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College Counseling

A Notre Dame student starts the journey of finding the right college during his freshman year. By the beginning of his senior year, he is prepared to take the lead in the process of finding the school that best fits his needs academically and socially. As a result of partnership in the search process between the student and the school, our students attend some of the finest colleges and universities and go on to become highly successful during their college careers.

During his four years at Notre Dame, the college counselors will work with the students to help them develop the skills necessary to be successful in their post-secondary careers. This is done through:

  • Self-assessment – The college process is a growth experience that offers students the opportunity to examine and learn about their strengths, weaknesses, values and goals in life.
     
  • Resume Building – At the start of their freshman year students are encourage strongly to become involved in the school community through extra-curricular activities, community service, athletics, and fine arts programs.

  • Self-advocacy – Through their four years we nurture them to become independent learners.  By senior year the student plays the principle role in the college selection process, the student takes the lead in creating a viable list of schools, then taking the next step of visiting the schools, deciding where to apply, completing the applications, and deciding where to enroll.  The college counselors work as guides in this process.

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College Planning Timeline

Freshman Year

FRESHMAN YEAR:

  • Selecting courses that challenge you academically.
  • Encouraged to become involved in the different organizations, athletics, and services programs both in and out of school.
  • In October, all freshmen take the PSAT 8/9 to start preparing for the SAT test.
  • Through different planned activities and classes, we explore the question ‘Who am I?”

Create your Naviance account. Naviance is a comprehensive college and career software that aligns student strengths and interests to postsecondary goals and connects learning to life.

Meet the Team

Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson

Counselor, School & College Counseling
Dominick Mastriano, Jr. '86

Dominick Mastriano, Jr. '86

Counselor, School & College Counseling
Adrienne Morello

Adrienne Morello

Administrative Assistant
Joseph Ramirez

Joseph Ramirez

Vice President for Student Success

Sophomore Year

SOPHOMORE  YEAR:

  • Start the process of putting together your college resume – Answer the question – what are you doing beyond 2:30?
  • Attend the College Fair sponsored by Notre Dame in October.
  • Take the PSAT/NMSQTs.
  • Select academic courses that challenge you.
  • During your Lifeskills class, students take a personality inventory, career inventory and get introduced to the Naviance college search program

Junior Year

JUNIOR YEAR:

September

  • Join club or organization – Become involved in the school community

October

  • Take the PSAT/NMSQTs
  • Monitor grade carefully – First marking period ends
  • Update your resume

December

  • Review PSAT results – Sign up for Kahn Academy (Free SAT Prep Software Program)

January

  • Attend Junior College Planning Evening
  • Plan appropriate testing schedule; register for the SATs, ACTs and /or Subject Tests
  • Register for the AP Exams
  • Attend counselor college planning sessions for juniors
  • Session 1: Self-assessment and Registering for testing
  • Session 2: The Essentials of the College Search
  • Session 3: The Application Process
  • Begin developing a preliminary list of colleges
  • Register for the NCAA Clearinghouse (if appropriate)

February

  • Review the Course Catalog and start planning courses for your senior year
  • Start planning college visits with your family

March/April

  • Start visiting colleges
  • Individual family meetings with your School Counselor

May/June

  • Take the SATs
  • Review the suggested College List with your family
  • Consider asking a junior year classroom teacher to write a college recommendation letter for you

Summer

  • Continue College Visits
  • Prepare for the SATs through Kahn Academy
  • Register for the Common Application (found online August 1st)
  • Review your social networking websites for appropriate content
  • Brainstorm essay topics and write initial essay draft
  • Update your resume
  • Register for SATs and/or ACTs
  •  

Senior Year

September

  • Attend School Counselor’s information session on the College Application process

  • Fill out the Notre Dame’s College Data Form

  • Students schedule individual post-high school planning meetings with School Counselor

  • Schedule remaining college visits and interviews

  • Meet with college representatives in the School Counseling Conference Room; visit dates posted on Naviance

  • Finalize college list and update it in Naviance

  • Attend the Financial Aid Application Presentation

  • Write personal essay in English class

  • Request teacher recommendations through Naviance

  • If appropriate, research scholarship opportunities

  • For prospective Division I and Division II athletes, register with NCAA Clearinghouse and send test scores

  • Make a chart indicating each school’s deadlines, testing requirements and other attributes

  • Review your transcript for accuracy

October

  • Complete early action/early decision applications and essays

  • Request official SAT and/or ACT scores to be sent to the college you are applying to

  • File FAFSA online

  • Check if your college requires CSS/Profile Form for financial aid and complete if required

  • Check with college regarding possible scholarships

  • Continue to meet with college representatives in the School Counseling Conference Room; visit dates posted on Naviance

  • Take SAT test, subject area tests and/or ACT test

November

  • If required, request 1st quarter grades to go to Early Decision/Early Action/Rolling colleges

  • Write thank you notes to Notre Dame teachers who have written your letters of recommendation

  • Early applicants: confirm colleges have received all your application materials

  • Complete regular decision applications

December

  • If appropriate/needed, take the December SAT Test/Subject Area Test/ACT test.

