Above Nav Container

Utility Container

Search Trigger (Container)

Mobile Menu Trigger (container)

Off Canvas Navigation Container

Close Trigger (container)


Sidebar Nav

College Counseling

Maribet Byrne, College Counselor

Mrs. Maribet Byrne
College Counselor

At The Village School Upper School, we structure an approach that provides excellent guidance enabling students and parents to craft an appropriate path in the student’s college application journey. We aim to be meticulous, empathetic, and professional in assisting students to explore possible choices and completing a strong application accentuating individual accomplishments. This approach guarantees multiple college options, enabling the student to confidently make the best choice for their ambitions.

At The Village Upper School of Naples, students are connected to Naviance, a great website that has many resources for college and career preparation.

  • Self-Assessments: include the three major types of self-assessments that can give students the foundations they need for college and career readiness success: individual strengths, learning style, and personality type/career exploration.
  • Career Exploration: the career planning tool allows students to understand how their strengths, goals, skills, and interests can lead to exciting careers. Naviance helps students understand their unique strengths, connect their interests to careers, set goals and develop self-knowledge and personal motivation.
  • College Search: by matching students to colleges based on students’ interests and goals, and comparing admissions rates at students’ top college choices, the Naviance college planning tools allow students and families to make informed decisions. Naviance helps students understand college possibilities, explore high school specific college admissions stats, match to best-fit colleges, and identify ideal college majors.
  • Naviance eDocs: allows counselors to securely send student application-related forms, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, school profiles and more, electronically to more than 2,000 colleges and universities and even linking to the common application.

To explore Naviance, please visit this link with your child’s credentials:

Click here

What to consider when looking for a good college?

  • In determining a good college in the liberal arts and sciences model, the ultimate hallmark of academic distinction that a college of university can hold is a Phi Beta Kappa Chapter status. With over 3,200 two and four year colleges in the United States, only 255 have earned the Phi Beta Kappa Chapter status. Students interested in the liberal arts and sciences as well as the pre-professional degree programs should research the list of Phi Beta Kappa colleges. For the list of Phi Beta Kappa schools, please visit this link: https://www.pbk.org/ChapterAssociations/ChapterDirectory
  • A percentage of students who have a job in their field of study by the time they graduate from college.
    • Co-Op schools are colleges that afford not one but often two mandatory (paid) internships in one’s field of study. Co-Op schools are some of the most popular in the United States as the job placement ratio for graduates is over 95% by time of graduation. For a list of schools with top internships/Co-op programs, based on the US News study, please visit this link: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/internship-programs
    • When visiting colleges, schedule an appointment (if possible) with one of the counselors in the Career Planning and Placement Office to inquire about jobs in the field of chosen studies.
  • Faculty credentials – these can be checked department by department at any college or university in which you are interested.
  • A percentage of students who graduate in four years (A percentage of over 80% of is a good metric.)
There are hundreds of world-class universities and colleges in the US any of which will deliver equitable undergraduate education independent of the admission acceptance rate.
We encourage students to find a balance in their college search between academic excellence and outside the classroom. (Best fit) Students will spend 95% of their college tenure outside the classroom so understanding where one will be happy, content and connected is our priority in college counseling.

What to consider when looking for ways to save?

  • College accepting credits taken in high school via AP or CLEP exams
    • AP (Advanced Placement) helps students earn college credits, since scores on AP’s often allow freshmen to skip certain introductory college courses or gain credit toward graduation. Typically a score of at least 3 on an AP exam will earn a student college credit, but it depends on a school’s AP policies. Some colleges and universities may require a 4 or 5 on an exam; the maximum score on an AP exam is 5.
    • CLEP (The College-Level Examination Program) helps students receive college credit for what they already know, for a fraction of the cost of a college course. It is accepted by 2,900 colleges and universities. For a complete list of colleges’ CLEP policies, please visit this link: https://clep.collegeboard.org/school-policy-search
  • Merit Scholarship based on ACT/SAT cut scores. There are more than 100 different scholarships tied to cut scores at 37 out of 58 flagship/prominent schools for example. For a list of colleges granting scholarships based on ACT/SAT scores, please visit: https://princetonreview.blog/2017/12/18/higher-tests-scores-lower-tuition/
  • Partnership pathways for students to transfer from a local community college, which is typically lower in price, to a four-year college for their bachelor’s degree. Transfer pathways, often developed by private and public institutions, are intended to help students transfer from two-to a four-year college without losing valuable credits earned at the associate level.

