From its First Graduating 12th Grade Class
in 2000, to the present, Austin Waldorf students have been well prepared to take their next steps towards independent adult life. Most graduates choose to matriculate directly into colleges or universities but a few choose to participate in gap year programs, to work in local business, or to travel independently.
The Austin Waldorf School College Counseling Office supports students in their college and post high school preparation, research and application process. Prior to 11th grade, the HS College Counselor supports the students preparation for this period by offering group orientation to the college admission process, administering PSAT’s, and assisting with course choices. Starting in the fall of 11th grade the College Counselor provides the students with guidance classes and one-on-one conferences, which support the students in identifying their own interests, strengths, priorities and goals in order to research and develop a varied list of colleges and universities offering the best matches.
The 11th graders are assisted in registering for SAT, ACT, and SAT II testing and guided in how to investigate scholarship opportunities. It is also arranged for them to meet with college representatives on pur campus, at local receptions and college fairs, and on the actual college campuses. The counselor also arranges for AWS alumni visits to share their experiences and thoughts concerning post-high school planning. By the summer of the rising senior year, the students have a developed list of colleges, which allows most students to participate in the August College Application Workshop offered by the counselor. This workshop provides a hands on instruction in how to prepare admission applications, essays, resumes, portfolios, and scholarship applications.
As the students enter senior year, they are encouraged to make a varied and diverse college list, thoughtfully selecting schools that will best match their own paths. This list is highly individual. For some students it may include as few as one college or as many as twelve, depending upon student and family decisions. Whatever the size of this list, the College Counseling Office and the faculty believe it is very important to support whatever path students and their parents determine and assist in every way possible.
In the late fall of senior year, the counseling program arranges for a Financial Aid officer to meet with parents and seniors to explain the variety of financial aid and scholarship opportunities available across the United States. This service has been particularly helpful, with the most recent graduating class of twenty-seven students receiving offers of over $3 million in scholarships. The students and their families are also guided in how to apply for and receive federal and institutional financial aid. All in all, Austin Waldorf School students have historically enjoyed a great deal of success in financially planning for their college educations. Finally, in the spring, as seniors awaiting admission decisions, the counseling program invites local professionals to meet with students to discuss various aspects of what will be needed to ultimately make the transition to college and from college to their chosen profession.
Patricia Daunt-Grogan, HS Counselor