Williston’s college search process is highly personalized. Beginning early in your junior year, you’ll meet frequently with your counselor to talk about your goals, values, ideals, and interests. Classroom sessions and workshops provide you and your family with key information at the appropriate time. As we teach you about college admissions, we also foster self-awareness and independent thinking so that you can effectively determine which colleges are uniquely suited to you.
ONLY AT WILLISTON
In the fall we host several mini-college fairs. Sophomores through seniors (as well as parents) are encouraged to visit with admission officers from the roughly 75 colleges who visit. The fairs are held during dinner and between classes and sports practices so students can drop in when it suits their schedules.
During Family Weekend, panelists from acclaimed colleges and universities are available to discuss everything from how to stand out in the admission process to what to expect of college athletics.
During two day-long sessions each spring, students have the opportunity to partake in mock interviews with visiting college deans of admission. They work on everything from body language and wardrobe choices to techniques for staying calm and ways to frame winning answers.
Advice on Athletics
Athletics officials from nearby colleges such as Mount Holyoke, Amherst, and Williams, are on hand during Family Weekend to field questions about playing sports at the college level.
Young Alumni Wisdom
Every year, Wildcats hear from returning young alumni who tell their former classmates what life is really like in college. The stories from the trenches help current students envision what their future might look like and become invested in shaping that future.
College Counseling Classes
In January of their junior year, students take a three-part class on the online platform Naviance, which manages the college search process, from researching colleges to hosting application documents. The class also covers the Common Application and standardized testing.
Bentley University (4)
Boston College (2)
Boston University (2)
Drexel University (4)
Elon University (2)
Emerson College (3)
Endicott College (3)
Fairfield University (2)
Hamilton College, NY (2)
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Michigan State University
New York University (3)
Northeastern University (5)
Pennsylvania State University
Providence College (2)
Skidmore College (3)
St. Lawrence University
Stanford University (2)
Syracuse University (2)
The George Washington University
The University of Texas, Austin
Trinity College (2)
Tulane University (2)
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Chicago
University of Connecticut
University of Massachusetts, Amherst (3)
University of Pennsylvania
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
College Counseling Resources
Common Application Information
The Common Application
Application for more than 300 selective college and universities for admission to their undergraduate programs.
The University of California Pathways
The University of California’s online undergraduate admission information and application network.
Financial Aid and Scholarship Information
Free application for federal student aid
CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
The financial aid application service of the College Board
Scholarship search service
Links for Athletes
Your Go-To List for Test Prep and Timelines
Standardized Testing Prep
As part of the College Counseling process, Williston helps facilitate on- and off-campus opportunities for juniors who are interested in group test-prep sessions for the ACT and SAT. We work with two school-vetted tutoring groups to offer on-campus 3-session and 6-session workshops, and full-day intensives on campus. Off-campus, 8-week workshops and full-day intensives are also available locally through a Williston-vetted tutor. Available to juniors; fees determined by outside provider.
Test prep dates for Spring 2020:
On-Campus offering through Summit Educational Group
Sunday, 2/16 (Practice test) 2-6 p.m.
Sunday, 3/29 (Instructional workshop) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Tueday, 3/31 (Instructional workshop) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Sunday, 3/29 (Practice test) 2-6 p.m.
Sunday, 4/5 (Instructional workshop) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Sunday, 4/19 (Insm tructional workshop) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Sunday, 2/2 (Practice Test) 2-6 p.m.
Thursday, 2/13 (Instructional Session) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Thursday, 2/20 (Instructional Session) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Thursday, 2/27 (Instructional Session) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Thursday, 3/26(Instructional Session) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Thursday, 4/2 (Instructional Session) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Sunday, 3/29 (Practice Test) 2-6 p.m.
Monday, 3/30 (Instructional Session) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Monday, 4/6 (Instructional Session) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Monday, 4/13 (Instructional Session) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Monday, 4/20 (Instructional Session) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Tuesday, 4/28 (Instructional Session) 5:45-7:45 p.m.
