C & S C Updates

Class of 2018

Congratulations to our graduates and we wish you all the best on this next chapter of your adventure!

Class of 2019 Summer College Planning Reminders

As summer begins, here are some tips and reminders about the college search and admissions process. The focus for this summer before your senior year should be to gather information about colleges and universities as well as get ahead on elements of the admissions process before your busy fall. Avoid stress by taking care of a few things over the summer to help you get started on a productive and successful senior year.

  • If you have not already done so in Advisory, SAT/ACT, or with Ms. Burns in the School Counseling Office, be sure to register for Naviance:

  • Keep your account updated with a working email address and up-to-date personal information.

  • As you continue to research colleges over the summer, use the “Colleges I’m Thinking About” to list any schools you are considering applying to. You should aim to have at least 15 schools on this list, and a range of likely, target, and reach schools.

College Search
  • In addition to Naviance, the College Board’s Big Future website is a great resource to help you in your research.

  • Pay attention to any mail or email (even though we know you get a ton) from colleges and universities. If something interests you about a particular school, visit their website and learn more!

  • Set aside time for College Visits. Summer is a great time to get out there and see a lot of schools.

College Visits
  • Living in the Boston-area, we are surrounded by many wonderful and unique types of schools. Visiting different types of schools can give you a better idea of what colleges or universities will be right for you. Even if you’re interested in schools farther away, visiting local campuses can still be helpful.

    • For example seeing a large university like Boston University or UMass Boston will give you some idea of what it’s like at a large university elsewhere; seeing a small college like Stonehill or Babson can help you decide if a smaller school feels right.

  • Most schools will offer information sessions and campus tours over the summer. Some schools will require registration in advance so it is a good idea to consult each school’s website in advance to view schedules as well as registration policies.

  • As you visit schools, pay attention to and ask questions about:

    • Academic Programs (Can you switch your major? When do you have to declare your major by?)

    • Extracurriculars (is it easy to join a club? What are the most popular clubs? Do students actually go to sporting events? )

    • Average class size (How big are required course class sizes vs classes for your major, average class size numbers can be deceiving)

    • Residential Life (How does it work? What is housing like? Is housing guaranteed all four years? How updated and modern are the dorms?)

    • Dining Halls and eating on campus (Is a meal plan required? What is the best place to eat on campus? Is it an all you can eat or a la carte system?)

    • Size of student body? (Undergraduate to graduate student ratio? Is focus on undergraduate education?)

    • Campus setting and transportation (Can you get home easily? How close is the campus to major airports, or other transportation like trains and buses?)

    • Application requirements & policies (Do they use score choice? How many recommendation letters are required? If test-optional, how should you make the decision on whether or not to send your scores?)

    • Financial Aid and Tuition Costs (What is the sticker price? What percentage of students receive some type of financial aid? What is the average loan debt that students graduate with?)

    • Retention Rate (How many students return for their sophomore year? The higher the retention rate the better! Good retention rates are in the 80% and above.)

Letters of Recommendation
  • Think about two teachers who know you well and who might be willing to write letters of recommendation for you.

  • These letters should be from teachers with whom you have taken at least one class.

  • If you have not already done so, you might consider getting in touch with these teachers and requesting a letter. A face-to-face conversation is always best, but a polite note over the summer (with an in person follow-up in the fall) is okay.

  • If a teacher agrees to write a letter on your behalf, let them know your application deadlines,  and very importantly when the earliest deadline is.

  • Over the summer or early in the school year you should plan to provide your recommenders with a brag sheet or resume (a document with listing your involvement with jobs, clubs, community service, and sports, and any achievements or distinctions, academic, club, and athletics).

  • Most importantly, don’t wait until the last minute to request a letter; be sure to give your teachers plenty of time to write a good letter, so they can do you justice in their letter.

Applications: Common Application
  • If you have not already done so, be sure to register for a Common Application Account (www.commonapp.org). If you are curious and want to begin filling out components of the application now, you can. There is an option after August 1 to “roll-over” any application information previously filled out. This is a great option to get a jump start on filling out information about yourself, your family, and your activities.

  • You can also begin to add colleges to your list. This will allow you to see any additional application materials required by the college (such as supplemental essays).

  • Most importantly, continue working on your personal statement/essay. We encourage Seniors to have their college essay as close to finalized by September as possible. Additionally, you should spend some time this summer thinking about the essay topics on the Common App and the essays you completed for English class. Review the Common App prompts and be sure to check out whether other colleges to which you are applying have specific supplemental essays or questions. Be creative! Be honest! Be unique!

  • If you have questions about the college search or application process, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with Ms. Ansell (louisa.ansell@saintjosephprep.org) or Ms. Kelley (katie.kelley@saintjosephprep.org) over the summer. While we won’t be checking our email everyday, we will do our best to get back to you in a timely manner.

