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College Counseling

St. Mary's offers a comprehensive college counseling program. The college counseling staff visits freshman and sophomore classes to discuss the landscape of college admissions and answer questions. Students begin meeting individually with their college counselor junior year. We work with each student to help them reflect on their strengths, values and interests while at that same time help them research and identify a group of colleges where they believe they will thrive.

Highlights of the college counseling program include:
  • Parent information nights
  • College financial aid night (2016-2017 Presentation)
  • Individual meetings with parents and students
  • More than 140 college representatives visit SMA
Newsletter

Get the latest information about college counseling: May 2016 Newsletter

College Counseling School Profile

Naviance Site

Access to Naviance, our web-based college counseling software, is available spring of sophomore year. Click the link above to access.
Click here for instructions on using the Naviance Site. (SMA's CEEB code: 380920)

College Counseling Staff:

Kimberly Crouch, Ph.D., Director of College Counseling

Carolyn Gazeley, College Counselor

Karlen Suga, M.S. College Counselor

Meg Bowman, College Counseling Assistant

College Counseling Services by Grade Level

9th Grade

At the end of November or early December, parents and students are invited to an All-School Financial Aid Night. The freshman/sophomore presentation will be a primer on how to think about and plan for college costs. We will explain how need-based aid is determined, how merit scholarships might fit into the picture, and ways to anticipate college costs.

In January or February, we participate in a Freshman/Sophomore parent night that covers a range of topics. During that presentation we talk about college in the context of the high school experience and answer questions.

During the spring semester, the college counselors visit freshman classes to discuss the wide variety of colleges available, the concept of finding the right ‘fit’ and answer questions.

While we have occasional touchpoints with freshmen as a class, each student has an assigned college counselor, should any college-specific questions arise. These counselors should remain consistent throughout a student's SMA tenure.

Class of 2020 College Counselor Assignments:

Fleming, Gorman, Hemmen TAs: Kimberly Crouch

Hounton, Lund, Metscher TAs: Carolyn Gazeley

Park, Rojas, Duda TAs: Karlen Suga

10th Grade

Sophomores take the Pre-ACT in October on Testing Day. The ACT is one of two standardized tests students will take as juniors for their college entrance exams. The Pre-ACT will give insight into whether students will prefer the ACT or the SAT.

At the end of November or early December, parents and students are invited to an All-School Financial Aid Night. The Freshman/Sophomore presentation will be a primer on how to think about and plan for college costs. We will explain how need-based aid is determined, how merit scholarships might fit into the picture, and ways to anticipate college costs.

During the spring semester, the college counselors visit sophomore classes and introduce some of the material that is available to students when researching colleges.

In the late spring, a Sophomore College Night is scheduled to give parents and students an overview of the college research and application process.

While we have touchpoints with sophomores as a class, each student has an assigned college counselor, should any college-specific questions arise.

Class of 2019 College Counselor Assignments:

Barrett, Cronan, and Daschel TAs: Kimberly Crouch

Gardner, Johnson, Stadler TAs: Carolyn Gazeley

Tevik, Vannelli, Whitty TAs: Karlen Suga

11th Grade

Juniors will take the PSAT in October during school. The test is a practice test for the SAT. Test results are typically released from the College Board in December.

Juniors may attend college visits to SMA. Over 140 college representatives visit St. Mary’s each year. These visits provide a great opportunity for students to hear specifics about a particular college of interest.

Junior Parents are invited to an informal Question and Answer session with the College Counselors in September.

Juniors and their parents are invited to Financial Aid Night, typically in early December for help understanding need and merit based aid and a guide on how to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Students are invited to schedule individual appointments with their college counselors after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Students meet regularly from this point forward so they are well supported in the college research and application process.

In February Junior College Night for juniors and parents is made up of rotating break out sessions on topics such as How to Research Colleges, Financial Aid Strategies, How Colleges Choose Among Applicants.

On College Prep Day in May, juniors are introduced to the Common Application, think about which attributes are important to them as they apply to college, write a draft of their Activities Resume, and go through a simulation about finding a financial as well as academic fit.

Class of 2018 College Counselor Assignments:

Berger, Hainley, Housley TAs: Kimberly Crouch

Kelley, Nyland, Peterson, Salvi (last names A-G) TAs: Carolyn Gazeley

Salvi (last names H-Z), Sonn, Theil, Tormala TAs: Karlen Suga

12th Grade

Our September Senior College Night gives parents and students an overview of the coming year as it relates to applying to college and for financial aid.

Students are strongly encouraged to attend College Representative visits.

The college counseling office encourages frequent meetings with students throughout the year. Students have access to their counselors’ calendars in order to find a time that works best for them.

Periodic class meetings support students more generally through the application process.

In December, we offer a financial aid presentation focusing on completing and submitting the FAFSA. Students and their parents are encouraged to attend.

Class of 2017 College Counselor Assignments:

Haster, Moller, Yerton TAs: Kimberly Crouch

Faulkner, Gabbert, Gilbert, Stock-Marquez TAs: Carolyn Gazeley

Ellis, Mitchell, Stock-Marquez TAs: Karlen Suga

Information for College Admissions Representatives

Visits

We are happy to welcome college representatives each year. For 2016-17 we are scheduling appointments via Sign Up Genius. To set up your visit, please click on the link below and find a date and time that works well for you.

Visits can be scheduled beginning the week of September 6. Some dates are not available because of holidays, special all-school events, teacher in-service, or PSAT testing. We operate on a modified block schedule which changes each day. Visits are generally 40 minutes.

