Applying to college is an important rite of passage for Deerfield students. The most important aspects of the process are those that ask you to know yourself and to find a voice through which you can express your opinions and your preferences and, ultimately, represent yourself to others in a clear and confident way. Each student approaches the process in a slightly different way. Some of you will move through the steps quickly, others more slowly. It is crucial to take each of the steps yourself. Do not try to rush them or allow someone else to take them for you. Appreciate the time it takes to become more self-aware and to evaluate yourself honestly as a college candidate.
It’s important for you to learn more about the College Advising Office and the services we provide and to keep on top of the paperwork (electronic or otherwise) that applying to college requires. Both college admissions offices and the College Advising Office at Deerfield assume that you are at the center of your own application process; here is a list of items for which we will hold you responsible.
The College Admissions process can be a challenging one for parents because it may represent the first time that the student is expected, by college admissions offices and by the College Advising Office at Deerfield, to be the driving force behind his or her next steps. Parents must take a supportive, not central, role. Sometimes it’s difficult, but know that navigating the process is a crucial step on your child’s path to adulthood. Applying to college is a rite of passage that offers challenges but leads to personal growth. Just like taking a drivers’ license test, preparing for a bar or bat mitzvah, or asking someone to the prom, it’s something that can only be undertaken by the child; parents should offer encouragement and some logistical support, but they may not be in the driver’s seat. Here are some guidelines that may help:
The Deerfield College Advising staff has a depth and range of experience unmatched by many schools. We are here to guide and support you as you navigate the college admissions process. We believe that each student has his/her own journey through this process so almost all of our work with you will be individual. We expect students to initiate contact and to seek us out for advice and counsel. Our promise is to be responsive to both students and parents, as well as professional, realistic and well-informed.
Specific responsibilities include:
Students who want to play a sport in college at the Division I, IA, or II level, must register with the NCAA Eligibility Center by the end of their junior year. For more important information about NCAA academic requirements, please visit Athletic Recruiting.
Naviance is an online college search tool that helps students research potential colleges, keep track of their prospective and active applications, and estimate the likelihood of admission based on the results of previous Deerfield students’ grades and testing profiles as compared to each individual student’s personal academic record. All students are given access to Naviance in the fall of their junior year, and parents are given their own log-in information shortly afterwards. Naviance is the site through which Deerfield submits the school’s portion of a student’s application materials (transcripts, letters of recommendation), so it’s important that students keep their application information up to date on Naviance.
There is no specific requirement for frequency of meetings, but most seniors meet with their advisor every two or three weeks to discuss their progress. Advisors may request more frequent meetings if a student is falling behind in the process, or around crucial times of the year (such as application deadlines). Juniors will begin meeting with their advisor in late fall of junior year; they are encouraged to check in with their advisor about once a month. Students can schedule meetings by visiting the College Advising Office on the second floor of the Boyden Library, emailing their college advisor, or using Outlook to request a meeting.
The College Advising Office sends a message to all sophomores each winter to invite them to schedule a meeting with a college advisor. In the summer before students’ junior year, the College Advising Office will send additional information about what students should be doing to prepare themselves for applying. In the late fall of their junior year, students begin the process in earnest, starting by filling out an information sheet that will help them, in conjunction with their college advisor, begin compiling a list of schools.
Deerfield’s College Advising Office, located on the second floor of the Boyden Library, counsels students extensively on the college application process. Juniors are each assigned a college advisor who works with them closely and gets to know them well to provide personalized assistance. First year students and sophomores are also welcome to drop by the office with any specific questions, though the counseling and application process does not begin in earnest until the junior year.
Deerfield is highly conscious of the needs of its student-athletes, and offers a wide range of NCAA eligible classes. The College Advising Office and Deerfield coaches are accustomed to assisting students seeking to play sports in college, and they are experienced in guiding students through the recruiting process. They will work with students to be sure they meet the NCAA requirements, and are in the best position possible to be recruited. Mrs. Thiel in the Academic Dean’s office is our liaison to the NCAA compliance center and she can be a good source of guidance and information.