Current Families

This page provides college counseling information for current families at BUA including standardized testing information, financial aid and scholarship information, resources and recommended reading, college credit transfer information, and timelines for families of juniors and seniors.

A host of programming is offered to help students and families successfully navigate the college process:

  • Weekly junior class meetings
  • Weekly senior class meetings (fall semester)
  • Individual student and family meetings
  • College interview preparation
  • Campus-hosted SAT and ACT preparation
  • College essay and application review
  • Spring sophomore parent program
  • 65-80 college admission officers visit campus each fall to meet with interested students
  • Spring junior parent program
  • College Essay Writing Workshop- Rising seniors write college essays with immediate feedback from college counselors and an undergraduate admission officer
  • Fall and spring senior parent programs
  • College Colloquium – A conversation between families of juniors and a current leader in the field of college admissions

Resources for All Families


College Admission Guidebook

Transferring BU Course Credit

Freshman and Sophomore Families

The college counselors are available to meet with and advise students about standardized testing, academic choices, extra-curricular involvement, or summer opportunities at any point during high school. We encourage all BUA families to read the bi-weekly College Counseling Newsletter.

Junior Families

Formally, the college search process begins in January of junior year with weekly junior class meetings to discuss various aspects of the college application process. By the end of Junior year, all students will have met individually with the college counselors several times, developed proficiency with Naviance (the college counseling database), completed several self-reflective surveys, developed a preliminary college list, identified faculty recommenders for college applications, brainstormed potential college essay topics, completed a first-round of all testing, practiced interview skills, and had the opportunity to engage in conversations with admission officers on our campus.

This is a month-by-month overview of the college counseling process for juniors (or view pages 50-53 of the College Guidebook):

  • Check the College Counseling Office bulletin board or Naviance for colleges visiting BUA.
  • Keep up with class work; junior year grades weigh heavily in the admissions selection process.
  • Get involved! Genuine investment in 1-2 activities is better than token participation in many.
  • Register through BUA for the PSAT.
  • If you are currently enrolled in calculus, talk with your math teacher and the College Counseling Office about registering for the Math II SAT Subject Test.
  • Fall bi-weekly meetings begin with Assistant Director of College Counseling.

  • Take PSAT. Read the PSAT/NMSQT Student Bulletin and take the sample test in advance.
  • Attend college representative visits at BUA; attend local receptions hosted by colleges.

  • Sit for a free practice ACT at BUA for an unofficial early indication of ACT performance.
  • Continue to put forth your best academic efforts in these last two years. Touch base with your faculty and professors for feedback on your performance at mid-semester.
  • Pay attention to teacher comments and act on suggestions.

  • Review PSAT scores with your college counselor and parents.
  • Discuss Revolution Prep’s SAT and/or ACT prep courses with family, college counselors.
  • Prepare for exams; colleges look carefully at your junior grades.
  • Keep a copy of your Boston University syllabi.

  • Continue college exploration and research. Look through view books and college materials that arrive in the mail; visit college websites.
  • Sit for a free practice SAT at BUA for an unofficial early indication of SAT performance.
  • Set up appointment with the college counselors to discuss the college search process; parents are also encouraged to schedule a meeting.
  • Begin weekly “Junior Meeting” with BUA college counselors.
  • Familiarize yourself with Naviance and complete lengthy, assigned initial survey.
  • Breakfast for PARENTS of juniors in mid- to late January (optional)

  • Register for March SAT Reasoning Test.
  • Develop a preliminary list of colleges which interest you and contact them for information.
  • Ask your parents to complete their Naviance survey.
  • Attend College Colloquium (with a current admission officer) to learn about selective college admissions.
  • Schedule Spring Break college visits.

  • Meet with college counselor to discuss senior course selection and preliminary college interests. Do your courses meet college admission requirements?
  • Register for senior year classes.
  • Register for April ACT, if interested.
  • Take SAT Reasoning Test.
  • Take Subject Tests in courses you are taking this year as needed; discuss these plans with your teachers and college counselors.
  • Register for SAT or Subject Tests in May and/or June, as needed.
  • Use Spring Break as an opportunity to visit colleges.
  • Register for Advanced Placement Tests if you are taking them.
  • Continue to research colleges on preliminary list.

  • Register for May SAT or Subject Tests, as needed.
  • Budget time, avoid end-of-the-semester crunch with paper deadlines and exams.
  • Visit, research colleges. Attend BISCCA and National College Fairs in Boston.
  • Submit three potential college essay ideas to the college counselors.
  • Work with college counselors to identify/secure two BUA teacher recommenders.
  • Plan for summer job, volunteer experience, internship in area of interest. Check out resources in College Counseling Office for summer opportunities.
  • Take practice exams in preparation for the SAT Subject Tests. Time yourself!
  • Take ACT, if interested.

  • Register for June ACT, SAT and/or Subject Tests, as needed.
  • Take SAT Reasoning or SAT Subject Tests, as needed.
  • Utilize Naviance to compare colleges of interests, note application types and deadlines.
  • Keep a copy of your Boston University syllabi.
  • Request a mock interview with college counselors (optional).

  • Take SAT Reasoning or SAT Subject Tests.
  • Continue to research colleges and plan summer visits, if possible.
  • If interested, register for the BUA college essay writing workshop.
  • Register for July ACT, if interested.

