Academics
College Counseling

College Search Process

College Planning Timeline

List of 4 items.

  • College Planning - Freshman Year

    • Meet with a college counselor in the summer to help prepare for your transition into high school.
    • Develop a solid work ethic, which includes good study habits and time management. Freshman year grades do matter!
    • READ! READ! READ!  This is great preparation for future SAT/ACT tests.
    • Take the PSAT 8/9 in October.
    • Review your PSAT 8/9 Score Report and use the College Board and Khan Academy resources to work on skill areas you can strengthen.
    • Get involved in campus life at CCES and in your community.
    • Explore new interests, both academically and in your extra-curricular activities.
    • Attend the spring Early College Planning seminar, hosted by the College Counseling Office.
    • Visit colleges with your family during summer months or school breaks.
    • Engage in a rewarding summer activity.  
  • College Planning - Sophomore Year

    • Enroll in challenging academic courses that are appropriate for you. Now is the time to add an honors or AP class, if recommended by your teachers.
    • Be the best student you can be!
    • Take the PSAT in October.
    • Review PSAT Score Report and use College Board and Khan Academy resources to strengthen your skills.
    • Engage in our in-class SAT/ACT test preparation.
    • READ! READ! READ!  This is great preparation for future SAT/ACT tests.
    • Attend the spring Early College Planning Seminar, hosted by the College Counseling Office.
    • Meet with college admission representatives who visit CCES.
    • Attend the Greenville County College Fair in the fall and the NACAC College Fair in the spring to become familiar with colleges.
    • Assess your involvement in clubs, sports and activities at CCES and in your community.
    • Explore opportunities for leadership, both in the classroom and in extra-curricular pursuits.
    • Visit colleges with your family during summer months and school breaks.
    • Engage in a rewarding summer activity.
  • College Planning - Junior Year

    August – December
     
    • Take the PSAT in October; this fall your SAT may qualify you for the National Merit Scholarship competition.
    • Engage fully in our in-class test preparation.
    • Attend the Greenville County College Fair and explore colleges in greater depth.
    • Attend the monthly College Counseling Seminars for Juniors.
    • Register for your first SAT and/or ACT (for test dates in winter or early spring).
    • Visit colleges during Fall Break and on weekends.
    • Attend College Night for Juniors and Parents in early November.
    • Take on leadership roles at school and in your community
    • Be the best student you can be; GRADES MATTER!
     
    January
     
    • Review first semester academic performance and continue to focus efforts on academic excellence.   Work to enhance your study skills.
    • Schedule an individual appointment with your college counselor.
    • Conduct a serious self-assessment (interests, strengths, talents, goals) with the help of your college counselor.   
    • Research colleges.  Keep an open mind and consider schools you may not have heard of before or that are recommended to you by your counselor. 
    • Prepare for upcoming SAT and/or ACT tests.  Practice does improve scores!
    • Sit for the January SAT (recommended, not required).
    • Attend January College Counseling Seminar. 
    • If not currently involved, identify one or two extracurricular and/or community activities of interest and become actively engaged; explore new interests, develop your talents, and make a serious commitment to your activities.
     
    February
     
    • Schedule your individual parent-student team meeting with your college counselor.
    • Continue your SAT/ACT test preparation.
    • Register for the March SAT.
    • Attend February College Counseling Seminar.
    • Register for the April ACT.
    • Continue to research colleges that will meet your needs, both academically and socially.
    • Read your College Counseling Handbook!
     
    March
     
    • Visit colleges during Spring Break.
    • Sit for the March SAT (if appropriate for you).
    • Schedule an individual appointment with your college counselor.
    • Continue to build your preliminary college list and explore college suggestions from your counselor or others who know you well.
    • Attend the March College Counseling Seminar.
    • Register for the May SAT or Subject Tests.  
     
    April
     
    • Schedule an individual appointment with your college counselor.
    • Sit for the April ACT Test at CCES.
    • Visit colleges during Easter Break.
    • Attend the April College Counseling Seminar.
    • Continue researching specific colleges and plan a summer college visits tour.
    • Discuss various colleges with friends, parents, teachers, siblings and alumni to gain insights.
    • Select senior year courses and review with your college counselor.  Choose senior classes that will be academically challenging and commensurate with your abilities.
    • Begin thinking of teachers who might write your academic recommendation letters.
    • Plan rewarding and meaningful summer activities.
     
