Beginning the Post-High School Planning Process

  • We know that junior year is a critical time for students and that most will begin thinking about their post-Masco plans during this year.  The School Counseling Department’s formal programming will begin for students at the beginning of the second semester. However, there are a few things to think about and engage in prior to our formal programming.  We encourage students and families to take advantage of opportunities to visit and tour colleges. There are many great options close by and family trips may allow for checking out options outside of New England. Students will also choose their classes for their junior year in the spring of their sophomore year.  We recommend that students strive for a balance between academic challenges and extracurricular pursuits.  Juniors will have the opportunity to take the PSAT in October and the SAT in April at Masconomet.  Scores are released through the College Board website.  Students will need to create a College Board account where they can view their scores, sign up for additional SAT tests and send scores directly to colleges.  Parents can begin to review information about financial aid on the MEFA website.

    At the beginning of semester 2, counselors will visit junior classes to present the Post-High School Planning program.  In the first presentation, the focus will be on ‘Finding the Right Fit’.  In the second presentation, we will focus on the college search process. Through these two classroom-based presentations, counselors will explain in detail the post-secondary planning process, including a “to-do” timeline, use of the Naviance website, registration for the SAT or ACT, an overview of other online search tools, campus visits, and for athletes, how to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. During the time period between February and April vacations, each junior should schedule a full-period appointment with their school counselor to formulate and discuss plans, review their high school transcript, and get any other questions about the process answered.

    Also, at the beginning of semester 2, counselors will hold a parent/guardian presentation where we will discuss many of the same things previously discussed with students, but will also talk about ways parents/guardians can support their student through this process.  In early spring, parents/guardians and students will be invited to attend the College Panel Night, which will include a presentation by a panel of college admissions officers.

    With respect to setting up college visits, students and families should be proactive. Juniors should look ahead in their calendars to see when they can start visiting colleges.  Both February and April vacations are good times for high school juniors to visit, as the colleges are in session and students can thus get a sense of the campus culture. To visit a college, simply go to its website, click on the link for undergraduate admissions, then on the link to “visiting campus.” Times and dates will appear; the student schedules whatever is convenient and then arrives at that time and date at the admissions office. These visits are casual, and typically include a campus tour conducted by a student at the school and a group information session with an admissions officer. Another option is to visit the school's website to view a virtual campus tour.