Fly-in and Visit Programs

Many colleges and universities offer programs for rising seniors to travel to campus and learn more about the school, academic programs, campus life, and the admissions process. These programs are often targeted especially at students from diverse and traditionally underrepresented backgrounds, including first generation to college, low socioeconomic status, women interested in STEAM, and underrepresented minorities. These are a great opportunity to gain exposure to a college and some of these programs will even pay for your travel to attend! Please find below some of these programs as well as a more complete listing here and here

SAT/ACT Registration Deadlines

Make sure you are planning ahead and signing up for SAT/ACT dates by the deadline to avoid late registration fees! Reminder: all rising seniors should take at least one SAT and one ACT, and then plan to take at least one more of the test in which they did the best. Concordance tables can be found here to determine how ACT and SAT scores compare (Note: You are taking the New SAT).

SAT Test Registration Deadline
Aug. 25, 2018 July 27, 2018
Oct. 6, 2018 Sept. 7, 2018
Nov. 3, 2018 Oct. 5, 2018
Dec. 1, 2018 Nov. 2, 2018
March 9, 2019 Feb. 8, 2019
May 4, 2019 April 5, 2019
June 1, 2019 May 3, 2019


ACT Test Registration Deadline
July 14, 2018 June 15, 2018
Sept. 8, 2018 Aug. 10, 2018
Oct. 27, 2018 Sept. 22, 2018
Dec. 9, 2018 Nov. 2, 2018
Feb. 9, 2019 Jan.11, 2019
April 13, 2019 March 8, 2019
June 8, 2019 May 3, 2019
July 13, 2019 June 14, 2019


Relax! Most importantly, take time to decompress, rest and rejuvenate! Enjoy your time off and come back to school in September ready to tackle senior year!

Class of 2020 & 2021 Updates

Make the most of your summer! Summer is a great opportunity to explore your interests, whether through a summer job, internship, academic program, college enrichment experience, travel, or research experience. Don’t underestimate the importance of making to most of your summer. Colleges will ask about how you spend your summers, and the most important thing is to do something of value, some type of experience that gives you a new perspective, sparks an interest, enriches your understanding of yourself and the world around you.

  • Programs can range from sports camps to travel abroad, and an additional summer class to a local research project.

  • Some opportunities are listed below in the Summer Opportunities section. Many more options can be found on Naviance! Please see your counselor for more support.

  • Visit colleges. It is never too early to start attending college information sessions and campus tours. It can be a great opportunity to learn more about what colleges are looking for and get you thinking about how to approach your academics and extracurricular life.

Summer Opportunities and Programs

Be sure to login to Naviance and check out Enrichment Opportunities under the college tab, College Research and pay attention to announcements for new opportunities and programs every day.

Sample of summer opportunities located on Naviance and in the College & Guidance Office:

  • Catholic University in Washington D.C. has a number of summer programs including Engineering New Frontiers, Drama Institute, Experiences in Architecture, Light the World Institute, Applied Math in Action, and Summer Business Institute.

  • Dare to explore your passion at Champlain College's pre-college summer programs! Experiences include Digital Forensics & Cybersecurity Academy, Champlain Game Academy, Mobile App Development Academy, Young Writers' Conference, Art & Design Portfolio-Building Studio, and Entrepreneurship for Good.

  • How would it feel to take a course on the language of film while attending a local film festival? What about conducting college-level research on robotics with pioneering faculty and graduate students? Make the leap with NYU High School Programs.

  • Explore Frontiers - WPI’s pre-college experience. Hands-on learning and research exploring unsolved problems in labs. And embracing the richness of the humanities studying art, theatre, history, or the environment in Humanities & Art workshop.

  • Immerse yourself in chemistry and biology in a real research setting, while learning about “green” renewable resources. Apply to Boston College’s P2P: Paper to Plastics Program, a free two week sustainability program that helps students discover potential careers in science and technology. Best part? It’s FREE!

  • Take a break from school, but never stop learning. Real life skills, for the real world. Looking for an adventure? Explore a new country through Winterline Global Education Short Programs!

  • Calling all US History buffs! The National History Academy offers a five week summer program blending innovation classroom learning with first-hand experiences at America’s premier historic landmarks in Virgina, Maryland, West Virgina, and Pennsylavnia. Open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

  • Fairfield University Summer Scholars Program - Fairfield University Summer Scholars Program is a great way for talented high school students to obtain a dynamic college experience during the summer. Students can select from a wide array of courses in the sciences, arts, humanities, or the social sciences. This two-week program will run from July 9 to July 22.

  • Looking to join a high achieving and unforgettable summer school experience? Apply for the Global Summer School at Imperial College London in London.

  • Express yourself, immerse yourself. Create, explore, experience. Study visual arts in Boston at Suffolk University Pre-College Art Program this summer!

  • Explore architecture at The School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation during a four week Summer Academy in Architecture at Roger Williams in Rhode Island!

  • Don't know what to do this summer? Spark your curiosity and explore a variety of different courses at Ithaca College! Experience subjects in Design thinking, digital photography, education,screenwriting, sports media and marketing, psychology, television studio production, and much, much more!

  • Live like a college student. Learn like an entrepreneur. Babson College Summer Study is a residential program for rising high school juniors and seniors that lets you earn college credit as your gain real-world business insights.

  • Experience fashion through the eyes of a college student at FIDM’s Immersive Summer Program. For 3 non-stop days you will learn from FIDM instructors, collaborate on create projects, meet industry professionals, express your style, be inspired by successful FIDM Grads, and so much more!

Log into Naviance or go to the College & Guidance Office for additional summer opportunities!