    May
     
    • Meet with your college counselor to refine your college list.
    • Sit for the May SAT or Subject Tests (discuss options with your college counselor).
    • Register for the June SAT or Subject Tests.
    • Register for the June ACT Test.
    • For non-native English speakers, schedule an appointment to take the TOEFl iBT Exam in the summer.
    • Study for and take any Advanced Placement or IB exams you may have in May.
    • Begin to review for year-end exams.
    • Begin to narrow college choices based on interests, abilities, and preferences.
    • Identify at least one teacher whom you may ask to write letters of recommendation and place your request before summer break.
    • Begin your scholarship search by registering with several free, online scholarship services.
     
    June – August
     
    • Sit for the June SAT or Subject Tests and/or the June ACT Test.
    • Schedule an individual appointment with your college counselor over the summer; encourage your parents to attend the meeting.
    • Plan summer visits to colleges.  Make sure to call a college in advance to arrange your visit. You can schedule campus tours, information sessions, meetings with faculty and coaches, and/or personal interviews.  Send thank you notes to college admission officers (as well as coaches, tour guides, professors) after each visit.
    • Engage in meaningful summer activities (work, study, community service, etc.)
    • Continue to research colleges and narrow down your list of college selections.
    • Attend a CCES College Application Essay Writing Workshop.
    • Write college application essays for those colleges to which you know you will be applying. College counselors recommend that you return to school in the fall with TWO essay drafts!
    • In August, attend the Application Workshop.
    • Complete your activities profile/résumé (9-12 grade activities), as discussed with your college counselor.
  • College Planning - Senior Year

    September
     
    • Return to school with your preliminary college list (8-10 schools that have been well- researched).  This list should represent a range of admission selectivity appropriate for you.
    • Attend College Night for Seniors and Parents at CCES.
    • Schedule your first fall meeting with your college counselor to discuss senior year, assess testing needs, finalize your college list, and begin your application process. 
    • Establish your application timeline and determine all application and scholarship deadline dates.
    • Work on application essays.
    • Request your teacher recommendations.
    • Register for any final SAT and/or ACT tests you must take in the fall.
     
    October
     
    • Take the October SAT, Subject Tests or ACT, if necessary.
    • Register for the CSS Profile, found on the College Board website, if you plan to apply for need-based financial aid at private colleges. 
    • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after October 1.
    • Prepare applications with Early Action or Early Decision deadlines, which typically fall between October 15 and November 1. 
    • Visit colleges over Fall Break.  This is a great time to complete overnight visits and to attend college classes. 
    • Follow up with your teachers to ensure they have written your recommendation letters by your earliest application deadline date.
    • Finalize your college list by month’s end.  Discuss your list carefully with your family.
    • Contact your admission representatives at the schools to which you plan to apply.  Let each of them know of your intention to apply and ask for information that will allow you to make a more informed college selection in the spring.  
     
    November
     
    • Submit any applications with due dates before November 15 or with Rolling admissions.
    • Take the SAT or Subject Tests, if necessary. 
    • Work on college and scholarship applications with due dates in December.
     
    December
     
    • Take any last SAT or ACT tests you need.
    • Complete all applications with January 1deadline dates.
    • Wait for admission decisions to arrive mid-month if you have applied to any college under the EA or ED programs. 
    • Study diligently for exams!  Fall term senior year grades are critical in the admission process.
     
    January
     
    • Make sure your parents have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if you are applying for need-based financial aid.
    • Finalize any outstanding college applications or scholarship applications.
    • Wait for admission decisions from colleges who render EA decisions in January. 
     
    February - April
     
    • Wait patiently as colleges review your applications.  Remember that you have worked hard and given your best efforts to your applications. 
    • Re-visit colleges on your list during Spring Break or at other times in the winter and early spring. 
    • Ensure that all financial aid forms have been filed.  Consult with individual colleges with questions regarding their process.
    • Receive your admission decisions from colleges in mid-February through late March.
    • Conduct any final research necessary to help you select your new college home from your offers of admission.
    • If necessary, indicate your intention to stay on a college’s wait list. 
     
    May
     
    • Commit to your college of choice by May 1, which is national Candidate Reply Date.  You must pay your enrollment deposit to one school by this date.
    • Take final senior exams, AP or IB exams.
    • Enjoy your final weeks of high school.
    • Respond to any colleges that may offer you a spot off their wait list.
    • Attend year-end senior activities, including graduation.
    • Celebrate!  You are on your way to an exciting college adventure.

