Navigating College Admissions

   

Navigating College Admissions

Creating A Roadmap for Your Next Journey.

College planning begins in earnest when Dunham students move into Middle and Upper School. The grade level guidelines below will provide you with information about the steps to complete as you move closer to your senior year and final college decisions.

Remember that the College Placement Office is here to assist and guide you through the planning and application process. We encourage you to explore and consider of variety of colleges and hope you'll take advantage of the opportunity to meet with the college representatives who visit Dunham each year. Our goal is to help you identify and gain acceptance to the school that is the perfect fit for you

Questions?

Email Dr. Johnson or stop by the College Placement Suite for a visit.

   

Navigating College Admissions by Grade

Prior to the start of your 7th grade year, students and their parents should attend an academic planning meeting with the Head of Middle School and the Director of College Placement. Parents will be notified to schedule this meeting the summer between 6th and 7th grades. 

  • Begin your high school transcript
  • Take the EXPLORE test in the spring
  • Activate your Naviance Family Connection account
  • Browse through college literature or surf the Web to get an idea of what kinds of schools and programs interest you
  • Attend meetings with visiting college representatives
  • Create a list of colleges that you would like to consider
  • Review your list with the Director of College Placement
  • Monitor your grades and GPA
  • Take the PLAN test in the spring
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities
  • Serve with purpose; community service will be an asset on your college applications, but it is important to serve where you have an interest, not just to complete hours
  • Begin a portfolio or resume to keep track of activities, awards, and accomplishments during your high school career
  • Continue to browse through college literature or surf the Web to get an idea of what kinds of schools and programs interest you
  • Attend meetings with visiting college representatives
  • Review and edit the list of colleges you’re considering on Naviance
  • Monitor your grades and GPA
  • Serve with purpose
  • Take the ACT in the spring
  • Update your portfolio or resume with new information
  • Submit a summary of your high school activities and interests to the Director of College Placement
  • Check SAT II Subject Tests for June; it’s best to take these tests right after you finish the course


  • Continue to browse through college literature or surf the Web to get an idea of what kinds of schools and programs interest you
  • Attend meetings with visiting college representatives
  • Compare your ACT score with the median scores at the colleges on your list and create a strategy to achieve your target ACT score
  • Register to take the ACT in the fall and again in the spring if necessary; although your are only required to sit for this test once, it’s advisable to use every available test date to help you reach the score you need not only for college admissions, but also to be considered for academic scholarships
  • Sit for the PSAT in the fall as practice for the SAT and to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program
  • Monitor your grades and GPA
  • Serve with purpose
  • Update your portfolio or resume with new information
  • Meet with the Director of College Placement to update your activities and interests
  • Visit college campuses
  • Review and update the your list of colleges on Naviance
  • Request application materials from all schools on your list
  • Depending on your current class schedule, check SAT II Subject Tests for June


  • Schedule a senior conference with the Director of College Placement to review your application list, transcript, and resume
  • Stay focused on your grades
  • Attend meetings with visiting college representatives
  • Compile a final college application list
  • Update your portfolio or resume with final information
  • Review the admissions criteria for the schools on your list to determine if you should sit for the SAT; if so, register for the test (don’t forget about SAT II Subject Tests)
  • Register to retake the ACT if necessary
  • Check your transcript and resume thoroughly
  • Make sure you understand and have all forms required for admissions and financial aid
  • Know your deadlines and stay on top of them
  • Make copies of everything
  • Apply to at least three schools before Oct. 31; transcript and recommendation requests must be made through Naviance Family Connection
  • Report admissions outcomes on Naviance Family Connection and keep the college placement director informed about any information you receive from colleges regarding your status
  • Complete financial aid documents and apply for scholarships
  • Report all scholarship offers to the Director of College Placement, even if you do not accept the offer
  • Make your college decision
  • Post your “attending college” choice on Naviance Family Connection

     

Applying for Financial Aid & Scholarships

 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the federal form that everyone needs to submit. All lenders of federal and state moneys – federal Title IV student aid, Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, college Work-Study, and Perkins Loans – require you to complete the FAFSA. You should plan to submit this form in the late fall of your senior year using the prior year's tax returns. To request or submit the FAFSA, visit fafsa.ed.gov.  For additional information on financial aid and scholarships, visit osfa.state.la.us.

The PROFILE is the form that several hundred schools and scholarship programs require from the College Scholarship Service (CSS). For more information, visit collegeboard.com

The Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS) is a comprehensive program of state scholarships offered to Louisiana high school graduates to attend Louisiana colleges and universities. The awards are based on high school performance and standardized test scores, and can cover tuition and certain fees. For more specific information on awards and requirements, visit osfa.state.la.us. To apply for TOPS, complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov or the TOPS online application at osfa.la.gov. The FAFSA must be completed if you qualify for federal aid and if you are seeking other forms of financial aid. The TOPS online application may only be completed if you can certify that you do not qualify for federal grant aid. You must apply no later than July 1 of your graduating year in order to receive your award for the upcoming fall semester.

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"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you." 

Jeremiah 29:11-12

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