Prospect Hill Academy Charter School

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College Counseling at PHA

Overview

In keeping with Prospect Hill Academy’s mission to prepare each student for success in college, the college counseling office offers students the structure, information, and support to understand and successfully navigate the college selection, application, and financial aid process.

The first introduction to the college counseling program takes place at the Middle School, where students partake in an Advisory Unit to promote awareness of the college selection and application process. Middle School families are further offered a “sneak preview” of the college process during an informational family night, and 8th graders get a first look at college life with a scheduled college visit.

Once in the High School, starting in 10th grade, students begin taking the PSAT exams yearly, in order to familiarize themselves with the test style and format and to establish a projected SAT performance. Students who require additional academic support meet with their advisor to establish personal goals and implement study strategies to promote future success. Ninth grade parents/guardians are also encouraged to attend college-focused parent/guardian meetings that inform families about the college application process, financial aid, and how to help their child prepare for college. Parents/guardians are encouraged to meet with the college counselors and establish an ongoing line of communication.

In the junior year, students meet with their college counselor individually on a regular basis to discuss their personal college plans and research and identify colleges that best fit their needs.

Juniors and seniors also meet with a college counselor in small groups once a week for a college preparation seminar that focuses on key elements of the college process, including essay and resume writing, interviewing skills, financial aid, and goal setting. In addition, students visit college campuses and experience a variety of guest speakers from college admissions offices who share admissions and financial aid practices at their college campuses, as well as offer general suggestions on the college application process.

To prepare students for success on the SAT, Prospect Hill Academy enrolls all juniors in an intensive SAT Preparation course. Juniors take the course in the fall to gear up for the December and January SAT tests.

In their senior year students are guided through the college process on a one-on-one basis with their college counselor. Students complete college applications and financial aid applications, sign up for interviews, and make final decisions about where they will attend school the following year. Parents/guardians are seen as key contributors to this process and are encouraged to arrange individual appointments with their son’s or daughter’s college counselor to discuss the college application process throughout the year. 

Please contact Erin McElligott, Director of College Counseling, at emcelligott@phacs.org or 617-284-7923 with any questions, comments or concerns about the college counseling process.