College Planning: Timeline

Freshman Year

Students will:
  • Take the ACT in the spring to get a feel for standardized testing and for the ACT.
  • Attend assemblies to meet college representatives.
  • Attend TVS Spring College Fair.
  • Utilize Naviance in group sessions for: Self-Assessments, Career Explorations and College Searches.
  • Plan taking challenging courses. Colleges are more impressed by respectable grades in challenging courses than by outstanding grades in easy ones.
  • Create a file of important documents and notes such as, certificates, lists of awards and honors, and lists of school and community activities in which you are involved, including both volunteer work with descriptions of your responsibilities.
  • Get involved with academic enrichment programs, summer workshops, and camps with specialty focus such as music, arts, and science.
  • Stay active in clubs, activities, and sports that you enjoy.
    • Learning happens outside the classroom and colleges look at more than just your academic record for admission. Therefore, demonstrating your abilities outside the classroom is very important.

Sophomore Year

Students will:
  • Take the PSAT in the fall to get a better feel for the SAT and as practice for the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.)
  • Attend assemblies to meet with college representatives
  • Attend TVS College Fair
  • Sign up for the Spring Florida College Tour
  • Utilize Naviance in group sessions for: Self - Assessments, Career Explorations and College Searches
  • Continue planning on taking challenging courses such as AP courses available
  • Update your file of important documents and notes
  • Continue extracurricular activities, as admission officers look at students' extracurricular activities when considering them for admission
  • Continue participation in academic enrichment programs, summer workshops and camps with specialty focuses, such as music, arts, and science
  • Begin your college search and visits
    • Attend college tours to help you decide what characteristics are most important to you, such as the size of the school, distance from home, cost, and extracurricular activities.
    • Create a list of colleges and universities you are interested in and discuss it with your parents and college counselor.

Junior Year

Students will:
  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT, as practice for the SAT and as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Taking the test as a junior will qualify you for some scholarship consideration and identify you to colleges as a potential applicant. When you receive the results electronically, review them to learn more about your strengths and weakness.
  • Begin to prepare for the ACT or SAT. There are many free resources on the internet. You should plan to take at least one of these tests in the spring and again next fall during your senior year. Ask your counselor if you qualify for a fee waiver.
  • Be sure to ask about test dates for the ACT, and SAT. You’ll need to register up to six weeks ahead of time.
  • Register for a spring offering of the ACT or SAT. Discuss whether to take the SAT Subject Tests this spring.
  • Attend assemblies to meet with college representatives.
  • Attend TVS College Fair
  • Sign up for the Spring Florida College Tour
  • Ask your counselor about summer opportunities on college campuses. These can be a great way to find out what college life is all about and make you a more attractive candidate for admission to colleges.
  • Utilize Naviance for College Searches and start developing a resume – a record of your accomplishments, activities and work experiences. This will be an important part of your college application.
  • Begin taking a more serious look at colleges and universities. Make a file for each college and gather information about academics, financial aid, and campus life and compile a more definite list of colleges to apply to.
  • Narrow down your list of colleges and begin consider “safety”, “match”, and “reach” schools. Find out if you qualify for any scholarships at these schools.
  • Request letters of recommendations from teachers for your college applications.
  • Think about lining up a summer job, internship or co-op.
  • Summer between Junior and Senior Year:
    • Continue investigating colleges and finalize college list
    • Complete the Common Application or other applications
    • Begin drafting your personal statement. Visit college websites and the Common, Coalition, and Universal Application websites to find application essay requirements.
    • Begin working on supplemental essays
    • Consider whether to apply Early Decision/Early Action/Regular Decision to each school.

