- Standardized Testing Information
- Financing College
- College Research Resources
The College Office holds miniseries on a variety of college admission topics throughout the year. These are published in the Daily Bulletin and are held during Community Frees. Although the audience for the miniseries are all current LC students, parents are welcome. Past miniseries have included:
What's behind the Rankings?
Mindfulness in the College Admissions Process
Information on Merit Scholarships
Studying the Fine and Performing Arts in College
College Visiting Tips
How to "Do" College Night
Applying to the University of California
Financial Aid 101 & 201
How to Write an Effective Fit Statement
College Interviewing Tips
All of the videos below and many more can also be found on the College Office Webinars Video Channel.
The College Guidance Office believes the intensive learning that goes on in the classrooms of Loomis Chaffee is the best preparation for standardized tests. That said, we also believe that test preparation is worthwhile. Because each student’s learning style and motivation varies, so too does the most appropriate form of standardized test preparation for each student. For some, an intensive course in the summer is best; others thrive in the one-on-one setting of individualized tutoring; many are able to accomplish a great deal working by themselves with practice books or online. Online test prep is offered free to Loomis students from Khan Academy (SAT) and Method Test Prep (ACT).
Loomis Chaffee also offers, and therefore encourages participation in, a standardized testing overview program in the late winter and early spring of junior year. This overview is conducted by Summit Educational Group at reduced cost and structured so as not to interfere with the academic work of Loomis Chaffee. By the end of junior year, students have practice and PSAT results, as well as official ACT and SAT results to help them decide if further test preparation is warranted during the summer before senior year, and if so, the type that will work best for them in consult with their college counselor.
The College Guidance Office provides many opportunities for students and parents to educate themselves on college financial aid, both need- and merit-based, from annual “Financing a College Education” workshops held during Parents Weekend each fall to individual counseling of students on the importance of researching each college’s requirements and deadlines. In line with our overall philosophy, we believe that the financial aid process teaches students valuable life skills in the same way as the college application process, and are here to provide information and guidance. As college costs rise, so, too, do the number of families who view financial assistance as a necessary component of a college education.
FAFSA: The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and is a required document for all US citizens and permanent residents applying for financial aid.
Net Price Calculator (NPC) - Each college is required to provide families with a NPC. This tool allows you to get an idea of how much aid a school will provide based on academic and financial information provided.
Federal Student Aid: This federal website provides extensive resources and information relating to the college financial aid application process.
FAFSA4caster: will help you get an early start on the financial aid process by providing you with an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid based on the FAFSA. NOTE this will not take into account financial information that may be collected by a college that requires the PROFILE as well as the FAFSA.
CSS PROFILE: Financial aid form administered by the College Board that many colleges, particularly private institutions, require in addition to the FAFSA. This form is longer and collects more information than the FAFSA. It is run through the College Board and costs $25 for initial registration and one college report; each additional college report is $16. Fee waivers are granted for those students who used SAT fee waivers or are determined eligible based on the information entered into the PROFILE.
Getting Started with CSS (tutorial)
LCCG Scholarship Application Form (for documents needed for scholarship applications)
Colleges That Meet Full Financial Need* - via Prep Scholar (Great breakdown of different full need scenarios.)
*check with individual college policies for verification
There are two types of merit scholarships:
- College-specific scholarships awarded by individual colleges to select admitted students;
- Outside scholarships awarded by other organizations to students regardless of which college he or she plans to attend.
The following websites offer great resources to students to research scholarship opportunities:
Fastweb: A popular public database for all types of scholarships.
Scholly: A scholarship database app for smart phones.
MeritAid: A comprehensive database of college-specific scholarships.
College Board: Offers scholarship searches as well as general information on paying for college.
FinAid : A great database with resoures on paying for college and scholarships, including information for international students.
EduPass (for international students)
This site presents more information about financial aid for international students than any other publication, including worksheets, calculators, and sources for financial aid.
Niche - research on colleges and universities based on analysis of data and feedback from the community.
Big Future - website run by the College Board with excellent information regarding how to choose a college, a major, and a career path.
Unigo collects student opinions about their colleges.
Chegg provides fun lists of colleges as well as a college search engine. One recent homepage listed "Colleges With the Best Food," "Colleges With the Best Merit Aid" and "Most Beautiful College Campuses."
College Express is based on the popular College Insider book of college lists available in the CO reception room.
