of the college application process. Topics include: writing essays, filling out applications, interviewing, scholarships and financial aid, and meeting with college representatives visiting Spence’s campus. The college counselors work closely with every senior on the essay, often reading many drafts. Each senior continues to have unlimited individual meetings with either college counselor all year long, as well as at least one meeting together with her parent(s) early in the fall. In the winter and spring, Senior Seminar focuses on making the transition to college. Discussions include: health issues, changing relationships with friends and family, managing money and philanthropy.
October Meet with the more than50 college admissions representatives who visit Spence. Financial Aid Workshop Opportunity to retake an SAT I, SAT Subject Tests or ACT. Last chance to take SAT I or ACT for an Early Decision application.
November Early Decision applications due November 1 (or sometimes 15). Opportunity to retake an SAT I, SAT Subject Tests or ACT. College tours and on-campus interviews end by Thanksgiving.
December Early Decision admissions decisions arrive by December 15. Opportunity to retake an SAT I, SAT Subject Tests or ACT.
January Regular admission applications due.
February Financial Aid applications due (FAFSA, CSS profile).
April Regular admission decisions arrive.
May Financial deposit is due May 1 to the college you will attend.