If you are not able to find an appointment that works, email Meg Bowman, College Counseling Assistant, at meg.bowman@smapdx.org with the subject line containing "college visit request."

Signup Genius: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0945a4ad29a5f85-...

Additional Information

Our building is located in the heart of downtown Portland, surrounded by Portland State University, businesses, restaurants, and parks. Parking can be a challenge, so please allow extra time to find a space. We are also on the Portland transit mall, with yellow and green MAX line stops right outside our front door.

The Hotel Modera is just a block away from the school, and we recommend it as a pleasant and convenient place to stay during your visit.

When arriving, please check in at the front office, on your right as you come through our front door, and they will provide you with a visitors badge and direct you to the counseling center.

Academic Information

Our school profile is available here. It is published each year in September and includes information about graduation requirements, grading scale, honors and Advanced Placement offerings and college admissions test scores.

More detailed information can be found on our Academics page.

St. Mary’s Academy is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Catholic Education Association, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, and the Oregon School Activities Association. We are accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools.

College Counseling Links

Key Websites

St. Mary's Web-based college counseling software logon to family connection

SAT Registration www.collegeboard.com

ACT Registration www.act.org

Common Application www.commonapp.org

College Search Web sites

www.collegeboard.com

www.collegeview.com

www.collegequest.com

Financial Aid Websites

Scholarship search site: www.fastweb.com
You have to register, but it's free.

Great site for information on all aspects of financial aid www.finaid.org

Free Application for Federal Student Aid www.fafsa.ed.gov

Oregon Student Assistance Commission www.getcollegefunds.org

CSS Profile profileonline.collegeboard.com/index.jsp

Financial aid calculator, for estimates on expected family contribution www.collegeboard.com/paying

Western Undergraduate Exchange www.wiche.edu/sep/wue

Miscellaneous Web sites

Women's Colleges www.womenscolleges.org

Canadian Universities www.uwaterloo.ca/canu/index.html

Catholic Colleges www.catholiccollegesonline.org

Jesuit Colleges www.ajcunet.edu

Historically Black Colleges www.hbcunetwork.com

Foundation for Jewish Campus Life www.hillel.org

Colleges That Change Lives www.ctcl.com

NCAA Clearinghouse www.ncaaclearinghouse.net

Summer Programs, college information www.petersons.com

US Accredited Colleges Abroad www.aaicu.org

Forms and Handouts

Class Specific Information

Class of 2017

Class of 2017
  • In early fall, parents are invited to join the college counselors for an informal Q&A. A morning and evening session is offered. Check the SMA calendar to see when this is scheduled.
  • Juniors will take the PSAT in October during school. This is a practice SAT.
  • Through the fall, students may attend sessions offered by college representatives at SMA (more than 100 colleges visit SMA each year). This provides a great opportunity for students to hear about what a college has to offer in terms of academics and campus life.
  • A financial aid presentation focusing on completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is given in December.
  • In January we begin having individual college counseling appointments with students to guide them through the college process.
  • In February we offer a college night for juniors and their parents which begins with a brief welcome followed by rotating breakout sessions that include topics such as Researching and selecting a college, Financial Strategies for Parents of College Bound Students, and College Admissions.
  • In March, we meet with Juniors to talk about college Letters of Recommendation and begin a matching process that ends in May. At that time, each junior will know which teachers will be writing their letters.
  • During College Prep Day in May, topics including writing an activities resume, financial literacy and researching colleges are available to students.

We recommend that each student take the SAT or ACT in the spring of their junior year.

Standardized testing dates are on the testing agencies' respective websites:
http://www.act.org/
https://sat.collegeboard.org/home

Contact Your Counselor

If you have a question or concern about the college process we, encourage you to contact your college counselor. At SMA, students are assigned a college counselor according to their TA Group.

Kimberly Crouch

TA: Ellis, Haster, Mitchell, Moller, Yerton

Carolyn Gazeley

TA: Faulkner, Gabbert, More, Robertson, Stock-Marquez

Class of 2018

Class of 2018
  • In October, sophomores take the PSAT during the school day. This is a practice SAT and as juniors they take the PSAT again.
  • During the fall semester, just before the National College Fair, the college counselors visit sophomore classes and discuss how to make the most of the college fair as well as introduce some of the material that is available to students when researching colleges.
  • In late spring, Sophomore College Night is scheduled to give parents and students an overview of the college research and application process.
Contact Your Counselor

If you have a question or concern about the college process, we encourage you to contact your college counselor. At SMA, students are assigned a college counselor according to their TA Group.

Kimberly Crouch

TA: Berger, Housley, Nyland, Thiel, Tormala

Carolyn Gazeley

TA: Hainley, Kelley, Peterson, Salvi, Sonn

Class of 2019

Class of 2019
  • In early January, we will participate in Freshman parent night. During that presentation we talk about college in the context of the high school experience and answer questions.
  • During the spring semester, the college counselors visit freshman classes to discuss the wide variety of colleges available and the concept of finding the right "fit" and to answer questions.
Freshman Parent Night - Handouts and Presentation
  • Preparing for College FAQ
  • Commitment Thermometer
Contact Your Counselor

If you have a question or concern about the college process, we encourage you to contact your college counselor. At SMA, students are assigned a college counselor according to their TA Group.

Kimberly Crouch

TA: Cronan, Stadler, Tevik

Carolyn Gazeley

TA: Barrett, Daschel, Gardner, Johnston, Vannelli, Whitty