Cappex is a site that provides good general information on each college's page including student reviews as well as more specific data including popular
I'm First! provides excellent resources for first-generation college students and general financial aid information for all students.
The College Office’s goals in working with seniors are:
- to work collaboratively on determining a final list of college applications;
- to complete the requirements of the application and financial aid processes (if applicable); and
- to further develop the student/counselor relationship. In doing so, the conversations that center around where and how to apply and where to matriculate become much more individualized and nuanced, leading to better decision making.
- Ultimately, we expect that Loomis students will gain access to an appropriate post-Loomis educational opportunity and that in so doing they further develop the independence, decision-making skills, ability to collaborate and self-advocacy that will enable them to thrive in that setting.
University of California Application Webinar
Each October and April Loomis Chaffee welcomes over 120 colleges and universities from across the world to the Island. This fall's College Night will be held on Tues., Oct. 9th. Seniors are strongly encouraged to attend in order to demonstrate interest in colleges that track it; round out their college list as needed; and, in many cases, meet the admissions officers who will be reading their applications.
College Day Visits:
Every year there are some institutions that cannot attend our fall College Night either due to space limitations or scheduling conflicts. These colleges typically visit during Community Time or directly after school and are listed in Naviance under "College Visits," where students can sign up to attend. We also email seniors weekly to announce the visits and encourage them to sign up. These are informational sessions that provide an opportunity to learn more about the college in a small group setting.
Periodically an admissions officer will provide interview opportunities here on campus. These are very limited and are available on a first-come, first-served signup basis through an online signup system. All seniors are emailed about these opportunities when they are available.
Alumni interviews are typically scheduled directly between the interviewer and applicant. Should a student need space for an alumni interview, they should see Mrs. Johnson in the College Office who can assist them with reserving a room in the library.
Seniors are allowed to miss two days of classes in the fall/winter term and another two days in the spring term for the purpose of visiting or re-visiting colleges. College pers are available in the College Office reception room and need to be signed by the college counselor, dean, adviser, and dorm head (if boarder) at least three days in advance of the visit.
What should my child do if they are wait listed?
The first thing to do is your child should either accept or decline the wait list offer from the college. The wait list notification letter or email will give clear instructions on how to do this. If your child decides to accept the offer to remain on the wait list, they should make an appointment to discuss wait list strategy with their college counselor. Often we have information gleaned from our conversations with colleges regarding the potential use of the wait list that can be helpful to students in determining how to proceed.
Can my child accept a wait list offer from more than one college?
Yes. A student can remain on multiple wait lists.
Does my child still need to deposit at another college by May 1?
YES. Wait list activity is dependent upon enrollment deposits, therefore it is imperative that your child choose a college to enroll by May 1.
When will my child hear about their wait list status?
Because most colleges are dependent upon initial deposits from accepted students to determine wait list activity, typically wait list consideration happens after May 1 and can sometimes go through June. Again, it is imperative that your child communicate frequently with their college counselor regarding potential wait list activity, especially in the last week of April and first week of May. Please contact your child's counselor if you have specific questions.
The College Office’s goals in working with juniors include:
- introducing them to the specifics/logistics of the College Guidance Office, standardized testing, Naviance, college fairs, and the selective college admissions process itself.
- Additionally, we aspire to develop strong counseling relationships that allow us, in partnership with their parents, to help students make informed decisions and plans regarding their post-Loomis education.
- Through individual counseling meetings that commence in winter of junior year, students receive encouragement, guidance and support from an experienced college counselor who understands the realities and context of contemporary selective college admissions.
- We urge students to explore the match between their own educational goals with the various types of institutions of higher education. Doing so requires not only research on different colleges and universities but also self-assessment and self-awareness.
- We continue to encourage students to approach the college selection process with an open mind, to maximize the Loomis experience, and to think about college and the college selection process itself as opportunities for growth.
Each October, Loomis Chaffee hosts a College Evening for juniors, seniors and their parents to meet representatives from over 120 institutions of higher learning all over the country and the world. We encourage juniors to regard this opportunity as one to begin learning about the many options of higher education open to them, and offer miniseries each year on how to do a college fair "well."
The College Guidance counselors gave a powerpoint presentation to junior parents at Parents Weekend on Sat., Oct. 26. This directly followed the "Advice From an Admissions Dean" talk in Hubbard Auditorium. It is a general review of the junior year college counseling curriculum. More detailed information regarding the junior year can be found on the College Application Timeline in the "Handouts" section below.