  • Register for August SAT or Subject Tests, if needed.
  • Take ACT exam, if registered.
  • Visit college campuses, participate in college interviews, work on college essay draft(s).

Senior Families

The fall of senior year is perhaps the busiest time in the college application process. Weekly senior meetings with the college counselors help all seniors stay on track in producing robust applications. As college lists are finalized, essays are written, applications are produced, and students weigh the merits of applying to colleges by early, priority, or regular application deadlines, the college counselors are involved in the process, offering guidance from years of work in highly selective college and university admission offices.

This is a month-by-month overview of the college counseling program for seniors or view pages 53-56 of the College Guidebook):

  • Register for September ACT, if interested.
  • Visit college campuses, participate in college interviews, work on college essay draft(s).
  • Create a Common Application account. Participate in Common App ‘boot camp’ at BUA (optional).

  • Personal Statement/college essay due in College Counseling Office upon return to school.
  • Register for the October and/or November SAT and/or SAT Subject Tests, if needed.
  • Register for the October ACT, if needed.
  • Begin weekly “Senior Meeting” with BUA college counselors.
  • Check in regularly with your college counselor, faculty advisor about your courses. Are they manageable? Do you anticipate needing extra help?
  • Check Naviance for – and attend meetings with – college representatives visiting BUA.
  • Edit and polish Personal Statement and begin working on short answer essays.
  • If applying to schools in the United Kingdom, fill out the UCAS forms.
  • Reduce your preliminary list of colleges to fifteen or fewer.
  • Complete the CSS Profile registration form if you are applying early.
  • Confirm which teachers are writing letters of recommendation.
  • Find out exactly what forms, test results, interview expectations, etc. are necessary to apply to all colleges in which you are interested.
  • Sit for ACT exam, if registered.
  • Draft of Common Application due to College Counseling Office.

  • Review your transcript with a counselor.
  • Having trouble in one of your classes? Set up a meeting with your professor or T.A. Notify the college counseling office immediately.
  • Register and review for November SAT or SAT Subject Tests, if needed.
  • Take SAT or Subject Tests and/or ACT, if registered.
  • Attend college representative meetings.
  • If you plan to apply early decision or early action, you must inform the College Counseling Office by mid-October.
  • Check financial aid requirements for schools to which you plan to apply EA or ED.
  • Continue to work on supplemental application essays.
  • Coffee for PARENTS of seniors in mid-October.

  • Take the SAT or SAT Subject Tests, if registered. Do you want your scores sent to additional colleges? Fill in the four free score report recipients at the administration.
  • Touch base with your faculty and professors for feedback on your performance at midsemester. Colleges may put a heavy emphasis on this semester’s grades.
  • Update your college list in Naviance before Thanksgiving. By late November/early December, your list of schools should be relatively final, well-balanced and fewer than 10.
  • Check with the college office about scholarships. Complete, submit University of California system application (open November 1-30).
  • Register for December ACT, SAT or Subject Tests, if needed.
  • Request interviews at colleges of interest, continue working on supplemental essays.

  • Take ACT, SAT and/or SAT Subject Tests, if registered.
  • Complete all applications for admission. Keep electronic and hard copies!
  • Be aware of all application and financial aid deadlines.
  • Complete FAFSA and CSS Profile, if necessary.
  • EA and ED applicants will begin to receive decision in early/mid-December. Remember to not let these decisions distract from preparation for your final exams.
  • Keep a copy of your Boston University syllabi.
  • Plan to submit all college applications by late December (preferably earlier!!!)

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Check with your references – have they sent recommendations?
  • Ask your parents to begin last year’s tax forms and aim for early completion.
  • Make sure all applications are complete.
  • College interviews by invitation

  • Check announcements and online resources for scholarship information.
  • Monitor application portals for application status. If you speak with an admission office staff member, record the date and their name. Let the College Counseling Office know immediately if any credentials are missing from your admission files.

  • Regular Decision results are posted/mailed in mid-late March. Prepare for their arrival.
  • Register for Advanced Placement Tests if you are taking them in May.
  • If you applied for financial aid, watch for the Financial Aid Form Acknowledgement and the Student Aid Report from the FAFSA Program.
  • Coffee for PARENTS of seniors in mid-March

  • Review your acceptances and financial aid offers with college counselors.
  • Visit the colleges of your choice before making the final decision.
  • Notify the college of your choice. Send enrollment deposit to be received by May 1st.
  • Make decisions about any waitlist offers you may have received.

  • By May 1, make enrollment deposit.
  • Notify schools you have decided not to attend.
  • Keep your counselors informed of your decisions and any scholarships you receive.
  • Send your Student Aid Report (S.A.R.) to your chosen college – keep copy for your records.
  • If necessary, apply for a student loan at a local bank.
  • Apply for summer jobs to help pay for college costs.
  • Keep your BU course syllabi.
  • Contact the college you are attending to explore receiving transfer or placement credit. Let the College Counseling Office know if you need a letter sent detailing which courses are eligible for college credit. Send an official BU transcript from the BU registrar to your college destination once final grades are posted.
  • Graduate!!!

  • Send final BU/BUA transcripts to college
  • Request college credit for BU coursework