counter
Guidance
An Overview of College Counseling at BLS The goal of college counseling at Boston Latin School is to help all students transition successfully to higher education and career. We offer a comprehensive college counseling program, beginning in Class IV to support students in pursuit of this goal.


Class IV:

In Class IV guidance counselors meet with students, both individually and in groups to assist students in their transition to high school. These meetings also help them establish a strong academic foundation that will lead to many options for college. Students and families are introduced to Naviance​​​​​​​, an online tool used extensively for career and college exploration. 


Class III:

In Class III our college counseling efforts are focused on introducing possible career and college options to students and introducing students to college admissions testing. All members of Class II take the PSAT/NMSQT in October. This allows students to familiarize themselves with the SAT, and identify areas of strength and weakness that will help them prepare for the exam. Moreover, the the detailed score report from this test should provide some idea of what students can expect on the SAT when they take it during late Junior and early Senior year. More detailed information about college admission testing, including whether a student should consider the SAT or ACT can be found here. Class III students also participate in career groups which help them start to identify their possible professional interests and academic pathways for college. Finally, Class III students participate in College Preview, a program that introduces them to the whys and hows of the college application process.


Class II:

Class II is the time when the official college search process begins for BLS students. Students from Class II and their parents are invited to attend the BLS College Fair in October, and students are invited to meet with the nearly 150 colleges and universities who come to Boston Latin School to meet with students after school between September and November. These visit opportunities are publicized electronically in Naviance, and on site at the Schawbel Center. In addition to these on-site opportunities, we strongly recommend that students take advantage of any opportunity to visit colleges.  School vacations are an excellent time for college exploration and college visits, and these visits can be easily coordinated online. These visits allow students to understand the intangibles - in particular, what it really feels like to be at a particular college or university. They also help students fine tune their college lists. Accompanying a student on college visits, talking about the student's choices and ideas as well as their own, encouraging him/her to plan for the upcoming year, and supporting his/her decisions are all actions that will be most helpful as each student continues his/her college search and investigation. Having a parent’s full support in this endeavor will be very important to each student. To continue their preparation for college admissions testing, students from Class II are required to take the PSAT/NMSQT again in October. Starting in December, all members of Class II participate in Junior Forum: a required college preparation class, taught by Ms. Alyssa Frank, Director of the Schawbel College Resource Center. The course will run from December - April, and a course syllabus can be found here.
​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​​​​​​​In spring of Class II students also participate in a set of important programs. First, Class II students and their parents are invited to attend Junior College Night. In March, they participate in our comprehensive Career Day program, where more than 120 alumni return to BLS to speak to our juniors about their career and educational paths. Class II students are asked to complete the BLS College Counseling Questionnaire online, and they also begin receiving monthly college checklists​​​​​​​ to keep them on track in May.


Class I:

During the fall of senior year, students will complete their college applications and continue to sharpen their list of colleges to which they are applying.We believe it is critical that each student carefully investigate schools in order to know their reasons for applying to each school on their final list. The Boston Latin School’s recommendation for the college list is below: We recommend that each student’s college list include 6 and 10 colleges. In crafting a list, each student should strive for balance, selecting colleges from the following categories
  • Likely Schools (Select 2-4): Schools where the student’s chances for admission are strong (more than 50%)
  • Possible Schools (Select 2-4): Schools where the student’s  chances for admission are about 50/50
  • Reach Schools (Select 2): Schools where the student's chance for admission is significantly less than 50% and/or where competition is so keen that it is difficult to predict the chances of admission for even the strongest student.
The student's ultimate goal is to develop a college list that includes colleges from each of these categories, for which the student has genuine interest and would be happy to attend. We will be happy to work with students to place each college in one of three categories, giving our best assessment of the student's prospects for admission. In addition to the categories, we strongly advise every student to have at least one likely college that is a financial safety on their list. We define a financial safety as as school that you will be able to attend in the event that the financial aid that you receive from a more expensive college is not sufficient. For most BLS students this would be one of the Massachusetts state universities or community colleges. Students will be presented with this framework and the tools to begin constructing their college list in Junior Forum.

Students will also be directed to this new BLSCashforCollege, our new resource for scholarship information for BLS students.

Junior Parents/Caregivers: Please complete the Brag sheet for your student in the class of 2020.  The questions in the brag sheet are designed to help our counselors to learn more about your student.  Tell us all the amazing things about who they are!