The college search and application process can be daunting

— which is why we seek to guide students and parents every step of the way. Our comprehensive college counseling program assists with everything from test preparation to visit planning, from essay conferences to application processing. We make sure that all deadlines are met, and all questions answered. Ultimately, our goal is to empower girls to take charge of their process as they seek to find the colleges or universities that best suit her talents, interests, and abilities.
At Chatham Hall, every student actively participates in the college preparation process. Students meet frequently with a college counselor and attend a college prep class that meets once a week for a full academic year (from December of the junior year through November of the senior year). Some components of the college prep class and college counseling process include:

  • PSAT preparation and results analysis
  • SAT and ACT registration, preparation, and practice
  • Tours of area colleges and universities
  • Self-discovery exercises and analysis related to college and career choices
  • Essay-writing practice (in conjunction with English classes)
  • Planning and maximizing college visits
  • Completing the Common Application
  • Interview skills
  • Using online and print resources to research colleges
  • Meeting representatives of colleges who visit Chatham Hall
  • Evaluating pros and cons of early decision/early action
  • Financial aid and scholarships
  • Making the most of the college organization Web site, Naviance

College Process by Grade

List of 5 items.

  • Freshman Year

    September: Introduction to Naviance, Learning Styles Inventory, MIAdvantage and Do What You Are
    October: PSAT 8/9
    January: PSAT Analysis
    April: Freshman class meeting with college counselor (resume building)
  • Sophomore Year

    October: PSAT/NMSQT (practice), Pre-ACT
    December: Class meeting with the college counselor, PSAT analysis
    April: Class meeting with college counselor
  • Junior Year

    October: Parents Weekend: College Planning Workshop (required for all juniors; PSAT/NMSQT (required for all juniors); Begin college campus visits during Fall Long Weekend
    November: NACAC National College Fair (location TBD)
    January: all juniors are required to take one SAT Reasoning Test and one ACT, as well as SAT Subject test as necessary; College Counseling 101 class once a week, individual college conferences with college counselor begin, Common Application completed
    February: Individual college counseling sessions once a month, including in-class meetings and college résumé conferences.
    March–May: English classes will write a first draft college essay based on Common Application essay prompts
    MAY: “Long List” of colleges created before the end of the school year, request teacher recommendations
  • Summer of Junior Year

    Visit college campuses; interview if possible.
    Continue research on colleges. Surf websites and use Naviance.
    Take SAT/ACT prep classes or complete online study.
    Read! Read! Read!
    Work on refining and polishing college essay(s).
  • Senior Year

    August: Individual post-summer counseling sessions
    September: “Short List” of colleges with deadlines, testing requirements, and target dates set
    December: College Counseling 101 class once a week
    January: At least three opportunities to re-take SAT Reasoning SAT-II and/or ACT
    April: Continue college visits (on your own)
    October: Parents Weekend: Senior Parent and Student Individual Meetings; Senior college visits during Fall Long Weekend (two days off from school)
    November: Early decision (ED) and/or early action (EA) applications completed
    December: All regular admission (RA)/regular decision (RD) applications completed; Online Financial Aid Webinars via for parents. Four identical sessions offered at various times throughout the day.
    February: Families complete and submit college financial aid applications
    April: Colleges release rolling and regular decisions to applicants
    May: Individual meetings with college counselor to check on decision-making process. Individual phone appointments encouraged for parents as progress is made; National Candidate Reply Date. Submit deposits and commitment form to one college to confirm enrollment and financial aid.
A girls' boarding and day school in southern Virginia, Chatham Hall prepares girls for college and for productive lives. Our innovative academic program offers advanced courses, global study and travel, as well as project-based learning. We foster the intellect and character of each student and, through our Honor Code, live in a community of trust. Grounded in its Episcopal heritage, the school welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.
800 Chatham Hall Circle | Chatham, VA 24531 | 434.432.2941 |