College Counseling

Welcome to the college counseling office! Catlin Gabel's college counseling program, with its emphasis on personalized guidance, helps each student explore the many college opportunities available.

Through schoolwide programming and individual counseling, Catlin Gabel's two college counselors help students identify those colleges that best suit their interests, abilities, and goals.

Counselors guide students through all aspects of the college admission process, from developing appropriate college lists to completing applications, writing essays, and applying for financial aid. We keep parents informed and involved in the college counseling process through written communication, class meetings, parent information sessions, and individual meetings.

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College Counseling Timeline

9th

Summer

College Counseling News for Ninth Graders - A late summer mailing including an introduction from the college counselors and information about upcoming events is e-mailed to each rising ninth grader and their family.

Fall

College Counselors greet ninth grade parents and students at Upper School 101.

Catlin Gabel College Fair - Catlin Gabel hosts 30 colleges for a college fair during the school day. This is a good opportunity for ninth graders to get a sense of the variety of colleges and hear from different kinds of schools.

Winter

Freshman Foundations Presentations - College Counselors meet with all ninth graders in a small group setting as part of the Freshman Foundations sequence.

Spring

College Financial Aid 101 - A financial aid director from a local college presents information about the college financial aid process for non-seniors and their families. All upper school parents and students are invited to attend.

10th

Summer

  • College Counseling News for Tenth Graders - A summer mailing including information about upcoming events is sent home to each rising tenth grader.

Fall

  • Catlin Gabel College Fair - Catlin Gabel hosts 30 colleges for a college fair during the school day. This is a good opportunity for tenth graders to get a sense of the variety of colleges and hear from different kinds of schools.
  • PSAT information meeting and PSAT Exam - All tenth graders at Catlin Gabel take the PSAT on a school day in October. This is purely for practice, and is a good opportunity to take a standardized test in real testing conditions. A few weeks prior to the PSAT exam, a test preparation expert speaks with students about what to expect on the exam. PSAT results come out in December.

Winter

  • Sophomore Health Class Visits - College Counselors meet with all tenth graders in a small group setting as part of the sophomore Health curriculum.
  • Tenth Grade Parent Evening - College counselors host an informational evening for tenth grade parents with informal Q&A about the college application process.

Spring

  • College Financial Aid 101 - A financial aid director from a local college presents information about the college financial aid process for non-seniors and their families. All upper school parents and students are invited to attend.

11th

Summer

  • College Counseling News for Eleventh Graders - A summer mailing including guidance on action that should be taken during junior year, information about standardized testing and upcoming events is sent home to each rising eleventh grader.

Fall

  • Junior Class College Counseling Retreat - The junior class spends a day together each fall on a college campus. They discuss the college search process, applications, standardized testing, visiting colleges, and more.
  • College Admissions Representative Visits - Over 180 college admission representatives visit Catlin Gabel each year. Each representative meets with interested juniors and seniors and is hosted by one of our college counselors.
  • Naviance access - Catlin Gabel uses Naviance, a college counseling website, as part of our college counseling program. Juniors and their parents receive initial access to college search features as well as information about college admission representative visits.
  • PSAT Information Meeting and PSAT Exam - All eleventh graders at Catlin Gabel take the PSAT on a school day in October. This is for practice as well as entrance to the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying competition, and is a good opportunity to take a standardized test in real testing conditions. A few weeks prior to the PSAT exam, a test preparation expert speaks with students about what to expect on the exam. PSAT results come out in December.
  • Catlin Gabel College Fair - Catlin Gabel hosts 30 colleges for a college fair during the school day. This is a good opportunity for eleventh graders to speak with representatives from different colleges.
  • Junior Parent Potluck - College counselors meet with parents of juniors and discuss how to support students in the process ahead.

