College Advising

At The New School, we empower students by providing an education and school culture that gives them space to express their ideas, hone their academic skills, and grow into the people they wish to be. Our college preparatory program offers support to each student in finding best-fit schools that allow them to continue this journey even after they leave our community.

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 the administration meet with both students and parents, and work on developing the whole student in a way that will allow them to pursue their goals.

College admissions are increasingly competitive, but they don’t have to be increasingly stressful. Consistent with our mission, we expect students—with our support and that of their parents—to take ownership of the college application process, and this starts as early as freshman year. From the beginning of your student’s high school career, we help guide and support them in becoming who they want to be while keeping in mind where they want to go. Starting the process early ensures that students are prepared and ready to hit the ground running with confidence when it’s time to apply.

Our college advising program is supported by a dedicated College Advising site detailing what might be important to consider at each stage, along with a robust in-school curriculum that prepares students for every aspect of the process.

Year by Year

9th and 10th Grades

Freshmen and sophomores can expect to focus on self-reflection, as knowing their values and strengths, as well as growth areas, is essential for a successful college search. Seminars scheduled during Essential Time throughout the year, along with dedicated advisory discussions, will aid students in this process. These seminars will cover preparation for standardized testing and both academic and extracurricular planning.

11th Grade

Students should expect to take the PSAT in the fall of both 10th and 11th grade–the test is administered in-school. Many students begin their college visits in the spring of their junior year. With this in mind, we provide junior seminars during Essential Time on the college admissions process with a special focus on scheduling and making the most of their visits, in addition to generating a list of potential best-fit schools and preparing for standardized tests. Rising seniors are also offered the opportunity to enroll in our Summer Senior Prep Class, where they spend dedicated time crafting their essays and completing their applications.

12th Grade

By senior year, students should already have an idea of what their next step looks like. Senior seminars, supported by dedicated advisory sessions, cover topics such as the application process, writing the college essay, and financial aid awareness. Additionally, we facilitate the process of obtaining transcripts and letters of recommendation. We ask students 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 administration and college advising team maintain 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.

The college advising process at The New School is designed to be an extension of the education occurring in the classroom, on the fields, in the art studio, on stage in our theatre, and anywhere else they have a chance to learn and grow as individuals. Our students are happy and comfortable with themselves, and graduate centered and confident, ready for whatever comes next.