  • All application need to be submitted before the school goes on Christmas Vacation

January

  • Notify the School Counselor of Early Decision/Early Action/Rolling results

  • “Ace” first semester exams

March

  • Check email daily

April

  • Attend Accepted Student Days at the colleges you are thinking of attending

  • Make your choice by May 1st

  • Tell your School Counselor what college you are attending

SENIOR YEAR:

September

  • Attend School Counselor’s information session on the College Application process
  • Fill out the Notre Dame’s College Data Form
  • Students schedule individual post-high school planning meetings with School Counselor
  • Schedule remaining college visits and interviews
  • Meet with college representatives in the School Counseling Conference Room; visit dates posted on Naviance
  • Finalize college list and update it in Naviance
  • Attend the Financial Aid Application Presentation
  • Write personal essay in English class
  • Request teacher recommendations through Naviance
  • If appropriate, research scholarship opportunities
  • For prospective Division I and Division II athletes, register with NCAA Clearinghouse and send test scores
  • Make a chart indicating each school’s deadlines, testing requirements and other attributes
  • Review your transcript for accuracy

October

  • Complete early action/early decision applications and essays
  • Request official SAT and/or ACT scores to be sent to the college you are applying to
  • File FAFSA online
  • Check if your college requires CSS/Profile Form for financial aid and complete if required
  • Check with college regarding possible scholarships
  • Continue to meet with college representatives in the School Counseling Conference Room; visit dates posted on Naviance
  • Take SAT test, subject area tests and/or ACT test

November

  • If required, request 1st quarter grades to go to Early Decision/Early Action/Rolling colleges
  • Write thank you notes to Notre Dame teachers who have written your letters of recommendation
  • Early applicants: confirm colleges have received all your application materials
  • Complete regular decision applications

December

  • If appropriate/needed, take the December SAT Test/Subject Area Test/ACT test.
  • All application need to be submitted before the school goes on Christmas Vacation

January

  • Notify the School Counselor of Early Decision/Early Action/Rolling results
  • “Ace” first semester exams

March

  • Check email daily

April

  • Attend Accepted Student Days at the colleges you are thinking of attending
  • Make your choice by May 1st
  • Tell your School Counselor what college you are attending
  •  
“My favorite part of teaching at ND is witnessing the maturation of young boys who enter as freshmen, and graduate as confident and compassionate men. These four years are incredibly transformative.”  Carmen Gunneson, Faculty & Chair, Foreign Language Department

College Visit Tips

When making an appointment for a college visit, keep the following in mind:

  1. In your inquiry, request a definite date and time

  2. Ask if they offer an interview

  3. If you are interested in athletics you may want to coordinate a meeting with a Coach at the same time.

  4. Take pictures and notes about your thoughts and observations.

Some Questions to ask at the College Visit:

  1. What are the strongest departments at the college?

  2. What sizes are classes generally?  For freshmen? For upperclassmen?

  3. How do I compare academically with students already attending this school?

  4. What do students do after they graduate?  Do they go on to postgraduate studies? What percentage are employed upon graduation?

  5. What kinds of cultural, sports, and literary activities are offered on campus?  What do you do during your free time?

  6. What percentage of students remain on campus during weekends?

  7. What kinds of living accommodation are there?  Dorms? Private apartments? What percentage of students live off campus?

  8. Can freshmen select their own roommates? What are the housing options for freshmen?

  9. Are sports available for the average player?  Ask about specific activities that interest you.

  10. What kind of student is generally the most successful or happiest at this college?

  11. What percentage of the students receive financial aid?

  12. How much importance is placed on social activities and other extracurricular activities?

  13. Why did you choose to go here?

  14. What are your 3 favorite things about going to school here?

  15. Where do you spend most of your time?

  16. Who are the 3 people who helped you the most on campus your first year?