College Counseling

College Counseling

At Highland School, college counselors work closely with our Upper School students to explore, identify, and select colleges and universities that meet their academic, emotional, and social needs. Highland's counselors work directly with every student and their parents to assist in a variety of highly individualized ways throughout the search process.

College counseling begins long before schools are identified

Starting in 9th grade, Upper School students meet regularly with our staff of college counselors. While freshman year is too early to start looking at specific schools, it's exactly the right time to start preparing students for what could very likely be a highly competitive selection process.

To help these students build a resume that stands out from the crowd, we encourage all of our Upper School students to constantly challenge themselves with new courses, to explore new areas of interest, and to become more involved in the rich fabric of our campus and in their own communities through leadership and community service opportunities. 

Valuable experiences and insights shape the selection process

As they progress through the Upper School, we encourage our students to seek out opportunities for valuable work experience and to reflect on their own goals and desires. Through programs like our Junior Internships and Senior Projects, students gain real-world insights that further refine their search and selection process.  

Every step of the way, our counselors work hand-in-hand with students and their parents to provide individual and family assistance in the college search and application process. Our goal is simple: to help every Highland student find their passion and follow their dreams. 

College counseling programs offered in Upper School

Each year, our college counseling programs play an integral part in every student's Upper School experience. These carefully crafted programs are continuously refined and encourage students to stretch outside their comfort zones to find new interests, become more involved, take on leadership roles on campus and in the community, and become their own advocates. 

For an overview of the programs offered each year, please click on the expanding boxes below: 

List of 4 items.

  • Freshman Year

    Getting into the right classes - now and in the coming years
    • Students and parents work with faculty advisors to schedule appropriately challenging college preparatory courses based on each student's abilities, past performance, and interests.
    • Freshman Wellness – students engage in lessons and activities designed to facilitate self-awareness and decision making.

    • Freshman Academic Planning Night – students plan their next three years through academic challenge, active extracurricular involvement, community service, and employment.
  • Sophomore Year

    Preparing for and completing required testing
    • Students take both a pre-ACT and PSAT in their sophomore year.
    • Sophomore Group Sessions focus on checking-in at the mid-point of the high school experience, career exploration and resume writing.
  • Junior Year

    The college search formally begins in a student's Junior year
    • College Planning Night for Juniors – juniors and the current trends in college admissions including an overview of the college search process, a panel presentation, and a question/answer session. 

    • Junior Workshops The college professionals provide small-group sessions on the college search and application process. 

    • Students take PSAT

    • Career and College Major Exploration Workshop – to lay the groundwork for the junior internships and college search.

    • Individual Student and Family College Search Meetings – focus on the student led process. The college counselor will provide a list of college suggestions after the meeting.

    • Junior Internships - to explore potential career interests, discover what skills and education are necessary, and develop maturity.
  • Senior Year

    Managing the application and acceptance process
    • Senior Field Studies – Seniors spend two days off campus to bond and set the tone for the coming year including a bonfire discussion where faculty shares their own college search stories.
    • Senior Seminar First Semester – counselors work with seniors on applications, essays, and the college fit.

    • Senior Seminar Second Semester – counselors lead small group sessions on the  transition to college issues including scheduling classes, managing the social scene, where to find help, and changing relationships.

Membership in regional, national counseling organizations

Highland School holds membership in the following regional and national college counseling organizations. To learn more about each organization, please click on the links below:

Highland School is a co-ed independent Pre-K2 to Grade 12 day school located in Warrenton, Virginia.