College Counseling

Preparing for College Checklist

Belle Meade encourages students to strive for the future

At Belle Meade School, we encourage our students to stretch themselves, seek further education, and explore the many opportunities available to them as they move ahead. Our program promotes independence, goal-setting, long-term planning, critical thinking, analysis, problem-solving, initiative, creativity, collaboration, and personal responsibility. We strive to provide students with the skills and tools necessary for success after graduation, during college, and throughout life: public speaking, communication, time management, note-taking, study skills, group projects, essay writing, and research. Above all, we cultivate perseverance, ambition, and follow-through within our community.

Preparation begins in early high school

Preparation for graduation and college begins in the early high school years (9th and 10th grade). Students and parents meet with faculty advisors to discuss goals, interests, and skills, as well as look ahead at graduation requirements and college expectations. This conversation is revisited at each trimester meeting so that both students and parents know what to expect and are prepared. In addition, students prepare and practice these skills throughout their high school experience. Research, essays, large-scale projects, presentations and life skills needed for success in college are integrated into our curriculum.

Students work with their advisors to prepare and plan ahead

Students take PSATs during their sophomore and junior years, SATs during their junior and senior years (if applicable). We encourage upperclassmen to attend college fairs, visit and tour campuses, sign-up for admissions interviews, and explore a variety of options when making decisions for the future. In their junior and senior years, students begin meeting with faculty advisors at lunch to gain additional assistance with this process. At this time, students begin the college selection and application process. They write entrance essays, complete applications, practice for the SATs, prepare for interviews, and discuss their options with faculty and staff.

Finding direction and making choices for the future

During the early part of senior year, students continue to fine-tune their decision-making process. They receive guidance with college selection, decisions about further education, applying for scholarships, grants and financial aid, selecting special programs and areas of study, questions about housing and budgeting, interest in study abroad, preparation for graduation, and numerous life skills.

Keeping in touch

Belle Meade alumni often come back to visit and share their experiences after high school, in college, and as adults. Faculty and staff offer assistance and guidance to recent graduates, alumni, and families with questions about college, work, and life in general. Our philosophy is: “Once a member of the Belle Meade Family, always a member of the Belle Meade Family.”

Belle Meade students have been accepted to or are enrolled at:

St. Mary’s College
Purdue University
James Madison University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (VTech)
George Mason University (Honors College)
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Berkeley School of Music
Mary Washington
Emory and Henry College
Earlham College
Roanoke College
Randolph College
Bridgewater College
Sweet Briar College
Old Dominion University
Northern Virginia Community College
Lord Fairfax Community College