Because we believe that the best college is the one that is the best fit for each student, our college placement program is individualized to help students identify their strengths, interests, and career aspirations. Seventh grade academic planning meetings chart a course for the next six years, with an eye towards college admissions. College counseling continues in Upper School through one-on-one meetings, information sessions with college reps, SAT and ACT test prep and advice, and assistance with applications, interviews, and scholarships.
One hundred percent of Dunham seniors gain acceptance to college, with many earning substantial merit scholarship offers. From Cornell, Duke, and LSU Honors College to The University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, or St. Andrew’s University in Scotland, Dunham graduates continue their educational journeys at some of the best schools across the country and abroad.
College placement 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.
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.
Please review the following information about the ACT, SAT, and PSAT. If you have any questions, email Dr. Johnson or visit the college counseling suite. A note about testing accommodations: students with recent education evaluations (within three years) who utilize accommodations on a daily basis may be eligible for testing accommodations (extended time, etc.) on the ACT and SAT tests. In addition to regular registration, a specific testing accommodations request form must also be submitted. This request must come from a parent, rather than the school.
The ACT is a standardized test used by colleges and universities as part of the evaluation process for admissions. The test is given six times a year, and is an achievement based test – focusing on what you have learned in certain subject areas. It is divided into five sections, English, Math, Reading, Science Reasoning, and an optional Writing section. Each section is scored on a 1-36 point scale. A composite score is calculated using the average of all the sections. The Writing section is optional (some universities will require it) and is scored on a 2-12 point scale. The test lasts three hours and 25 minutes.
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a standardized test administered by the College Board and co-sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) in the United States. Approximately 3.5 million students across the country take the PSAT/NMSQT in the fall of their junior year. Scores on this test can serve as a predictor of how you may do on the SAT and help you better prepare for that test. NMSC uses PSAT scores to identify National Merit Scholars and award merit scholarships. Click the link below to learn more about the PSAT or take a practice test.
The SAT is a standardized test used by colleges and universities as part of the evaluation process for admissions. The test is given seven times a year, and stresses logic reasoning skills. It is divided into three sections, Critical Reading, Mathematics, and a Writing section. Each section is scored on a 200-800 point scale. The test lasts three hours and 45 minutes.
SAT II Subject Tests are one – hour examinations that measure a student’s knowledge of specific subject areas (e.g., U. S. History, Biology, Spanish, etc.). Some universities require one or more of theses tests as part of the admissions process.
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 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.
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.
"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."