The College Office’s goals in working with sophomores are as follows:
• to encourage expansive thinking about college as an opportunity and to foster the right mindset for the college selection process;
• to encourage proactive thinking about future standardized tests;
• to encourage intentional thinking about summers (test prep, exploratory college visiting, opportunities that enhance interests/demonstrated strengths);
• and to support students making thoughtful decisions about their junior year curriculum.
We continue to encourage students to think broadly about Loomis as an opportunity and to maximize that experience in a developmentally appropriate way. Similarly, we would like students to think about education—whether at Loomis or in college—as an experience to be fashioned as opposed to a credential to be secured.
In the sophomore year, the College Office provides a variety of programming for students and parents, including but not limited to:
- NEW THIS YEAR (19-20) - Sophomores will be assigned a college counselor at the beginning of winter term.
- Each counselor will host cohort meetings with their assigned students throughout the year on a variety of college related topics;
- Class meeting presentations on various topics including an introduction to the PSAT; selecting courses for the junior year; and test prep resources;
- A Parents Weekend admissions speaker on the current state of college admissions and advice for parents;
- Parents Weekend introductions to Loomis Chaffee college guidance, financial aid and standardized testing;
- A practice ACT held in the spring term;
- A college admissions representative at a spring class meeting with advice on things sophomores should be considering as they ready themselves for the junior year.
All sophomores took the PSAT on Wednesday, October 16th, 2019. The second week of December the College Board will email students at the address they used on their registration completed that morning with a link to their PSAT score account. This PSAT is given in order to introduce sophomores to the test that they will take again in the fall of the junior year. More information on standardized testing including a recommended timeline can be found under the Standardized Testing Information tab above as well as a sample PSAT report.
Each January the College Office addresses sophomores at a class meeting regarding course selection for junior year. The questions addressed typically are:
Should I take CL/Advanced courses, and if so, how many?
Students should take the most challenging program that they can be successful in. "Successful" can be defined in different ways, but the first point of consideration would be whether the student has been recommended for advanced coursework by his/her teacher, and to discuss with his/her faculty advisor whether the additional workload will be balanced with extracurricular commitments, for example. It is also important to look at the entire schedule to see whether taking on every advanced course a student has been recommended for is the right decision.
Should I continue with foreign language now that I have met the Loomis graduation requirement (3 years)?
Generally speaking, colleges like to see students study foreign language through the senior year. Most students applying to selective colleges will study foreign language through the senior year. However, there may be other reasons to consider in making such a change to one's schedule, such as the desire to double up on more than one science course, for example. The general rule of thumb here is if any core curricular area of study is dropped, it should be replaced with another core curricular area.The College Office is open for course selection questions on advertised drop-in days in the winter term. Students in any grade are welcome to drop by our offices in Chaffee and meet with a college counselor for any course selection questions related to college admission.
The College Office’s goals in working with freshmen are very much aligned with the school’s desire to facilitate their entry into the community. We therefore endeavor to do the following:
• to inform students of the resources available to them,
• to underscore the rationale behind the four-year academic plan,
• to understand the various academic opportunities available,
• to encourage working closely with their advisor and their academic dean,
• to understand the realities of a transcript and a GPA,
• to understand the timeline of their four years at Loomis Chaffee with respect to the college selection process,
• and to “do Loomis well.”
We also encourage students to think broadly about Loomis as an opportunity and to maximize that experience in a developmentally appropriate way. Similarly, we would like students to begin thinking about education—whether at Loomis or in college—as an experience to be fashioned as opposed to a credential to be secured.
In the spring term, college counselors hold college awareness and readiness discussions with first year students as part of the Center for Common Good Seminars. The goals of these visits are many: to introduce students to the College Guidance staff; to address common myths and misconceptions surrounding the college admission process; to introduce the concept of building upon the foundation of the previous year's experience at Loomis in preparation for college admission and enrollment; and to familiarize students with the Loomis Chaffee transcript and how their academic record will be presented to colleges.
Using a fun, interactive quiz (and plenty of candy!), the college counselors address numerous issues ranging from standardized testing to what makes a "good" college. Reviewing a mock transcript with freshmen also enables the students to deconstruct academic strengths and weaknesses as well as issues surrounding appropriate intellectual challenge as demonstrated on a transcript. We encourage all parents of first-year students to use this seminar session as a jumping-off point for your own conversations at home regarding goals for the sophomore year ahead.