College Counseling

College Counseling Timeline

Suggested timeline for students and families

List of 4 items.

  • Grade 9

    • Work hard in all classes and adjust to new academic expectations and work loads
    • Become involved in extracurricular activities at school and in the community
    • Learn how to become a strong self-advocate
    • Learn how to ask for help when help is needed
    • Begin to develop family expectations around college, priorities, paying for college, etc.
    • Remember that grades earned during the freshman year DO matter to colleges, and they are used in the calculation of the GPA.
  • Grade 10

    • Continue all aspects of the Grade 9 list
    • Take the PSAT in October and review your scores in December.
    • Attend Grade 10 planning night and College Night with admissions experts at Ellis
    • Visit a college for fun – be a tourist, walk around, eat, get a feel for what it’s all about
    • Consider taking an SAT subject test if you are in an advanced level math or science class
    • Be intentional when selecting summer plans
  • Grade 11

    • Attend and participate fully in Junior Seminar. (built into Junior schedule)
    • Take the PSAT in October
    • Attend the several college programs at Ellis: College Process Kick-Off program in November, Financial Planning night, College Night with admissions experts, coffees, etc.
    • Schedule SAT and ACT for the first time in January, February or March
    • Meet regularly with your college counselor.
    • Work to develop and refine college list with counselor
    • Attend the Pittsburgh NACAC College Fair (February).
    • Visit colleges over spring break or when it works for you/your family Take another ACT/SAT in the spring, AP's in May (if applicable)
    • Consider and register for SAT II Subject Tests in May/June
    • Ask teachers for recommendations
    • Be intentional when selecting summer plans
  • Grade 12

    • Attend all Senior Seminar meetings (again built into schedule)
    • Attend all programs offered by College Counseling
    • Meet college representatives at Ellis
    • Continue to meet with your college counselor
    • Continue to hone college list
    • Write essays and complete college applications
    • Request/confirm teacher recommendations
    • Take the ACT in September, take the SAT in October (if applicable)
    • Request and prepare for interviews (if offered)
    • Continue to visit campuses
    • Parents file Financial Aid paperwork in January (FAFSA and CSS Profile forms).
    • Receive college acceptances in March/April and choose a college or university by May 1.
    • Compare financial aid packages
    • Select a college (only 1!)
    • Enroll, graduate, celebrate – hooray!


List of 2 members.

  • Keith Bryner Jr.  

    Director of College Counseling
  • Elizabeth Gray 

    Middle and Upper School Theatre Teacher, College Counseling Assistant