Chelsea Academy takes seriously its responsibility to prepare students for college and beyond. One essential component of this task involves guiding and mentoring students through the college application process so that they are best positioned to gain admission to their chosen colleges. Equally important is the preparation the faculty provides in helping students to build a record of achievement and ensuring that they are ready to flourish academically and socially in college.
Dedicated and experienced college counselors oversee the school’s college counseling program. They work closely with parents and students in providing guidance beginning in ninth grade, including initiating discussions about students’ goals and aspirations, informing students about summer enrichment opportunities, researching and recommending colleges that would be a good fit for a particular student, offering preparation for the SAT and advice on writing the essays, and making available information on scholarships and other forms of financial aid.
The program begins in the freshmen year with information about the importance of building a strong academic record, developing interests outside the classroom, and cultivating relationships with teachers. In their sophomore year, students are encouraged to begin identifying the characteristics they are looking for in a college, to visit colleges during breaks, and to continue to develop their talents and interests. By their junior year, students begin to compile a list of colleges that match their interests and to prepare to take the SAT or ACT. All students take the PSAT in grades nine, ten, and eleven, and they take the SAT in the spring of their junior year. Students return to school for their senior year with a clear plan in place for meeting the admissions requirements and deadlines for their selected colleges. In October all seniors participate in a full-day college essay writers’ workshop that gives them the opportunity to write, receive feedback, and fine tune this important part of their applications.
The following information provides an overview of each year:
Laying the foundation for success as an Upper School student
- Freshmen begin their Upper School academic career by working with faculty to determine student’s appropriate math track and the optimal mix of honors and standard courses in science, history, and English.
- Freshmen take the PSAT in October and take part in SAT workshops.
- Freshmen begin to build their activities and sports resumes by participating in at least one team sport during their freshmen year and striving to build a track record as an active and engaged student by participating in school and house activities.
Assessing students’ progress towards their goals
- Sophomores continue to consult with college counselors and faculty advisors to assess their academic progress and to address challenges in study habits, test-taking skills, and overall progress in developing as strong critical thinkers and effective writers.
- Sophomores take the PSAT in October and take part in additional SAT workshops.
- To jumpstart their college planning, sophomores are encouraged to visit colleges and universities and attend college fairs.
- Sophomores compile their “halftime” resume at the end of the year to assess their progress towards building a strong scholastic and extracurricular record.
A year of discernment and exploration
- Juniors (and their parents) complete a thorough college-planning document to critically evaluate their options and to begin to build a college application plan.
- Juniors compile a list of colleges and universities that they are interested in attending. They research their targeted schools to better understand their academic offerings, student life, and admissions standards and requirements.
- Juniors take the PSAT in October and take part in additional SAT workshops. They develop their plans to take SAT, ACT, and AP tests during their junior and senior years.
Applications, timelines, and acceptances
- Seniors arrive on day one with a comprehensive college application plan and a rounded, well-researched list of targeted colleges.
- Seniors attend an all-day writing essay workshop.
- Seniors attend application-planning sessions with college counselors, order their priorities and task lists for the coming application season, and obtain assistance with Common App and general applications.
- Seniors are encouraged to access the full range of counseling support on such topics as scholarships, financial aid, completing applications, and preparing for school visits and interviews.
Throughout the application process, Chelsea recommends that students consult online resources, including the following:
Since its first graduating class in 2012, Chelsea has established a fine reputation with a range of prestigious colleges and universities. Not only have students gained admission to many competitive colleges, but they have gone on to excel in a variety of academic fields, including the humanities, mathematics, science, engineering, and the social sciences.
The following list includes colleges and universities to which Chelsea students have gained admission in the last five years (with asterisks indicating honors programs):
Catholic University of America*
College of Charleston
Franciscan University of Steubenville
George Mason University*
Iowa State University
James Madison University
University of Mary Washington*
Miami University of Ohio
University of Mississippi*
Mount St. Mary’s University
University of Nebraska
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
New Jersey Institute of Technology
University of Notre Dame*
Old Dominion University
University of Richmond
Sweet Briar College
University of Tennessee
Thomas Aquinas College
Thomas More College
University of Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Military Institute
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
College of William and Mary
Wyoming Catholic College
Savannah College of Art and Design