Upper School

College Counseling

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Our Philosophy

College counseling at The New School is about finding the right fit for each student. There are over 3,000 colleges and universities in the United States, not to mention great options around the world. Finding the right college is not just about US News & World Report rankings or prestigious names. Instead, it is about finding a place where the student will be successful in the classroom, engaged outside of it, and happy/fulfilled as a person.

The college search and application process is a journey of self-discovery and reflection, not one of packaging and competition. As a student grows to better understand what he or she is looking for, the appropriate fit becomes more clear. The college search and application process at The New School is also student-centered and student-led. The student is the one applying to college, and while the college counselor, teachers, and parents are all resources to support the student, the student is in charge and the driving force.

College Counseling Timeline

List of 4 items.

  • Freshman

    The college counseling process at The New School is multifaceted. Beginning as early as students’ freshman year, they have the opportunity to visit with college representatives who visit the school, and they will complete some career interest inventories to help discover areas of interest. 

    • Gain exposure to college life through a visit to a local university
    • Prepare for standardized testing and the ACT through the  Pre-ACT
    • Lead a student-led conference and begin conversations about their passions— academic and non-academic
    • Explore careers that are of interest to the students
  • Sophomore

    As sophomores, students receive more direct programming through advisory and class meetings. These meetings introduce the college search and make sure students have access to Naviance, our college counseling software, and Method, our test prep software. Additionally, sophomore families are encouraged to attend the College Application Case Study night, which is targeted to sophomores and juniors and their parents, where they get to act as the admission committee and make admission decisions from a pool of applicants. Sophomore year ends with a trip to visit a variety of different schools in the region in order to expose them to some of the many types of schools. 

    • Visit regional universities with their class to contrast different types of colleges and university preferences
    • Prepare for standardized testing and the SAT through the PSAT, which will serve as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test
    • Comprise a list of universities and colleges in which they are interested
  • Junior

    As juniors, the college search kicks into gear, as we have targeted programming for juniors and parents in the evenings and one-on-one meetings with the college counselor in the spring. Our ultimate goal for these students is to have a complete college application list by the end of the junior year. 

    • Visit universities outside of the region either with the school or with their families
    • Take the PSAT, as a practice for the SAT and as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test
    • Prepare for college applications through the drafting of a college application essay
    • Make a defined list of universities and colleges to apply for
    • Take the ACT and/or SAT
    • Request and receive letters of recommendations from teachers
  • Senior

    Over the summer before senior year, the college counselor is available for one-on-one meetings, essay revision, and application review, as many college applications open over the summer. The fall will be filled with final essay drafts, submission of applications, and submitting letters of recommendation for all students. The last piece of the process is when offers of admission, scholarships, and financial aid come in, where the college counselor is available to assist in comparing scholarship and financial aid packages to help make the best decision possible.

    • Complete all applications and essays
    • Complete scholarship applications
    • Complete financial aid materials
    • If applicable, re-take the ACT or SAT
    • Make any necessary final visits to schools
    • After making their final decision, students will apply and pay the deposit
    • Select housing at their chosen college
    • Enroll in classes at their chosen college

List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Jamie Ebersole

    Jamie Ebersole 

    Head of Upper School
  • Photo of Natalie Luer

    Natalie Luer 

    Upper School Teacher and Student Life Coordinator
Northwest Arkansas' Premier Independent Day School
Empowering students age one through grade 12