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.

  • Freshman Year & Summer

      • Focus on the transition to Archmere academically and socially
      • Seek assistance when necessary in the classroom as ninth-grade performance will be seen by college admission offices
      • Identify opportunities to get involved in extra-curricular activities and leadership experiences
      • Be active and engaged inside and out of the classroom
      • Talk with your guidance counselor at course scheduling time about your four-year academic plan
      • Be aware of student’s classroom performance.
      • Support involvement in activities inside and outside of school
      • Attend a College Counseling program if interested
      • Attend Freshman/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 freshman year is a strong academic transition at the Freshman class meeting
      • Invite families to some College Counseling programming
  • Sophomore Year & Summer

      • Take Pre-ACT test in October (Use these scores to identify areas of testing that are strengths or weakness that might influence preparation for future ACT or SAT tests)
      • Focus on performing at your best in the classroom.  Seek out assistance early on in courses that may seem overly challenging.
      • Don’t lose sight of your passions and stay involved! 
      • Consider activities that you put aside in your freshman year out of time concerns
      • Attend Junior Class College Panel evening if interested
      • Explore Naviance, 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
        • Your College Counselor will be assigned.
      • Identify schools you would like to explore and qualities of those schools that make them attractive
        • We recommend visiting a couple college campuses during a spring vacation or during the summer months
      • Attend Wilmington Case Study and College Fair program
      • Take SAT Subject Test if appropriate
      • Create a testing plan with your family for the SATs, ACTs, and SAT Subject tests. 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.
      • Review PSAT scores with your student and ask questions of the College Counselor and Guidance 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 couple of college visits in the spring and summer months
      • Ask your student to show you Naviance and explore with them.  See what colleges they have added to their Prospective College list.
        • Ask students to show you Careers and About Me tabs which will include completed exercises in regards to potential careers, majors, and college preferences.
      • Attend Freshman/Sophomore Parent College Night
      • Attend the Wilmington Case Study program and College Fair
      • Discuss with your student a testing plan for the SATs, ACTs, and SAT Subject Tests.  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 Naviance access and assign student’s College Counselor
      • 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
  • Junior Year & Summer

      • 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 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
      • Meet with College Counselor in November/December/January
      • Complete Junior Reflections questions
      • We recommend you sign up for at least one SAT & one ACT test before the summer.  Please seek counsel from your College Counselor if you have questions about which test and what date you should register for (the March SATs are offered at Archmere)
      • Begin College Seminar Class during the first cycle of spring semester
      • Attend family meeting with College Counselor scheduled by parents
      • Update Naviance “colleges I’m thinking about” list with schools that you are interested in
      • Schedule spring semester college visits
      • Consider attending local college fairs 
      • Create Common Application account (in College Seminar)
      • Attend Junior Career Day
      • Request teacher recommendation letters and enter them into Naviance.
      • Take SAT Subject Tests if applicable
      • Attend College Counseling programming
      • Complete Junior English essay assignment
      • 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
      • Complete Aukology questions
      • Attend After School College Workshops & Wilmington Case Study program
      • Be very productive over the summer.  Attend something valuable.  Complete Common Application essay.  Visit colleges.  Prepare for fall testing.  Take advantage of an experience that introduces you to a college or a potential career.
      • After August 1 –
        • Begin 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
        • Complete Senior Summer Update form
      • Attend Junior Parent Night
        • You will receive access to your student’s Naviance 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 child throughout the year and encourage them to do the scheduling of visits
      • Attend Junior Parent College Workshop (required - there are two offered)
      • Complete Junior Parent Recommendation Survey
      • Schedule family meeting with College Counselor after second Junior Parent College Workshop
      • 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. 
      • Ask questions of the College Counseling Office whenever you have them
      • Attend Wilmington Case Studies Night and College Fair, especially if you were not able to attend the previous year
      • Recommend your child be productive over the summer 
      • Familiarize yourself with the FAFSA and CSS Profile financial aid forms
    College Counseling:
      • 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 students 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 on Naviance
      • Carry out programming that provides students and families different mediums to learn more about the college search and application process
      • Identify schools on a student’s list as likely, target, and reach to permit students to understand if their list is balanced
      • Review and critique college essays when provided sufficient time to do so
  • Senior Year

      • Complete fall meeting with College Counselor to begin to finalize your college list and application strategy
      • Organize your college list and understand what each school requires of you and their deadlines.  You should intend to apply to between 6 to 12 schools depending on how many Reach schools are on your list.  You should have at least two Likely and four Target schools on your list (identified by your College Counselor).
      • Register for SATs, ACTs, or SAT Subject Test if applicable
      • Complete transcript/recommendation request forms (Green Sheets) at least one month prior to application deadlines
        • Check on Naviance 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 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, 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!
      • Remind parents of financial aid deadlines
      • Attend Senior Career Experience Day
      • 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 mid-semester grades to colleges, if desired
      • Search for scholarship opportunities through resources provided and submit applications by deadlines.  If the transcript and/or recommendations are required that request must be made at least one month prior to the deadline via a Yellow Sheet
      • As decisions arrive be respectful and mindful of your classmates and seek counsel when needed
      • Inform College Counseling of all application decisions
      • Make final college decision by May 1 by sending an enrollment deposit to one school
      • Complete Graduation Survey on Naviance
      • Attend Senior Parent Night
      • Log onto Naviance and review student’s Prospective College List
      • Discuss the testing plan with your student
      • Review schools on your student's list that require the CSS Profile and the school’s deadline
      • Discuss with your student what types of application process they intend on using – Early Action, Early Decision, Regular Decision, or Rolling Decision
      • Contact the College Counseling Office with questions, concerns, or for clarifications
      • Attend Financial Aid Night
      • Submit FAFSA
      • Support your student in times of 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. 
      • 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
      • Offer students mock interview opportunities with a counselor or a guest from a college
      • 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 students with representatives
      • Write college recommendation letter
      • Submit, per request of the 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
      • Be available to review financial aid awards with families
      • Support all students in their decisions and celebrate everyone’s successes
      • Send final transcripts to one school that student lists on their Graduation Survey as enrolled school

Questions? Contact:

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Christopher Boehm

    Christopher Boehm 

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

    Catherine Reigner 

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

    Logan Duffie 

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

    Suzyn-Elayne Soler 

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

    Kees van Haasteren 

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

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Archmere Academy is a private, Catholic, college preparatory co-educational academy,
grades 9-12 founded in 1932 by the Norbertine Fathers.