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April Newsletter: Seniors

Thursday, April 6, 2017

College Decisions – Much great news!

Congratulations on all the great news! Our students have been accepted to many wonderful colleges the world over. Each year at this time, I find myself amazed at the scope of where our students apply (and are admitted) as well as to the genuine desire to find the college that best “fits.” 

By now, seniors should have received college decisions from every college. While we reach out to the colleges to which our students apply, we only hear decisions from the students. Many students have kept their college counselor in the loop throughout. Now is a good time to share the results with your counselor and to begin devising a strategy on college selection! 

An Article for Parents

Here is a great piece by Valerie Strauss in The Washington Post directed towards parents of seniors. Although it was written two years ago, much of it supports the senior parent conversation the College Counseling office hosted in late February. We invite you to read it

Waitlisted? 

Each year students will receive waitlist offers. In recent years, colleges have increasingly turned to the waitlist as a way to mitigate risk. Colleges are going out conservatively with admits and rely on the waitlist to fill in the class, most likely after the May 1 deadline. While some colleges may move to their waitlist prior to May 1, most will wait to see how the class settles before doing so. 

If a student wishes to pursue a waitlist opportunity, please speak with your college counselor ASAP. It is important to be on the same page and to devise a strategy. We will likely advise constructing a letter or email to the college, reiterating interest and providing an update; it is imperative that the senior and counselor work together in this endeavor. 

Looking Forward: Depositing, Financial Aid, Admitted Student Days, etc.

Along with acceptance letters, comes the invitation to visit campus for admitted student days. Please note that while these programs are celebratory in nature and are often highly popular, admitted students can visit most any time during the month of April. Such programs often bring opportunities to meet with professors, attend a club fair, meet other admitted students and more. Some colleges even offer special programs for parents, too! These days provide an opportunity to learn much about the college. The downside of admitted student days is that the program is not a “usual” day at the college. Visiting on a regular day, students can see the college in action – get a sense of what the dining room is like during the noon rush, see how students interact with each other, their professors and the staff, and more. 

We suggest you speak with your college counselor to devise a college visit plan, if one is necessary. Classes go on as do the vast array of athletics, organizations, and involvements that make our students attractive applicants in the first place. Try to minimize absences. Spring is often very busy and extended absences can create unnecessary obstacles. 

You should only submit one enrollment deposit. Often this is a small percentage of the cost or a flat payment, often around $500. Please know this is how colleges track commitments. By taking up more than one spot, you are limiting the opportunity for other students! Some colleges will allow you to submit a fully refundable housing deposit. You can feel free to do so. Breck will only send one final transcript. 

Before depositing, families should know the entire cost of attendance as well as all financial aid. If you have questions or would like to discuss options and financial aid awards, please contact Nancy Dohr to schedule a time to speak with your college counselor. With the rise of tuition, we are finding these conversations increasingly important. 

Information for All Upper School

Here’s wishing you and your family had a healthy and restful spring break. A look at the school calendar shows mostly five-day weeks, which should afford some regularity and structure. However, in practice, this can be a rather busy time with many moving parts. The spring sports season, music department performances, end-of-year programs, Advanced Placement testing, May Program, and more create a swirl of activity. 

The many moving pieces reflect Breck’s distinctiveness. It is a wonderful place where students will develop the habits and perspectives to be successful in college and life beyond. It is a place that prepares our students for college success and happiness by providing an environment that fosters relationships amongst peers, encourages students to engage with faculty, and challenges and supports our students academically and co-curricularly. 

And though the college process is creeping earlier, it is important that Breck’s college counseling efforts remain thoughtful and purposeful.  You will hear the counselors encourage students to continue to challenge themselves AND maintain good balance in their lives. This looks different for each student. We may encourage more challenging courses or outside activities. We often challenge students to reach a bit more outside their comfort zone. Sometimes we may counsel to let up a bit on the intensity, especially if quality is waning. Likewise, we will encourage a student to delve more into an outside commitment in order to build relationships, experiences and memories beyond these walls. These are the habits and experiences that not only comprise the Breck experience but also provide the firm foundation for success in life beyond Breck. 

Breck's College Counseling Office

Jonathan Nicholson
Director of College Counseling
763-381-8248

Susan Graham
Associate Director of College Counseling
763-381-8246

Andrea O’Connell
Associate Director of College Counseling
763-381-8138

Nancy Dohr
College Counseling Office Assistant
763-381-8258