A Culture of Higher Education
At The New School, students understand as early as 6th grade that we are preparing them for college. In our daily morning meetings, students at every grade level hear about upcoming college admissions visits and take part in applauding college acceptances as they come in. By 8th grade, most students are taking high school math and foreign language classes, putting them on track to take the advanced courses colleges look for. From freshman year on, advisors and members of the college counseling team discuss college with advisory groups and parents, and we encourage juniors and their parents to meet with us to develop an initial list of colleges. The summer after junior year we offer a class designed specifically for rising seniors, in which they craft their college essays.
Guidance and Support
Consistent with our mission, we expect seniors—with our support and that of their parents—to take ownership of the college application process. Seniors that show up in September with their essays written, knowing which colleges they plan to apply to are already a huge step ahead, but wherever they are in the process, we provide guidance and support throughout.
One of the ways we support seniors is by facilitating the process of obtaining transcripts and letters of recommendation. We ask them to complete a form giving us the “where, when and what” to send to colleges, and to turn in a “brag sheet” to help recommenders write thoughtful, descriptive letters. Our coordinator gathers all documentation, stays on top of deadlines, ensures transcripts are complete and accurate, and proofreads every recommendation letter before it goes out.
The counseling staff maintains an open door policy during college season, and they (along with teachers) are available and willing to read college essays and answer questions about applications. Parents and guardians are also welcome to call or come in at any time for advice or help.