Time after time, we hear from college admissions staff about how impressed they are by The Atonement Academy Upper Scholars. Our students are considered to be well-prepared, mature, enthusiastic, and fearless young men and women. More than 25 colleges and universities admissions officers visit The Atonement Academy each year and the college admissions staff want our students to “apply early in the pool” because of the quality of our students.
In this highly competitive and rapidly changing landscape of college admissions, it is more important than ever that college counseling begin in ninth grade and continue through senior year. Our Upper School faculty and College Counselor provides coaching, guidance and mentoring to each student throughout his or her time at The Atonement Academy. We are dedicated to working with each student and his or her family to ensure that each student applies to, and ultimately chooses, a college that challenges academically, while complementing the individual talents, interests and aspirations of the student. Our college counselor meets weekly with the students, beginning the spring semester of the junior year, and continuing through the fall semester of the senior year. Each student receives individualized attention and support, maintaining the Atonement community and family even as the student begins to spread his or her wings to fly away.
The Atonement Academy graduates have been accepted in over 70 colleges in 25 states and four countries. Atonement graduates attend some of the most prestigious institutions around the world.
In grades nine and ten, Upper Scholars focus on academic progress. In addition, students are encouraged to explore opportunities to be engaged in The Atonement Academy community outside the classroom. The College Counselor introduces parents to the college admissions process by hosting grade-specific, informative gatherings on college admissions. The College Counselor will notify students regarding important dates and information via Edline emails.
In the first two years, an Atonement Academy student will:
- Enroll in a solid academic program that challenges him or her to pursue academic excellence, and explore new subject areas whenever possible
- Read! There is nothing more important than finding time to read beyond the classroom. Reading is essential to preparing for college and readying oneself for standardized testing.
- Research and participate in a meaningful way in service opportunities.
- Get involved in extracurricular opportunities in music, the arts, athletics and more.
- Consider and take on leadership roles within the classroom and beyond.
- Form friendships and establish relationships with teachers and administrators.
- Gain confidence interacting with adults in group settings, as well as one-on-one.
- Take the PSAT/NMSQT test in both the freshman and the sophomore year,
- Use summer to pursue interests in service work, attend specialty courses, participate in sports camps or seek employment. Demonstrating commitment, responsibility and passion is imperative to the college application process.
- Maintain a positive social media presence.
- In October, all juniors take the PSAT/MNSQT exam.
- In January, the college guidance course begins. In this weekly class, the college counselor provides information and guidance on all aspects of the process, including:
- Understanding terminology
- Creating a college prospect list
- Writing a college essay
- Preparing a Curriculum Vitae (a resume)
- Keys to successful college visits and interviews
- Completion of the college application
- Beginning in January, the College Counselor meets individually with every junior. Following the student-centered meetings, the counselor can meet with parents and students together to discuss college plans and priorities.
- The College Counseling office hosts a Junior Parent College Night information session. Students and parents are expected to attend, as key information about the process is provided.
- By the end of junior year, each student will complete the following:
- Research a variety of colleges and develop a balanced list of colleges for application
- Take the SAT or the ACT
- Brainstorm topics and begin writing the college essay(s)
- In September, the College Counseling office will host a Junior-Senior Parent College Night. Seniors and their parents attend this informative session that provides guidance and recommendations for facilitating for the final stages of the college application process.
- In the fall…
- Seniors meet with the College Counselor to devise a final list of colleges and action plan for the application process.
- Seniors share and discuss drafts of their college essays with College Counselor.
- The College Counseling office hosts a financial aid workshop to assist families who expect to apply for financial aid.
- Seniors continue to attend weekly college guidance classes through the end of the fall semester.
- College Counseling continues to work with each senior to ensure that each student completes each application well and on time, reviewing essay(s) and answering application questions along the way.
- From January to May, College Counseling continues to support the seniors as they receive decisions from each college.
- All seniors decide on their college choice by May 1 – the national decision day.