Academics
College Counseling

Planning Your College Search

The Four-Year College Plan

The college search, application, and selection process is a group effort. Students are encouraged to take the lead with families and counselors, providing guidance, encouragement, and recommendations along the way. A student has the largest stake and most responsibility in finding and applying to the schools that best fit their needs. Families and counselors have a secondary, but no less important, role along this four-year journey.
 
While everyone's timeline is different, the Archmere Academy College Counseling Office has a general timeline and responsibility guide for each of the three important stakeholders in the college admission process. If you have any questions about this information or any other part of the college search, never hesitate to contact the College Counseling Office. We're excited to assist you and watch you grow as the process unfolds. 

Who is responsible for what?

List of 4 items.

  • First Year & Summer

    Students:
      • Focus on the transition to Archmere academically and socially.
      • Seek assistance when necessary in the classroom as ninth grade performance will be seen and considered by college admission offices.
      • Identify opportunities to get involved in extracurricular activities and leadership experiences.
      • Be active and engaged inside and out of the classroom.
      • Talk with your School Counselor at course scheduling time about your four-year academic plan.
     
    Parents/Caregivers:
      • Be aware of student’s classroom performance.
      • Support involvement in activities inside and outside of school.
      • Attend a College Counseling program, if interested.
      • Attend First Year/Sophomore Parent College Night. 
      • Inquire about your student's choice of classes for their sophomore year.
      • Review end of year grades with your student.
     
    College Counseling:
      • Available by email and phone for questions.
      • Stress that the most important item in the first year is a strong academic transition at the first year class meeting.
      • Gentle introduction to the college process as an entire class and small group career programming.
      • Invite families to some College Counseling programming.
      • Provide 30-minute optional summer meetings after first-year with agenda and discussion points set by the family.
  • Sophomore Year & Summer

    Students:
      • Focus on performing at your best in the classroom.  Seek out assistance early on in courses that may seem overly challenging.
      • Feed your interests and stay involved!
      • Take the Pre-ACT test in October.  Use these scores to identify areas of testing that are strengths or weaknesses that might influence preparation for future ACT or SAT tests.
      • Consider activities that you put aside in your first year out of time concerns.
      • Attend Junior Class College Panel evening, if interested.
      • Explore CIALFO, access will be given to you early in the second semester.
        • Complete available exercises that will give some insight into potential careers, college majors, and college and university preferences.
        • Complete worksheet that encourages you to explore CIALFO and a school.
      • Identify schools you would like to explore and qualities of those schools that make them attractive.
        • We recommend visiting a 2-4 contrasting college campuses during a spring break or summer vacation, if possible. After visits discuss the qualities that were appreciated and not appreciate in colleges.
      • Attend Young Alumni Career Panel.
      • Attend the DAIS Wilmington Case Study and DAIS College Fair program in May.
      • If interested, take the free practice SAT and/or ACT offered by Archmere.
      • Create a testing plan with your family for the SATs and/or ACTs.   We recommend seeking the counsel of your College Counselor after this initial discussion.
      • Select a course load that challenges you to work hard and is as rigorous as you can take while still being successful.
      • Make it a constructive summer.  Consider an experience that is meaningful: summer job, enrichment program, a college course, volunteering.
        • Prepare for SAT/ACTs through online resources or other opportunities.
     
    Parents/Caregivers:
      • Review Pre-ACT scores with your student and ask questions of College Counselor and School Counselor, if appropriate.
      • Attend appropriate College Counseling programming.
      • Discuss characteristics of colleges and universities with your student. Promote the exploration process and discuss parameters that might influence where your student can enroll.
      • Encourage and support your student to schedule a few college visits in the spring and summer months.
      • Ask your student to show you CIALFO and explore with them.  See what colleges they have added to their Longlist.
        • Ask students to show you their assessment results in regards to types of intelligence and Myers-Briggs that also included information about potential careers or majors.
      • Attend First Year/Sophomore Parent College Night.
      • Attend the DAIS Wilmington Case Study program and DAIS College Fair in May.
      • Discuss with your student a testing plan for the SATs and/or ACTs.  A plan should include when a student will take the tests, which tests they will take, and how they will prepare for them.
      • Contact College Counseling with questions. 
      • Consider and discuss test preparation with your student.  Note: this does not require a paid service.
     
