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College Planning Timeline

Applying to college and deciding on the right school for you can be a complex process. We’ll have your back, every step of the way.

As a 9th-grader, you’ll:

  • Begin developing study and life skills in a residential setting.

  • Become comfortable participating in discussion-based classes, like our Humanities I course, and doing collaborative work, in our Arts Foundation course.

  • Be encouraged to try new things — a new language, a new sport, and new activity — and to develop as a scholar.

  • Have an introductory meeting with our college counseling team. The counselors also work with NMH’s academic advisors to map out a strong course plan through senior year.

  • Take the PSAT 8/9, which serves as practice for future tests and helps establish a baseline for measuring your readiness for college. If there’s a subject that you have been studying at an accelerated pace since middle school, you might also take an SAT subject test in that area.

As a 10th-grader, you’ll:

  • Take the PSAT. You might also take an SAT subject test in an area that you’re advanced in. 

  • Keep working closely with your academic advisor to ensure that you’re taking the courses you need to set you up for success. 

  • Continue to be engaged in a variety of activities, from music to community service, sports to school publications.

  • Meet, along with your classmates, with the college counseling team for a big-picture conversation about the college application and selection process. 

As an 11-grader, you’ll:

  • Take the PSAT in the fall, then meet with your counselor to talk about your score and strategies for future tests.

  • Take your first round of the SAT and/or ACT in the spring. 

  • Attend the fall NMH College Fair, which brings scores of college admission reps to campus, as well as a spring fair hosted by a neighboring school.

  • Take an eight-week-long college counseling course, where you’ll learn the “language” of the application process and how to begin identifying your areas of interest. 

  • Begin meeting with your individual college counselor, with whom you’ll develop a list of potential schools to apply to and start planning summer visits. Your families will also be invited to campus for several programs about the process, including a talk by admission counselors from nearby colleges.

  • Take a test-prep program over the summer, if desired.

  • If you’re an athlete or artist, begin putting together your portfolio or performance videos.

As a 12-grader, you’ll:

  • Meet on a regular basis with your college counselor, fine-tuning your list based on new developments, from summer visits to improved tests scores. Your entire class will also have meetings with the counseling team to talk about the application process, including topics like deadlines (rolling, early action, early decision) and how to communicate with college admission officers and coaches.

  • In the fall, if desired, retake the SAT or ACT, take SAT subject tests, or take the TOEFL. You might also choose to take Summit Test Prep classes, which are offered in the fall and winter/spring.

  • Attend the fall NMH College Fair, where you can connect with admission reps and even interview with one of the many schools that offer this option. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet with dozens of college reps who visit campus each year.

  • Work on your essays and applications, with the support of your counselor.

  • Submit your applications and final transcripts — then get ready to cheer at graduation.

As a Postgraduate, you’ll:

  • Begin receiving college counseling before you even arrive on campus, starting in the late spring. 

  • Connect early with your college counselor, who will help you select the right courses for your PG year.

  • Take part in all the college counseling activities and opportunities available to 12th-graders, including counseling, test prep, and the NMH College Fair.