College Counseling

At Spartanburg Day School, college counseling begins in 9th grade and continues through graduation.
Below please find our process, information about Naviance, and a series of resources gathered to help take some of the stress out of the college admissions process. If you have any questions, please contact annmarie.wesneski@sdsgriffin.org.


College Counseling Process

9th Grade

Students should focus on performing well in all subject areas. At the same time, students should explore activities that interest them, both within and outside the curriculum. The goal for ninth graders is to build a foundation that will serve them through the Upper School and beyond. Students should also take the PSAT in October, which serves as excellent practice for future standardized tests. Students and their parents should attend the college program in the fall designed for ninth and 10th grade students.


10th Grade

Students should continue focusing on their academics, while perhaps refining the list of things that interest them. Optimally, students will begin demonstrating leadership and commitment to those areas about which they are most passionate. Students should again take the PSAT in October, and should begin thinking about the types of colleges that may interest them. Students may attend information sessions from colleges visiting our campus. Informal, off-campus college visits to learn the differences between large vs. small schools, urban vs. rural, and so forth, may also be helpful. Students and their parents should attend the college program in the fall designed for ninth and 10th grade students.

11th Grade

The junior year is a critical one in the college process. The summer before the junior year is an excellent time to begin visiting colleges in which students are interested.

In the fall, students’ academic performance is crucial. Attitude and effort matter a great deal, as students’ 11th grade teachers will be the ones writing their recommendations. Students should be emerging as leaders in areas of school or extracurricular life that interest them. Students should take advantage of the many on-campus college visits (but not to the extent that it unduly interferes with academics), and should complete the college profile sheet supplied by their counselor. Students should again take the PSAT in October, with their results potentially qualifying them for National Merit Scholarships.

The college search process officially begins in January of 11th grade, and is launched by an important meeting with all juniors and their parents and the college counseling team. Students are assigned a college counselor and receive a Naviance account - a web-based, comprehensive college planning tool SDS provides to juniors and seniors. Students must continue making academics a top priority, and should work with their counselor to plan for an appropriately challenging senior year course schedule. Juniors must be aware of SAT and ACT registration deadlines, and should work with their counselors to establish a comprehensive testing plan (potentially including the ACT, SAT, SAT2, and AP exams). Students should also, in consultation with their parents and counselor, construct a list of prospective colleges that they feel may be a good match for their abilities, interests, and talents.


12th Grade

12th Grade: The summer before senior year is an excellent time to visit college campuses. Students should, by this point, have refined their thoughts about what they seek in a college. Students should build a resume containing their activities, interests, awards, and other things that have special meaning to them.

Fall of senior year can be a stressful time. On top of academic and extracurricular demands, which remain important, seniors must manage the college application process. Seniors and their parents should meet with the school counselor in August or early September to fine tune the application plan. Students must begin completing applications, with particular attention to the relevant deadlines. Students must ask two 11th grade teachers for recommendations, and should plan on taking the SAT 1 or ACT.

All applications should be completed and submitted to the counselor by the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Once applications are complete, seniors should obtain financial aid forms from the counselor and submit them in January. January is also the last opportunity for seniors to take the SAT 1, SAT II and ACT exams.

Students who have not received decisions from their colleges already should hear by early April. Financial aid awards should arrive, as well. Students must choose among their acceptances and notify the college of choice and their counselor by May 1. Seniors then have only to complete any AP exams and the remainder of the academic year, and the process is complete.

What is Naviance?

Naviance is a web-based, comprehensive college-planning tool that students, parents, and faculty will use throughout the college search and application process. It offers college research and planning features to families. Teachers will use the eDocs feature of Naviance to upload and send college recommendations to colleges. College counselors are also able to upload materials through eDocs, and may also track the students’ interest level in and application status of colleges on their lists.

For Students: When registering for the first time, you will need your access code, which was distributed at a College Night. Please use your SDS e-mail address as your e-mail log-in credential.

Naviance - student loginNaviance - parent login

For Parents: When registering for the first time, you will need your access code, which was distributed at a College Night. After creating your account initially, you will use your Naviance e-mail account and password for future log-ins.

Please e-mail annmarie.wesneski@sdsgriffin.org to receive user information or to reset your password.

Resources