    College Counseling:
      • Provide CIALFO access.
      • Be available for questions.
      • Communicate with students and families on regular basis about programming and current events in the landscape of college admissions.
      • Provide students and families the opportunity to have access to college admission professionals.
      • Be available for feedback concerning testing, academic scheduling, and activities as they relate to college admission.
      • Provide 30 minute optional summer meetings after sophomore year with agenda and discussion points set by the family.
  • Junior Year & Summer

    Students:
      • Be prepared for an important academic year, get off to a good start and maintain commitment for the entire year. 
      • Seek out opportunities outside the classroom that are rewarding and enriching.
      • Will take PSAT/National Merit Scholarships Qualifying Test (NMSQT) in October.
      • Attend Junior Class College Panel Night (required).
      • Take practice SAT and/or ACT offered by Archmere or through another provider.
      • Attend a meeting at Archmere in the fall with a college admission representative from a school you are interested in. 
      • Schedule visits to schools that interest you and share experiences with your College Counselor, we ask that all students have completed 2-4 visits by late November.
      • Meet with your College Counselor for an introductory meeting in November, December, or January.
      • Complete Junior Reflection at the start of second semester.
      • Attend Junior Career Day.
      • Attend Young Alumni Career Panel.
      • We recommend you sign up for at least one SAT & one ACT test before the summer.  Please seek counsel of your College Counselor if you have questions about which test and what date you should register for.
      • Begin Junior College Seminar Class during first cycle of spring semester.
      • Attend a family meeting with a College Counselor scheduled by parents during the second semester.
      • Update CIALFO Longlist with schools that you are interested in.
      • Schedule spring semester college visits.
      • Consider attending local college fairs (PACAC Fair @Villanova [May], DAIS College Fair @St. Marks [March], NACAC College Fair @Philadelphia Convention Center [October])
      • Create a Common Application account (in College Seminar).
      • Create a Self Reported Academic Record account (in College Seminar).
      • Request teacher recommendation letters and enter into CIALFO (College Counseling will inform you when this is appropriate).
      • Attend College Counseling programming.
      • Complete Junior English essay assignment and submit to College Counselor for feedback.
      • Select a senior schedule that prepares you for success in college, sends a positive message to a college admission office, and is as rigorous as possible.
      • Attend DAIS Wilmington Case Study program in May.
      • Be very productive over the summer. Seek out opportunities to explore majors and careers (summer program, work-place shadowing, career/curiosity conversation). Other excellent opportunities: summer employment, travel, volunteering, summer reading lists, investing more time in your talents.
      • Over summer, complete the Common Application essay.  Visit colleges.  Prepare for late summer/fall testing.
      • When asked in late June, move schools from your Longlist to your Shortlist so your College Counselor can do categorizations.
      • After August 1 –
        • Continue and complete working on school portions of the Common Application.
        • Schedule a fall meeting with your College Counselor.
        • Your prospective college list must become more concrete.
        • Make final decisions on which colleges you are applying to, and how you are applying.
        • Begin working on your Aukology due in your first senior seminar class.
        • Attend essay and mock interview programming.
     
    Parents/Caregivers:
      • Attend Junior Parent Night.
        • You will receive access to your student’s CIALFO account.
      • Provide reinforcement and guidance to your student with the understanding that this is an exploration period to determine what types of post secondary settings will be best for them.
      • Complete a Net Price College Calculator on a college website to preview what the financial expectation is for your family.
      • Set aside time to visit colleges with your student throughout the year and encourage them to do the scheduling of visits.
      • Attend Junior Parent College Night in December or January (one parent required to attend one of the programs).
      • Schedule a family meeting with College Counselor during the second semester.
      • Discuss, agree to, and understand when your student is taking the SATs and ACTs.  We recommend students take each test at least once prior to the end of the junior year.  Registration is generally required at least one month prior to the testing date. 
        • If appropriate, have conversations with a Learning Specialist if accommodations are required for standardized testing which should be done well in advance (2+ months) of registration deadlines.
      • Ask questions of the College Counseling Office whenever you have them.
      • Attend DAIS Wilmington Case Studies Night and DAIS College Fair in May, especially if you were not able to attend the previous year. Other college fair opportunities are the PACAC Fair at Villanova in May and the NACAC Fair at the Philadelphia Convention Center in October (this will be the largest).
      • Recommend your student be productive over the summer (see student section for options).
      • Familiarize yourself with the FAFSA and CSS Profile financial aid forms.
     
