College Counseling

Pinewood provides students with the knowledge and support that empowers them to take charge of the college exploration and application process. Consistent with the school’s overall philosophy and mission, we help students develop the self-understanding to seek and gain admission to a college where they will continue to grow both academically and socially. With the student at the center, and recognizing that the student’s transition to college involves the whole family, we provide extensive, principled, individualized support throughout the high school years.

Our Process

Student & Family Guidance

The college planning process is an educational adventure and a time for personal growth and goal-setting. While the trek will inevitably be stressful at times, overall it should be exciting and enlightening and provide students with a glance into the bigger picture of the college experience. The following information is an overview of Pinewood’s college planning process. It is important to remember that while Pinewood offers extensive support and guidance throughout high school, it remains the student's responsibility to take the lead during this time.

Freshman Year

  • the college counselor meets with students in a classroom setting to help them understand themselves as learners and to encourage full engagement in high school as an important aspect of preparing for college
  • monthly parent Q&A sessions begin; see below

Sophomore Year

  • the PSAT 10 is administered for students to assess their current knowledge of subject matter, and become familiar with the style of the SAT test.
  • students explore the relationship between interests and abilities, and discuss college majors and careers
  • academic planning meetings are available upon request

Junior Year

  • the PSAT-NMSQT is administered to assess preparation for the SAT and to “determine eligibility and qualification for the National Merit Scholarship Program.”
  • in the fall, Pinewood School hosts representatives from various colleges and universities and student attendance is encouraged
  • small group meetings are held to discuss college academics, college life, and how to find a college that will best support a student's success
  • students meet individually with the college counselor to discuss their interests and to map out a plan for college exploration and college admissions testing
  • student/parent meetings are held in early spring to discuss preparation of a college application list
  • students complete an essay writing workshop, submit a first draft of a college essay, and receive individual feedback from the college counselor

Senior Year

  • students continue to refine their college essays and schedule a review with the college counselor
  • the college counselor meets with each student in early fall to finalize the college application list
  • throughout the fall: students finalize their essays and college application requirements; students are required to meet with the college counselor at least twice to discuss counselor letter of recommendation and essays.
  • students are encouraged to meet with the admissions representatives that visit Pinewood School
All Things College Q&A Sessions

A once-a-month, informal get-together for high school parents who have questions about the college research process, college selection, and the application.

College Info Night for Parents
  • Freshman and Sophomore Info Nights are for parents only.
  • Junior and Senior Info Nights are for parents and students.
  • The goal of these information sessions is to help parents understand academic planning, the landscape of college admissions, and the factors that need to be considered as students move through high school and the college application process.
Relationships with Colleges

The college counselor maintains relationships with colleges through campus visits, participation in professional conferences, and service to the Western Association for College Admissions Counseling and the National Association for College Admissions Counseling.

Each year the counseling office hosts admissions professionals from approximately 50 colleges and universities. These sessions not only provide opportunities for juniors and seniors to speak directly with the person who will read their application, but they also are an opportunity for the college counselor to build relationships and explain the strengths of the Pinewood curriculum.

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Common Application
High School Profile
SAT (College Board)
College Planning Handbook
Required Reading
Standardized Testing Statement
Case Studies Materials
Pinewood's CEEB Code: #051512