The College Process

College Process Through the Years
The college application process is often viewed as a cumbersome and enormous task. The College Counseling Department strives to provide timely information to students throughout their high school career to best position each young man for his post-secondary plan. Each student is more than his GPA and standardized test score and our goal is to provide opportunities for students to gain a deeper understanding of their likes, dislikes, dreams, goals and abilities to create a post-secondary plan that aligns with each student.

College counselors work with students and families in group and classroom settings during all four years of high school. In the junior year, individual family meetings occur to assist in the college selection process. We encourage you to explore the links below and remain open to the exciting journey that is unfolding.

We encourage students and families to read the U of D Jesuit College Counseling Handbook. This guide provides information for each high school grade level and well as U of D Jesuit policy and procedures for the college search.

Freshman Year

College Counselors work in conjunction with the freshman school counselor to provide relevant college information. The focus of the first year of high school should be on getting a solid foundation academically, and exploring a variety of activities within the U of D Jesuit co-curricular program and outside of school. This is a time for students to explore their interests as a vehicle to greater self-understanding. Freshmen are exposed to the college planning software, Family Connection by Naviance, to begin career work. Additionally, College Counselors lead students in an activity exploring their dreams and vision for the future.

Students and parents are encouraged to attend the Freshman/Sophomore Student Parent College information night which takes place in the second semester. This evening highlights the state of college admissions and provides a brief overview of high school within the context of college applications.

Sophomore Year

College Counselors work in conjunction with the sophomore school counselor to provided relevant information to students through classroom guidance. Utilizing Family Connection by Naviance, students complete career inventories, conduct initial college searches and learn more about course selection. The goal of the sophomore year is for students to begin focusing their activities to those they are most passionate about. In the case of college applications less can be more - if less means more involvement in a few activities with increased responsibility as opposed to little involvement in many activities. Students are also asked to consider their favorite subjects, class settings, relationships with teachers and classmates and favorite activities within the school and outside the school. As a student begins to know himself, the college process becomes a little less daunting.

Students and parents are encouraged to attend the Freshman/Sophomore College Night, which takes place during the second semester of the school year.

Junior Year

The junior year marks the official beginning of the College Counseling relationship. Prior to the junior year, College Counselors met with students in classroom guidance, in the junior year, students are officially assigned a College Counselor for individual planning. The goal of the department is to assist students in selecting schools that are a match with who they are.

Junior year activities include:

Junior Student and Parent Night -Students and parents are encouraged to attend this evening meeting in the Fall of the junior year. This meeting explains the upcoming 18 months with regards to the application process.

Individual Meetings - Individual meetings begin after the Junior Student and Parent College Night. Once a student has completed their required activities on Family Connection, these meetings can be scheduled.

Resume Writing Workshop - College Counselors attend junior classes toward the end of the junior year and assist students in developing their resume. Students build their resume in Family Connection.

Essay Writing Workshop - In conjunction with the English Department, College Counselors conduct classroom sessions on writing the college essay. These sessions occur toward the end of the junior year.

Senior Year

The senior year begins in flurry of activity as students prepare for their final year of high school and make plans for their future. College Counselors work closely with students as they prepare their applications, apply for scholarships, secure letters of recommendation and finally, make their college decision. Parents are encouraged to attend the Senior Year Parent College Night prior to senior year mini-class night.

Individual Meetings - College Counselors continue to meet with students throughout the senior year, assisting with applications, essays, scholarships and making the final college selection.

College Visits - Over 70 colleges visit U of D Jesuit in the fall. Students are strongly encouraged to visit with schools they are interested in, and those recommended by the College Counseling staff.

Interview Workshops - College Counseling will assist students in honing their interview skills for admission and scholarship application processes.

Visiting a College - U of D Jesuit allows seniors to miss 3 days of school to visit colleges. Students should report the visit three days in advance to the Student Affairs Office and upon return to school, provide the Student Affairs Office with a note from the admissions office.


August 1st - The Common Application is available

September 1st - The HBCU Common Application is available

October 1st - The CSS Profile for Financial Aid is available for the institutions that require it

November 1st - The first "big" Early Action deadline

January 1st - The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available

May 1st - The National Deadline for reserving your spot at one institution

Programs with Additional Application Information
In addition to completing standard application materials, the following programs require additional materials or registrations:

Athletics in College

U of D Jesuit student-athletes have chosen to participate in intercollegiate athletics in both the NAIA and NCAA. Any student-athlete interested in pursuing their sport at the next level, should speak with their coach to discuss ability and fit with regards to division.

While each sport has a slightly different recruiting cycle, the following the steps below will ensure the student-athlete is best prepared for the recruitment cycle:


Gap Year

At times, a student may pursue a Gap Year between high school and college. The purpose of the Gap Year is as diverse as the reason for the Gap Year. College counselors will work with students and families to discern why a student is pursuing a Gap Year, and help the student plan a productive year that will enhance the college application process.

While it is uncommon for our students to participate in Gap Year, we have had students participate in local service programs, in travel/service programs, and in Post Graduate (PG) programs at boarding schools. College Counseling encourages you to research Gap Year opportunities and read the Gap Year information from NACAC.

Military/Service Academies

Students who are interested in applying to a Service Academy should begin researching the various requirements of their chosen Academy(ies) during the first semester of the junior year. If applicable, the student will complete the pre-candidate registration information found on the website for the desired academy. While budget cuts are continuously changing the summer candidate programs at the Academies, students should register for a program and attend if they are accepted.

The Air Force Academy, Naval Academy and United States Military Academy (West Point), have a nomination process, whereby candidates apply and interview with their congressional and senate leaders to gain nomination. College Counselors assist students with this process during the second semester of the junior year and the first few weeks of the senior year.

Students are also encouraged to look at the non-nomination based Academies, such as the Coast Guard Academy and the Merchant Marine Academy. Additionally, there are schools that represent more than one branch of the military, such as The Citadel. College Counselors will assist students in discerning the appropriate applications for each student.


ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corp) is offered at many colleges and universities across the country. Students interesting in ROTC will begin the application process during the first semester of the senior year. College counselors will assist the student in locating ROTC programs that meet the student academic and military aspirations.

Visual and Performing Arts in College

The application process for the Visual and Performing Arts requires supplemental information. Students will be required to provide a portfolio of work for the Visual Arts and audition for the Performing Arts. Early communication with a teacher at U of D Jesuit within these disciplines is important to ensure the student has a well-rounded education, which may include taking specialized classes over the summer through local colleges. Such classes can include, but not be limited to; acting, music theory, costuming, and art history. Students may also wish to participate in summer workshops and auditioned/application based programs. Finally, students are encouraged to seek outside instruction within their discipline.

NACAC Performing and Visual Arts College Fairs - In addition to offering general college fairs, NACAC offers specialized college fairs for the Performing and Visual Arts. Students who are interested in these areas of study are encouraged to participate in one of these fairs.
The PlaybillEDU database - This database allows students to create a customizable seach of colleges, universities and conservatories offering majors in the performing and visual arts. A Guide to College Choices for the Performing and Visual Arts by Kavin Buck and Ed Schoenberg is an excellent resource for students considering these programs. The expanded 3rd edition is scheduled to be released in January, 2014.

Additional Resources

We encourage students and families to explore the links below:

College Rankings - NACAC's Report on US News and World Report Rankings

College Data 411- This is an excellent website that allows families to establish an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and then display probable net price for each school the student is researching. In addition, families can show graduation rates and first-year satisfaction as part of the results list. Use this site to conduct preliminary research and bring that list into our Family Connection/Naviance to see likilhood of acceptance based on your academic data.