Courses offered through Brian Leaf and New Leaf Learning Center
On Campus all day Intensives
ACT intensive: Sunday 3/29, 9 a.m.-4:40 p.m. (45 min lunch)
SAT Intensive: Sunday 4/19, 9 a.m.-4:40 p.m. (45 min lunch)
• Best Buys in College Education
• Profiles of American Colleges
• College Handbook
• Scholarship Handbook
• International Student Handbook
• Meeting College Costs: What You Need to Know Before Your Child and Your Money Leave Home
• Guide to Colleges
• College Guide for Performing Arts Majors
• College Guide for the Visual Arts Majors
• Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or ADD
• America’s Best Value Colleges
• Visiting College Campuses
Suggested Reading for Parents
• “College (Un)Bound” by Jeffrey Selingo
• “There is Life after College” by Jeffrey Selingo
• “Gap to Great: A Parent’s Guide to Gap Year” by Andrea Wien
• “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success” by Julie Lythcott-Haims
• “The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College” by Jacques Steinberg
Suggested Reading for Students and Parents
• “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania” by Frank Bruni
• “This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life” by David Foster Wallace
• “If This Isn’t Nice, What Is? Advice for the Young” by Kurt Vonnegut
• “The Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful Advice for Studying, Socializing, and Everything In Between” by Bill McGarvey and Nora Bradbury-Haehl
Junior Year College Search Timeline
• Meet college representatives at the fall mini fairs
• Take the PSAT.
• Attend panels about college admissions at Fall Family Weekend covering topics such as current admission trends, advice from admissions deans, financial aid, and athletic recruitment.
• Naviance accounts will be assigned to assist in exploration of colleges
• Consider visiting a college over long weekend or in the early part of Thanksgiving break.
• Make an appointment for your first meeting with your college counselor
• Attend required College Counseling classes
• Meet with College Counselor
• Arrange Spring Break campus visits
• Students and families should work to see a variety of colleges and universities, both in terms of size, program, location, and selectivity
• Visit colleges over the break (make sure and call ahead or visit school admission websites to confirm tour schedules)
• Take notes so that you’ll be able to remind yourself of details from the tours and info sessions
• Take ACT
• Continue to do online research and schedule visits whenever possible
• Meet with College Counselor
• Continue refining your college list and plan your senior year classes
• Take Advanced Placement (AP) exams, if applicable
• Work with your advisor and College Counselor to choose senior classes
• Take SAT Reasoning Test
• Ask teachers to write recommendations
• Take SAT Subject Tests or SAT Reasoning
• Visit college campuses, if possible, and interview where available
• Start working on your college essays
• Fill out Common Application after August 1 (www.commonapp.org)
Senior Year College Search Timeline
• Attend sessions in the College Counseling Office with visiting college admissions officers
• Meet college representatives at the fall mini fairs
• Narrow list of colleges to which to apply with your college counselor
• Attend sessions in the College Counseling Office with visiting college admissions officer
• Decide whether to apply Early Decision (ED) or Early Action (EA), if appropriate.
• Visit colleges on long weekends
• If applying for financial aid, fill out the CSS PROFILE registration form
• Begin submitting applications with rolling deadlines (if any)
• Retake SAT Reasoning Test, ACT, or SAT Subject Tests if necessary
• Contact colleges which require alumni interviews. These can be arranged on campus with a local alumnus
• Finalize your college list
• Remember to check Early Decision (ED)/Early Action (EA) application deadlines
• Retake SAT Subject Tests or SAT Reasoning Test and/or ACT, if necessary
• If applying for financial aid, submit the completed CSS PROFILE
• Finalize application essays and applications, if applying EA/ED
• Complete your applications, if applying EA/ED
• Confirm final college list online with your College Counselor for all regular decision applications
• Retake SAT Reasoning Test or SAT Subject Tests (if necessary)
• Finalize applications with December 31 and January 1 deadlines
• DEADLINES: Submit any applications due January 1 or later
• If applying for financial aid, file FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1
• DEADLINE: Submit any applications due January 15
• Continue to focus on your classes
• Remember: colleges consider final senior grades and, in many cases, matriculation is contingent upon strong academic performance through senior year
• Visit colleges and universities to which you have been admitted
• Decide which college to attend
• Notify all other colleges to which you were admitted that you will be enrolling elsewhere
• Remember to reply to colleges by Nationwide Candidate Reply Date on May 1
• If applicable, decide whether or not to remain on any waitlists and communicate your decision to the colleges in question