Senior Year

Students will:

  • Register for the SAT and/or ACT – this will be your last opportunity to take the SAT and ACT before November Early Action and Early Decisions deadlines.
  • Create a checklist and calendar to chart:
    • Standardized test dates, registration deadlines, and fees
    • College application due dates
    • Financial aid application forms and deadlines
    • Other materials you'll need for college applications (recommendations, trascripts, essays, etc.)
  • Some schools require the CSS/Financial Aid Profile. Ask the colleges to which you are applying for their deadlines. Register as early as September. See your college counselor about fee waivers.
  • Some colleges will have deadlines as early as this month. These will include Rolling Admission, Early Decision, and Early Action deadlines.
  • Finalize your college essay
  • Request letter of recommendations from teachers, school counselor, or employers. Follow the process required by utilizing the appropriate forms, and providing your resume to each person writing you a recommendation.
  • Research possibilities of scholarships.
  • Finalize and send any early decision or early action applications due this month. Have a parent, teacher, counselor, or other adult review the application before it is submitted.
  • Every college will require a copy of your transcript from your high school. Follow your school’s procedure for sending transcripts.
  • Make sure testing companies (ACT or SAT) have sent your scores directly to the college to which you are applying.
  • It is time to file the FAFSA. (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) will be available this month. Visit www.fafsa.gov to complete this application.
  • State funded grant programs have limited funds, so the earlier you apply, the better your chances of getting the grant money. The sooner you complete it, the sooner you will have an idea of your financial aid options. Watch the mail for your Student Aid Report (SAR) – it should arrive four weeks after the FAFSA is filed or watch your email if you filed electronically.
  • Begin to organize regular decision applications and financial aid forms, which will be due in January and/or February.
  • Many popular and selective colleges will have application deadlines as early as Jan.1. Other have deadlines later in January and February. Keep track of and observe deadlines for sending in all required fees and paperwork.
  • If necessary, register for the February ACT (some colleges will be able to consider it).
  • Ask your college counselor in January to send first semester transcripts to schools where you applied. At the end of the school year, they will need to send final transcripts to the college you will attend.
  • Don’t slack in the classroom while most of your applications are complete and you are waiting to receive admission decisions. The college that you do attend will want to see your second semester transcript. No senioritis!

Acceptance letters and financial aid offers will start to arrive. Review your acceptances, compare financial aid packages, and visit your final choices, especially if you haven’t already.

  • May 1 is the date when the college you plan to attend may require a commitment and deposit. When you’ve made your college decision, send in your deposit by the postmark date of May 1. If you’ve been offered financial aid, decide which offer to accept and follow the instructions given. Also notify schools you won’t attend of your decision.
  • Make sure you have requested that your final transcript be sent to the school you’ll be attending.
  • If you are “waitlisted” by a college you really want to attend, visit, call and write the admission office to make your interest clear. Ask how you can strengthen your application.
  • Enjoy your summer
  • Summer jobs can help pay some of your college expenses and give you great career preparation.
  • Make a list of what you will need to take with you for your dorm room. The suggested list of items, room, and furniture dimensions and many other questions can usually be answered by visiting your college’s website and searching under “Housing” or “Residence Life” for further information.
  • You will most likely get a roommate assignment form your college. Call, write, or email to get acquainted in advance. In your conversations and communication, you should be able to figure out who will bring what for your room.
  • Some colleges will offer a summer orientation/registration. Make sure to attend to meet fellow students, and other important people on campus and to familiarize yourself with your new school. This is often the time you sign up for your fall courses.