College Counseling

This Moment Matters, Prepare to Apply

by College Counseling Associate Director Mr. David Brunk
The advent of senior year inevitably elicits a range of emotions: sadness at the passage of the seemingly too-short summer; glee at the reunion with classmates; excitement over finally being the undisputed leaders of the school; trepidation concerning the most difficult classes they have taken to date. To that list, many add a sense of dread over the impending college application process.

It's Time, You're Ready

The months of standardized testing, application essay revisions, working with teachers to secure letters of recommendation, and numerous college visits (real or virtual) have led to this moment. Now that once-distant deadlines are visible over the horizon, the process can take on an unsettling immediacy that demands decisive action. NOW this really matters. NOW this essay has to be right. NOW that activity list must be finalized.

The application process has a finish line, to be sure. For many students, that finish line is November 1st, and there are a number of steps that must be taken before then, including:
  • Review your testing plan with your counselor
  • Refine your college list, ensuring you have an appropriate number of schools which are likely to both offer you admission and are financially viable options
  • Meet with colleges which are visiting Severn this fall, in-person or virtual
  • Revise your essay(s) with your counselor
  • Work with your parents on the financial aid process
If this seems daunting to you, then take a deep breath. You’re ready for this. After all, you have been preparing to apply for years. Every lab report and in-class essay, each victory and defeat on the playing fields, and any late night spent in the theatre or editing the yearbook has played its part in equipping you to put your best foot forward in your college applications.

Take Advantage of This Year

Here’s another tip: don’t look past your senior year. As you prepare your applications, you should also prepare to apply yourself to your schoolwork, to your responsibilities as leaders of the school, and to the expectations that come with young adulthood. Severn’s role is not to merely prepare you for college, but to prepare you for life after graduation. Endeavor to apply your best selves to the year ahead. Set the tone for yourself and for others by launching into senior year rather than waiting for it to happen to you. Before you know it, it will be the year behind you. Make it one to remember.

Your College Counselors Are Here to Help

Mr. Brunk, Mrs. Coughlin, and Ms. Margosian work one-on-one with each student, which empowers them to advocate for our students, highlight special strengths, and support college applications with letters of recommendation. Having each spent years in college admissions before transitioning to college counseling, they stand ready to answer all of your questions about admission testing and application procedures. They are here to help Severn students and families navigate the college decision-making process to find the right match — for the people our students are and the people they hope to be.

Our counselors also hold events throughout the year to give Severn families the best resources possible to make informed decisions. Events include:
  • Summer college workshops for seniors
  • College nights for juniors and seniors
  • Annual alumni panel Q&A
  • Paying for College: Helpful Strategies for Parents
  • Annual AIMS college fair

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Upper School