Winter

  • Student and Parent Questionnaires - Juniors and their parents fill out separate, extensive questionnaires. These are valuable to college counselors as they counsel students and their families, suggest colleges, and work with each individual’s priorities.
  • Junior College Night - In January of junior year, Catlin Gabel hosts a panel of college admission deans and directors to set the tone for the next stage of the college search process. All juniors and their parents are expected to attend.
  • Standardized Testing - All juniors are advised to take at least one ACT or SAT exam before the end of the school year. College counselors will advise individuals on their testing plans. Many juniors also take SAT Subject Tests at the end of the junior year. Students may choose to prepare for Advanced Placement exams, which are administered at the school each May.
  • Individual Meetings and Family Meetings - Each student is assigned a college counselor, and meets with their counselor during winter of the junior year to build a list of recommended colleges for research, plan for standardized testing, and get to know each other. The individual meeting is followed by a meeting with each junior and their parents. Juniors meet regularly with college counselors as needed.

Spring

  • Junior PODS Meetings - Juniors meet with college counselors in small group classroom settings to move through the college search process. Topics include self-reflection, essay and resume writing, financial aid, communication skills, and finding the right college match.
  • College Counseling Update E-mails - College counselors send regular email communication with juniors and their parents about PODS topics and reminders for what should be happening at each stage of the process.
  • Case Studies Program and College Fair - Catlin Gabel and Oregon Episcopal School partner for an event in late April that brings 40 college admission representatives together with juniors and their parents for mock admission committees followed by a college fair.
  • College Financial Aid 101 - A financial aid director from a local college presents information about the college financial aid process for non-seniors and their families. All upper school parents and students are invited to attend.

12th

Summer

  • College Counseling News/Summer To-Do List for Twelfth Graders - A summer mailing including a checklist of summer assignments from the college counselors and an overview of the milestones ahead.
  • College Essay Course - Catlin Gabel's summer camp program offers an essay-writing workshop for rising seniors, taught by Catlin Gabel English faculty who work closely with the college counseling office.
  • Common Application Work Party - College Counselors lead this optional workshop in August for seniors who would like to work through a first draft of the Common Application.

Fall

  • Individual Meetings - Seniors meet regularly with college counselors as they complete the application process, revise essays, refine their college lists, make a testing plan, consider admission and wait list offers, and finally make plans for after graduation.
  • Senior College Counseling Days - Seniors have two weekdays without classes while underclassmen are away on class trips. College counselors are available for individual meetings, English faculty offer a mini essay workshop, and seniors may use the time to visit colleges.
  • Senior College Night - Seniors and their parents gather with college counselors to set the tone for the application process.
  • College Admissions Representative Visits - Over 180 college admission representatives visit Catlin Gabel each fall. Each representative meets with interested juniors and seniors and is hosted by one of our college counselors.
  • Senior PODS meetings - Seniors meet with college counselors as a group to move through the application process. Topics include interviews, details of application logistics and transcripts, finances, choosing a college and more.
  • College Counseling Update E-mails - College counselors send regular email communication with seniors and their parents regarding PODS topics and reminders about what should be happening at each stage of the process.
  • Standardized Testing - Seniors have the opportunity to take ACT or SAT exams during the fall of the senior year, prior to application deadlines.
  • Mini College Fair - Catlin Gabel hosts 30 colleges for a college fair during the school day.
  • Early application deadlines - Seniors who are applying via an early application plan work toward deadlines in October and November. Teachers, college counselors and the school registrar compile teacher recommendations, school report letters and high school transcripts for submission to colleges.
  • CSS Profile Workshop and Financial Aid Night - A financial aid director from a local college presents a workshop for senior families about filling out the FAFSA and CSS Profile forms, followed by an information night about the college financial aid process.

Winter

  • Senior Parent Potluck - Prompted by college counselors, parents anticipate the upcoming college decisions their students will make.
  • Regular application deadlines - Seniors who are applying via Regular application plans work toward deadlines in December, January and February. Teachers, college counselors and the school registrar compile teacher recommendations, a school report letter and high school transcripts for submission to colleges.

Spring

  • Seniors receive decisions from colleges by April 1. College counselors help students consider their offers, compare financial aid offers, and follow up on wait list offers. Enrollment deposits are due to colleges by May 1.
  • Transition to College Workshop for senior parents - This workshop looks at the summer before college and the leave taking in the Fall, focusing on the conversations parents will have with their graduates. It features a dean of students at a local college and a panel of parents of recent graduates.
  • Senior Seminar - just prior to graduation, seniors participate in scheduled sessions to anticipate their post-secondary plans and bid fond farewell to each other and to the school.
  • Graduation!