The Journey to College
Barrie Prep’s small class sizes of twenty students each allow for individualized attention not present in public schools and other larger independent schools.
During freshman year, students participate in a transcript workshop, complete a “High School Planning Worksheet” that helps align their curricular choices with their college aspirations, and attend a senior student panel about extracurricular activities. The Director of College Counseling works with freshmen to plan advantageous curriculum choices, summer opportunities, and extracurricular activities that support their college goals.
At the beginning of the sophomore year, students complete the Do What You Are and Learning Style assessments through Naviance. The former is a quasi-Myers Briggs test that helps students identify personality traits while the latter helps students understand their unique learning style. During the winter, students and parents meet to discuss PSAT results and how to apply for internships and summer opportunities. Finally, each student meets with the Director of College Counseling to discuss his or her curriculum for junior year.
The search to match Barrie graduates with a perfect-fit college begins with a fall introductory and planning meeting. Over the course of the year, the Director of College Counseling takes the entire junior class to a college fair and college visit. In true Barrie form, juniors vote on the local college to visit! Juniors meet throughout the year, individually and as a group, with the Director of College Counseling to discuss college priorities and decide which colleges students should consider in their search.
Senior year begins in early August with a weeklong "College Boot Camp!" Boot Camp activities include:
- The Common Application: Step-by-Step Completion
- Naviance Account Creation and/or Updates
- Application Essays: Discussion, Topic Brainstorming, Drafts, and Edits
- Visit from a local college admissions representative who will help students revise essays
- Practice Interviews
TRANSITION TO COLLEGE & BEYOND
Unique to Barrie, the "Transition to College" program pairs graduating high school students with alumni currently in college. The goal is to ensure a smooth transition, and to help students navigate the sometimes difficult terrain that is the freshman year of college. From living with a roommate, to preventing all-nighters, our mentors help students understand what it's like to be in college.
Students in their freshman college year also receive regular phone calls from the Director of College Counseling and other stakeholders at the school. Thus, college counseling doesn't stop when a student leaves Barrie Prep! We want to ensure that our students are successful in college and beyond.
Naviance: Barrie School Family Connection
- College Board: Parent organization of the SAT, PSAT, CSS Profile, AP Program, and many other services. Website contains financial aid information, a college search feature, test dates, practice tests, etc.
- ACT: Website where students can register for the ACT exam. There are also a bunch of other resources, including data on college and career readiness.
College Admissions Process
- Colleges That Change Lives: Its profiles of lesser-known liberal arts colleges that truly care about each and every undergraduate are widely regarded in the college counseling community.
- The Fiske Guide: Available through print and online resources, The Fiske Guide profiles hundreds of colleges and universities, paying particular attention to academics, social life, and reputation. Profiles are filled with student comments to provide unique insight into each college.
- The Best 379 Colleges: Created by The Princeton Review, this guide rates schools on a variety of metrics and provides The Inside Word about each school, i.e. what college counselors and other professionals are saying.
- The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges: Assembled by the Yale Daily News, Insider’s Guide has college students complete surveys to provide honest feedback about the schools they attend.
- Crazy U: Written by a reporter for The Washington Post, Crazy U examines the world of independent college consulting, and chronicles the college admissions process with humor and panache.
- Acing the College Application: If I could recommend one “How to” book, it would be Michele Hernandez’s succinct overview of the college application process that provides valuable tips and advice.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
- Fastweb: One of the best scholarship search engines on the Internet.
- Cappex: Another search engine that has enhanced tools to help manage your scholarship search.
- Chegg: Another online scholarship resource.
- FinAid: Provides detailed information on all types of financial aid, including federal loans (PLUS, Stafford, Perkins), educational grants (Pell), savings plans, and scholarships. The FAFSA and CSS Profile are also discussed in-depth.