Applying to college is a process that engages every ND student and their families. This process begins in ninth grade when the students are encouraged to do their best in the special, college prep curriculum at Notre Dame. Sophomores continue to devote themselves to their studies, hone their interests in extra-curriculars, can take their first AP course ,and take the PSAT test for the second time.
As first semester Juniors, students are selected for AP classes and they take the PSAT which enters them in the National Merit Scholarship Program. They also take the Jackson Vocational Interest Inventory, which helps them find appropriate college majors and career options. Second semester, students prepare for the Sat I and II tests. They create personal resumes that highlight their scholarship, enrichment programs, volunteer and work experiences. Individual visits with the school counselors help the students select a college major and prepare a list of several colleges to which the student plans to apply. Several students begin to take college courses at Pace University through the Bridge Program.
First semester senior year is the time for students to start applying to colleges. Selective colleges visit Notre Dame to recruit our seniors and actually interview them at ND. Favorite college visitors from over 40 schools include representatives from: Columbia University , Carnegie Mellon, College of the Holy Cross, Fordham University, Lehigh University, Marist College, University of Scranton, University of Notre Dame and the University of Pennsylvania.
Essay writing is a strength of Notre Dame students that is well used as they write and edit personal essays throughout the semester. Resumes are polished and applications are mailed before Christmas break. Second semester, we await the mail, hoping for positive responses from their top colleges choices. We are are always impressed with our students' accomplishments as we post scholarship winners that match the seniors' hopes and dreams. Year after year 100% of our graduates are accepted into four year colleges and universities. Usually, over 85% win college academic scholarships.
All students receive a detailed College Process Handbook and there is a mandatory meeting for parents in April.
LEARNING ABOUT COLLEGES:
During Junior year, group counseling classes are focused on teaching students what to look for in a college. Students are able to use our two computer labs and they have time to take virtual tours on individal college websites. Special planning sessions with their counselors help them to become familiar with 10 to 20 colleges. Visits to the Counseling Center Group Room allow students to use hundrends of college viewbooks and college catalogues. By the end of junior year, students have selected colleges that fit into one of three categories: top, middle and safety. Over the summer, students hit the road and begin to visit their college choices and start the interview process.
STANDARDIZED EXAMINATIONS: The Major Types of College Admissions Tests:
PSAT/NMSQT:Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test
SAT: Scholastic Aptitude Test
SAT II:Scholastic Achievement Test (Subject Tests)
ACT: American College Testing Program
AP: Advanced Placement Tests