When does formal college advising start?

The College Office meets with Third and Fourth Form students during spring semester, during which time we focus on goal-setting and making the most of high school experiences. We begin working with students in earnest in January of the Fifth Form year, conducting a series of individual and group meetings that continue every two weeks throughout the fall semester of the Sixth Form year.

When do students take standardized tests?

1. Fourth Form Year: Fourth Formers will take the PSAT 10 in February.

2. Fifth Form Year:
  • Some Fifth Formers choose to take the PSAT/NMSQT in October for the National Merit Scholarship Competition.
  • All Fifth Formers are advised to take the SAT or ACT in October of the Fifth Form year. Once those scores are released, we work with each student to determine when he/she should test a second time.
  • Fifth Formers should also plan to take three Subject Tests in either May or June.
3. Sixth Form Year: Sixth formers typically take either the ACT in September or the SAT in October.

How many applications should I submit?

Sadly, no magical formula exists to determine the number of applications a student should submit. Generally, we encourage a student to submit five to eight, but some students have actually submitted as few as one and as many as twenty. We do not recommend either of these extremes, for submitting only one is "playing with fire" and submitting more than ten suggests that a student has not sufficiently "done his homework."

Finding the right colleges to apply to is primarily a matter of knowing oneself and researching a list of colleges thoroughly. When a student can compare his or her own profile to the Freshman Class Profile of a college, a picture emerges regarding how that student fits into the current student body. By determining whether a school is a reach, a likely, or a good bet, a student can decide how many schools in the three categories he might apply to. We think two or three in each range is a sensible plan.

It is imperative that students demonstrate their genuine interest in a school – through their essays, visits, contacts, etc. It is impossible to do this when applying to a large number of schools. Granted, it is quite easy to demonstrate sincere interest to a single school, but in case the student has not planned as carefully as he thinks he has, that single choice approach can boomerang and the student might find him or herself "homeless" when early decision letters are received.

So… what is the right number? A student can reach this decision only by studying the characteristics of a number of colleges and selecting a small handful of schools where he or she would particularly enjoy spending the next four years.

Does my interest in a school matter; should I tell them?

More and more we are hearing from our college counterparts that a student’s interest in the school really does matter. College admission committees consider the probabilities of whether an accepted student really might enroll at their school or if their institution’s application was just one of many that the student has submitted to multiple colleges. Interest can be tracked in many ways. Your personal visits to their campus – for an interview, information session, tour, open house, athletic meeting, or overnight – are entered into their database and tracked. Colleges also keep track of electronic correspondence – has the student emailed his/her admission representative, participated in an online chat, or accessed special websites? We do not advocate making yourself a nuisance to the admission staff – that kind of “interest” can offer a negative impact (!), but you should follow up with representatives from those schools that interest you most.

If I am recruited by an athletic program, does the admission office know?

As you know, NCAA guidelines dictate the rules by which coaches may recruit you. The rules differ for Division I programs versus Division III programs and so on. It is still your responsibility, however, to ensure your admission process with the institution. You want to be certain that the college's Admission Office knows of your interest in the institution and the athletic program. Don’t assume that the coaching staff is advocating for you – they may very well be, but it’s an awful chance to take with your educational prospects. Get to know your admission representative too. Make certain that he or she knows you’re in contact with the coach. When planning an official visit to the campus, plan to meet with your admission contact or participate in the college's open house programs. It is important that you declare your interest loud and clear! You may be interested in your position on the team, but it’s equally important that you voice your interest as a prospective student. Remember this is your process, not the coach’s process. Take responsibility for your admission decisions!

How do I apply for financial aid?

Colleges and universities require families seeking financial aid to submit one or both of the following forms:

  • FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)—The FAFSA is REQUIRED by all colleges and universities in the United States. The form becomes available online at https://fafsa.ed.gov/ on January 1st of the student’s senior year, and must be completed by deadline listed on each college’s website.
  • CSS PROFILE – In addition to the FAFSA, some schools may also require families to complete the CSS Profile. The Profile becomes available online at https://student.collegeboard.org/css-financial-aid-profile on October 1st of the student’s senior year, so families may work on it prior to completing the required FAFSA. (NOTE: Unlike the FAFSA, which is free of charge, the following costs are associated with the Profile: $25 for the initial application and one college; $16 per each additional college.

FINANCIAL AID DEADLINES ARE OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE! In order to be considered for financial aid, families must submit all forms and documents by the deadlines listed on each college’s website.

What opportunities are available for college campus visits?

  • School-Sponsored College Tours: During Orientation Week, the Fifth Form will visit two schools (one large, one small) in the Southeast.
  • Family Campus Tours: We encourage families to make official visits to schools which their children are considering. We ask that families use schools breaks and long weekends whenever possible, though the College Office will grant excused absences in special cases (auditions, athletic recruitment events, etc.)

  • Summer Vacation Tours: Many families plan college tours during summer vacation. If, however, your son or daughter becomes interested in a college during a summer visit, we urge a return visit during the school year when class is in session.

What documents will the College Office submit for applicants?

  • Asheville School transcript indicating courses, level (R, H, AP) of courses, and year-end grades
  • For transfer students only: the student’s transcript from high school(s) attended prior to entering Asheville School
  • Counselor Recommendation from the student’s college advisor
  • Two recommendations from classroom teachers from the student’s junior year
  • Asheville School’s Academic Profile

What colleges or universities will visit Asheville School this year?

More than 50 college representatives will visit our campus this fall, typically joining us for seated lunch. Students and parents may access the college visit list in the calendar portion of the Asheville School website. Fifth and Sixth Form students and parents may also view this list in Naviance.