    College Counseling:
      • Assign student’s College Counselor at the beginning of the school year.
      • Be available for questions.
      • Provide through College Seminar courses, programming, and other communications a clear understanding of the landscape of the college application process and college admissions.
      • Provide proper perspective for students and families in regards to the college admission process.
      • Advise students and families on the differences in college experiences and encourage students to explore different opportunities that might match their post-secondary needs. 
      • Supply, at the request of a student or parents, additional schools that might be a good match for a student’s interests.
      • With discretion, provide professional feedback on the potential college choices of a student.
      • Make sure all students are prepared for the college application process and understand what will be expected of them, and when.
      • Sign off on senior course selection and inform students on how their decisions might affect their college application decisions. 
      • Make summer enrichment program information available through a GoogleDoc.
      • Carry out programming that provides students and families different mediums to learn more about the college search and application process.
      • During the summer, identify schools on a student’s list as likely, target, and reach to permit students to understand if their list is balanced.
      • The Office is open 12 months for insight, feedback, and professional opinions on all things college search and admissions.
      • Review and critique college essays over the summer as well as answer questions regarding Common Application, Coalition Application, and more.
  • Senior Year

    Students:
      • Attend the Senior Parent & Student Program the week before school starts.
      • Complete summer/early fall Check-In Meeting with College Counselor.
      • Complete fall meeting with College Counselor and parent(s) to begin to finalize your college list and application strategy.
      • Complete Aukology, senior questionnaire.
      • Organize your college list and understand what each school requires of you and their deadlines.  You should intend to apply to between 6 to 10 schools depending on the balance of your list (the Archmere average is 7 schools per student).  You should have at least 2-3 Likely schools, 4-6 Target schools, and 0-3 Reach schools on your list (identified by your College Counselor in July).
      • Register for SATs or ACTs, if applicable.
      • Complete transcript/recommendation request forms at least one month prior to application deadlines.
      • Check on CIALFO to make sure that information is entered and submitted.
      • Understand that your senior year performance will be shared with the colleges that you apply to after the first semester, and that the coursework you are completing is preparing you for college success.  It may also be providing you an opportunity for college credit!
      • Attend Senior College Seminar class once a cycle.
      • Meet with college representatives from the schools you are interested in during their visit to Archmere.
      • Complete first, second or even third visits to schools of interest.
      • Consider attending a college fair (NACAC Fair at Philadelphia Convention Center in October and PACAC Delaware County Fair at PSU Brandywine in September), local prospective college programming, or other opportunities to show interest in the schools on your list.
      • Request, from the testing service, that your scores be forwarded to the colleges you intend to apply to at least one month prior to deadlines.
      • Review, and respond when necessary, to any communications from the College Counseling Office.
      • Schedule interviews with schools that welcome the opportunity.  Prepare for interviews with College Counseling.
      • Submit applications in advance of deadlines, we recommend 3-5 days early!
      • If requested, complete and submit a SRAR or self-reported academic record, also recommended to be submitted in advance of deadlines.
      • Remind parents of financial aid deadlines.
      • Attend Senior Career Networking program.
      • Update your College Counselor on any changes to your college application plan.
      • Check emails from Colleges and application portals to track your application status.
      • Submit quarter grades to colleges, if desired.  Complete necessary steps to request College Counseling send these out, will be emailed and discussed in seminar.
      • Search for scholarship opportunities through resources provided and submit applications by deadlines.  If transcript and/or recommendations are required that request must be made at least one month prior to the deadline via a Scholarship Form.
      • As decisions arrive, be respectful and mindful of your classmates and seek counsel when needed. 
      • Inform College Counseling of all application decisions.
      • Make the final college decision by May 1 by sending an enrollment deposit to one school.
      • Thank everyone that assisted you in this journey, including teachers (specifically those that wrote recommendations) and your family.
      • Complete Graduation Survey on CIALFO.
      • Wear your college t-shirt to College Decision Day Celebration!
      • Do great!
     
