College Counseling at The Cambridge School starts with the understanding that every student is made in imago dei – created in the image of God. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, that God has prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Eph 2:10) We have been made for the good of others and to reflect God’s glory. Our lives are in His gracious and capable hands.

Knowing this means we can approach the college admission process with the peace that passes all understanding, the joy of discovery, and knowing that living for His purposes is deeply satisfying. Having confidence that God individually cares for us and is perfectly leading and guiding our futures changes how we will handle the fear, pressure and anxiety normally associated with the college process.

The Cambridge student’s academic and spiritual preparation leads to a path of life-long flourishing. (See our Portrait of a Graduate) We view the college years as an extremely formative and important step along that path, yet balance that with knowing college is only one step along the path of the totality of a God-honoring life.

College Counseling at The Cambridge School will:

Advise each student individually through the college admissions process, being deeply invested, researching college fits that will lead to thriving – choices that honor, know & love God, serve others and pursue wisdom and virtue.

Advocate for each student by developing relationships, resources and routines needed in the college admissions process.

Partner with teachers and parents to prayerfully identify the needs, interests, aptitudes and unique goals of each student, strategizing possibilities, assisting with logistics, and informing along the way.

Our comprehensive program works personally with each 9th-12th grade student. To provide college guidance information, we hold large-group meetings with all students and parents as well as family and private appointments at each grade level.

An additional bonus that isn’t normally found among high schools is that our own college counselor, Becky Priest, is a former Financial Aid Counselor from Washington University in St. Louis, bringing another valuable dimension to our program.

During this time of intense growth, students begin to discover their interests and passions. Now is the time to encourage them to explore activities and interests they can develop in the coming years. Colleges and universities love to see students with interests outside of school. Start now to find what drives your child. This is a way to begin to glorify God in unexpected and creative ways. Students should also concentrate on developing good study habits, reading as much as possible, loving to learn, and developing perseverance when challenges and trials come.
Happily adjust to Rhetoric School and its academic rigors as the official academic record is being built. There is still time to continue exploring interests, with a mind to begin to hone them to a few passions over the next year. This is also the time to think about volunteer opportunities and other activities that will contribute to a vibrant life outside of school. Use your time over the summer to pursue interests and help the community around you. Continue to develop perseverance and let yourself be challenged. Individual College Counseling Kickoff meetings with each family will begin during the second semester, complete with a summer assignment to visit two college campuses with the goal of exposure to types of colleges and to begin thinking beyond high school.
Sophomore year, with coursework, House, sports and activities outside of school, will demand more of your time. Time management is essential for this year and each coming year. In the fall, you will take the PSAT and attend presentations when college representatives visit our campus. Do you know older students who are away at school? Talk to them about their experiences when you see them over holidays. The more you learn now about the college experience, the more you will know what you want out of your own college experience. Parent financial aid meetings will take place in the fall, and an individual College Counseling Check-Up meeting in the spring, which will look with more specificity toward summer plans – work, play, volunteer, read, lead. Summer will include a mini-workshop looking ahead to Junior year and the college search.
This is a year for discernment as you strike a balance in many areas, but primarily between maintaining a strong GPA and managing extracurricular activities. Standardized tests will begin this year with the PSAT in the fall and the ACT, SAT, and SAT Subject Tests in the spring. Use your summer to pursue jobs and volunteer work that contribute to the overall portrait of the person you are. What makes you unique and what will you contribute to the schools you apply to? This is who God has created you to be and also the person you are presenting to colleges to potentially accept. This is an exciting time for you to fully embrace the young adult you are becoming. Ultimately, schools want to see your activities align with your future academic interests and to tell a consistent story. Activities such as college fairs, college visits, and presentations by representatives on our campus will be in full swing. Summer will include a multi-day workshop to begin the college application process in all its glorious detail where mysteries like essays, interviews, and letters of recommendation will be demystified.
Now is the time to bring together all of the hard work you have pursued for the last several years. Summer jobs, volunteer work, athletics, academic work—it all comes together to create a profile of who you are and what you can offer to the schools you wish to attend. The fall is consumed with the submission of all parts of the college application. The counselor submits all school-related parts, including grades, teacher recommendations, and the counselor recommendation letter, and guides you in completing the student portion. Working with your parents, teachers and college counselor, you will find the perfect place that God wants you to be next year. And often times, it is an unexpected place! When application results arrive, we will celebrate, reassure and support. We’re back where we started with reminding ourselves that our lives are in God’s perfect and capable hands. God is faithful.
Our children are growing in God’s grace, and high school can be emotionally rewarding and difficult as we see them mature and leave our nest. It can also be stressful when thinking of the financial strain that comes with the college years. Navigating the financial aid process doesn’t have to be confusing because we have a great resource in Becky Priest available to advise the process. Remember, begin early considering ways your child can work outside of school to discover and develop interests. Doing this helps children see, early on, how God can and will use them for His glory, and gives them direction and focus during the teenage years. Summer jobs, volunteer work, athletics, activities outside of school—all of these contribute immensely to the overall portrait of who your child is and will become. Colleges and universities are looking for students who have pursued interests and have known passions. Please peruse the resources we have on our webpage, and contact Becky to speak with her at any point for ideas. We are honored to serve you and be part of this process with you.