College Counseling Programs

Grades 10-12 Parent/Guardian Meetings

College counselors conduct informational meetings with parents/guardians that are designed to educate them about the college application process.. We discuss the college counseling timeline, curricular selections, extra-curricular opportunities both here at Brentwood School and in the surrounding community, standardized testing, athletic recruitment, and resources for researching college options. In January of the junior year, we invite representatives from a variety of institutions for a candid panel discussion on admissions trends. We also lay the groundwork for the months ahead and, in particular, help parent/guardians to understand what is expected of students and the ways they may support their students.

In the fall of the senior year, we offer parents a group meeting to disseminate detailed information and to address the application process. Although a great deal of information is conveyed during our one-on-one meetings with students in both their junior and senior years, the college counselors also set aside time to meet individually with parents.These meetings typically lay the groundwork for college visits, testing schedules, financial aid discussions, and other detailed information.

Grades 10-12 Student Meetings

Each year the college counselors conduct developmentally appropriate and grade specific, small group meetings. Meetings are designed to build a close working relationship and a solid understanding of each student’s activities and interests, allowing us to provide students with the information we discuss with parents. We also use this time to empower students to make the most out of the wide variety of opportunities available to them at Brentwood School. We hope that our students will be active in their community, seeking out leadership roles and opportunities to share their passions. Finally, our meetings are designed to help students learn about different undergraduate institutions through a fun variety of college trivia games, activities, and informal conversations.

During the spring of 10th and 11th Grade, each student will meet one-on-one with his or her assigned college counselor to discuss course selection and to design an individualized plan for the future. Toward the end of 11th Grade, students meet with their college counselors to discuss their college planning process. At the beginning of 12th Grade, college counselors set aside formal and informal time to meet with students and to provide them with needed resources and advice.

Our model is truly a counseling model, where students are empowered to discover and share their full selves. We care deeply about each student and do our best to equip them with the tools to thrive during their time with us and beyond.

College Athletics Recruitment

Brentwood School routinely has a number of athletes who pursue the opportunity to be student-athletes at the collegiate level. Our students have gone on to play at the NCAA Division I, II, and III levels as well as in the NAIA. Beginning in the sophomore or junior year, we meet individually with parents and students to help educate them about college athletics and the role that recruitment may have in the college process for the student. In addition, in both the fall and spring, we offer athletic recruitment workshops to help student-athletes understand the recruitment process. We encourage all student-athletes considering playing sports at the collegiate level, to work closely with our College Counseling Liaison for Student Athletes, Ms. Riki-Ann Serrins (rserrins@bwscampus.com). Ms. Serrins works with students to create a personalized plan to contact coaches, create an athletic resume and other activities relevant to each student-athlete.

Case Studies and College Fair

Every April, Brentwood School invites 40 college and university admissions representatives from around the country to our campus to meet with parents and students. Participants are given four mock applications, complete with essays, recommendations, interview evaluations, and activities. The admissions officers lead small groups through the application review process and conduct mock admissions committee meetings using parents and students as their committee. The four mock applications provide fodder for good conversation; each has much to offer, and weighing the pros and cons of each mock student application under the guidance of an expert admissions officer is a great exercise for our families. Following the session, a college fair is held on campus, allowing students and families the opportunity to learn about dozens of schools and talk with admissions officers.

College Tours

Each year, we invite Brentwood School sophomores and juniors to participate in an optional spring college tour chaperoned by the College Counseling Department. Traditionally, sophomores spend 2-3 days touring colleges in Northern California and juniors have the opportunity to spend an entire week touring colleges on the East Coast. Students have found this to be an extremely beneficial experience and come away from the trips with a clearer picture of what they are looking for in a college. The trips are organized by the College Counseling Department and careful thought is put into the types of institutions that the students visit. The schools represent a variety of different sizes, locations, and selectivity levels. Updated itineraries and sign up information are distributed to families in the Fall. We hope your child can join us!

Here is a sample itinerary from past trips:

West Coast College Tour—10th Grade
East Coast College Tour—11th Grade

College Athletics Recruitment

Brentwood School routinely has a number of athletes who pursue the opportunity to be student-athletes at the collegiate level. Our students have gone on to play at the NCAA Division I, II, and III levels as well as in the NAIA. Beginning in the sophomore or junior year, we meet individually with parents and students to help educate them about college athletics and the role that recruitment may have in the college process for the student. In addition, in both the fall and spring, we offer athletic recruitment workshops to help student-athletes with the recruitment process. Often, we encourage students to get a head start on the recruiting process by speaking to their college advisor, and by writing letters to college coaches, perhaps including an athletics resume.

For additional information, please feel free to contact our College Counseling Liaison for Student Athletes, Ms. Riki-Ann Serrins (rserrins@bwscampus.com). Students seriously considering playing a Division I, II, or III sport in college should also check out the student-athlete recruiting information at www.ncaa.org before proceeding with recruiting efforts.

College Essay Workshop

Each summer, Brentwood School offers an optional college essay writing workshop in August. With access to admissions representatives invited from universities throughout the country, Seniors have the opportunity to generate essay ideas, draft writing samples, and receive one-on-one feedback. The course begins with lectures from college admission officers and essay writing experts. Each student meets individually with college admissions officers as well as writing experts who offer advice as they draft their college essays. At the end of the two-day intensive experience, students can expect to have drafts of up to three different essay topics.

PSAT

All 10th and 11th Grade students are invited to attend a PSAT preparation workshop held on our campus. This workshop is conducted by a local test-prep company.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Workshops

Brentwood hosts a Financial Aid and Scholarship Workshop for all interested families. The process of applying for federal need-based aid and resources for merit-based scholarship opportunities are discussed.