    Parents/Caregivers:
      • Attend the Senior Parent & Student Program the week before school starts.
      • Log onto CIALFO and review the student's Shortlist.
      • Discuss a testing plan with your student.
      • Discuss with your student what types of application process they intend on using – Early Action, Early Decision, Regular Decision, or Rolling Decision.  Early Decision applications will require parent approval.
      • Contact the College Counseling Office with questions, concerns, or for clarifications.
      • Attend Financial Aid webinar.
      • Review schools on your student’s list that require the CSS Profile and the school’s deadline.
      • Submit FAFSA and CSS Profile, if required.
      • Support your student in times of potential great stress.  Emphasize with them that a college application decision is nothing other than a decision based upon numbers, not a declaration of worth. They will more than likely receive good and bad news, reacting unpredictably to both.  Tell them that you are proud of them and excited for their futures!
      • Be available to make final visits for accepted student programs, scholarship interviews, and special invite programs during the spring.
      • Review application decisions with your student and assist them in making a decision that is best for their future.  Reach out to College Counseling for professional and unbiased feedback.
      • Celebrate the decision and completion of a long and successful process.
     
    College Counseling Office:
      • Inform students if their college lists are balanced and communicate concerns.
      • Provide a Senior College Seminar curriculum that timely addresses and educates students on application requirements and best practices.
      • Give feedback on college essays when provided the appropriate time to do so.
      • Offer students mock interview opportunities with a counselor, a guest from a college, or an alumni interviewer.
      • Research and communicate with schools regarding any unanswered questions that families may have about a college.
      • Be involved in regional and national professional organizations that will keep staff current and educated, and permit networking and relationship building with college admission professionals. 
      • Advocate for all students with representatives.
      • Write individualized and unique college recommendation letter for each student.
      • Submit, per request of student, a student’s transcript, recommendations, and Archmere profile.
      • Submit Mid-Year Report to all colleges that a student has applied to.
      • Provide students and families the pros and cons of potential application decisions. 
      • Remind students of general deadlines.
      • Follow-up with colleges at student’s request concerning documentation being received.
      • Provide resources for scholarship searches and assistance when requested.
      • Be available to review financial aid awards with families.
      • Be available to help a student consider their different options and make their final decision.
      • Support all students in their decisions and celebrate everyone’s successes.
      • Send final transcripts to one school that the student lists on their Graduation Survey as enrolled school.
      • Organize May 1 College Decision Celebration!

Questions? Contact:

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Christopher Boehm

    Christopher Boehm 

    Director of College Counseling
    302-798-6632 Ext 771
    Bio
  • Photo of Catherine Reigner

    Catherine Reigner 

    Associate Director of College Counseling; History Teacher
    302-798-6632 Ext 863
    Bio
  • Photo of Logan Duffie

    Logan Duffie 

    Associate Director of Admissions; College Counselor
    302-798-6632 Ext 713
    Bio
  • Photo of Suzyn-Elayne Soler

    Suzyn-Elayne Soler 

    Associate Director of College Counseling
    302-798-6632 Ext 772
    Bio
  • Photo of Kees van Haasteren

    Kees van Haasteren 

    Assistant Director of College Counseling
    302-798-6632 Ext 793
    Bio

List of 9 events.

  • Mar
    13

    Why Engineering?

    Student Life Center - SLC
    Read More
  • Mar
    20

    Junior Career Day 2024

    The program will include a keynote address and sessions where students in the Class of 2025 can learn valuable professional skills and hear from speakers representing a broad range of career fields. There will be time for questions and reflection.

    Campus-wide
  • Mar
    21

    Athletics Recruitment Panel

    Interested in learning about college athletics recruitment and how it affects the college search? Join a panel of college coaches, admissions counselors, and former Archmere athletes as they discuss how athletic recruitment works and where to get started.

    Zoom
  • Mar
    25

    Senior Student College Coffee

    Seniors are invited to meet with the college counselors, over donuts and coffee, to provide updates and ask questions as we approach May 1, the National Notification deadline.

    Big Gym Lobby
  • Mar
    25

    First Year & Sophomore Parent Night

    The goal of this optional program is to provide information on Archmere’s College Counseling timeline, answer frequently asked questions, and provide advice to families as they move forward to summer and eventually the college search process.
    Student Life Center - SLC
  • Apr
    9

    Senior Student College Coffee

    Seniors are invited to meet with the college counselors, over donuts and coffee, to provide updates and ask questions as we approach May 1, the National Notification deadline.

    Big Gym Lobby
  • Apr
    22

    In-School SAT

    St. Norbert Hall
  • Feb
    5

    Career Networking

    Theater & The Patio
  • Mar
    20
View All Events
Archmere Academy is a private, Catholic, college preparatory co-educational academy,
grades 9-12 founded in 1932 by the Norbertine Fathers.