More Information

List of 4 items.

  • Faculty Recommendations

    “Faculty recommendations are where CCES students have an enormous advantage,” according to Linda Schulz, Director of College Counseling. “Our teachers know our students well. The letters they write for our seniors are highly personalized and insightful. No two are ever alike. Our teachers put a great deal of thought into these letters. They know what it can mean to a student’s future.”

    According to Upper School history teacher Kristi Ferguson, one of the teachers most frequently asked for an academic recommendation, it takes at least two hours to draft each one. “And then I revise,” she added. Averaging some 15-20 letters a year, she puts in many extra hours writing recommendations.

    “Since I teach the students as juniors, I focus on growth and maturity,” she said, explaining her approach. “I try to bring in actual examples of what the student has written, especially if the student is one of my IB seniors, because then I can discuss research done in the class. It is great when I am the senior thesis or extended essay advisor because I can talk about that, too. If the student is my advisee, I try to bring in something personal. When I wrote the ones last year, I was able to discuss our advisee volunteer time at the Sterling Recreation Center."
    “Our students have worked hard and accomplished a great deal by the time they are ready to apply to college,” said Mrs. Schulz. “Our faculty certainly do a superb job of preparing them academically.”

    “And,” she added, “through comprehensive letters of recommendation, our faculty are also able to serve as strong advocates for our students as they apply to college.”
  • College Counseling at a Glance

    • Low student-counselor ratio that ensures a personalized college counseling experience for each CCES student
    • Individualized college counseling  meetings with students and parents during the college search and application process
    • One-on-one assistance with college applications, essays, resume building, and interview skills
    • Monthly educational seminars for juniors
    • Series of college and financial planning programs for parents and students in grades 9-12
    • Comprehensive College Counseling Handbook
    • Detailed college counselor letter of recommendation for every student
    • In-depth faculty letters of recommendation
    • Sponsorship of and participation in annual Greenville County College Fair
    • Dozens of college and university admissions representatives visit our campus annually
    • Active membership in the National Association for College Admission Counseling and the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling
  • A Cooperative Journey of Self-Discovery

    CCES college counselors view the college search process as a journey of self-discovery, one in which the student, parents, and the school cooperate as a team. In addition to numerous personalized, one-on-one meetings with each student and their parents, educational seminars are held annually.

    The journey begins in the ninth grade. Our program is designed to guide students to make the most of their high school years, both academically and socially. As sophomores, students and their families engage more deeply in early college planning. Then, through a series of monthly college counseling seminars for CCES juniors and seniors, students meet in group settings to learn the more technical aspects of the college process. This involves topics such as how to research colleges, prepare for interviews, write college essays, build personal resumes, and complete the application process.

    In addition to their work with CCES families, our college counselors develop and maintain strong working relationships with our college admission colleagues. College admission professionals, as well as college financial aid directors, serve as guest speakers each year for our special on-campus programs. In addition, dozens of college and university admission representatives visit CCES every fall to meet with students. Our students also have the opportunity to talk with over 100 college representatives at the annual fall Greenville County College Fair, for which CCES is a sponsor.
  • Highly Personalized Guidance for Each Student

    One of the most compelling facets of our College Counseling Program is the personalized attention each student receives from our dedicated college counseling professionals.

    CCES college counselors serve as resources, guides, and advisors to students as they maneuver through the sometimes-complex college process. They work closely with students to guide them through the initial stages of assessing individual needs and goals and in conducting thorough college research, they guide seniors through the college application process, and they ultimately see students through to the moment in which they select their new college homes.

    During individual conferences with students and parents, our college counselors establish students’ needs and goals and develop a preliminary list of schools appropriate for each student’s consideration. Equally important, the college counselors help students assess their own individual talents and achievements and define their personal interests and goals. Once students have carefully evaluated their talents and aspirations, they are better equipped to seek out colleges that match their academic and personal needs and expectations.
Linda, and the rest of the college counseling staff, create a definite advantage for the children of CCES in this very competitive environment. We are grateful for their guidance.

-Current CCES Parent
Christ Church Episcopal School (“CCES”) admits students of any sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin, creed, religion, or sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at CCES. CCES does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin, creed, religion, or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, financial aid or other programs, or athletic or other school-administered programs and activities.