Thacher’s philosophy with regards to college matriculation is based on early preparation and a thoughtfully plotted walk through the complex issues and requirements of the search and application process. Figuring out the differences between Early Action and Early Decision, learning how to write effective college essays, taking the SAT or ACT with confidence, filling out applications or applying for financial aid, deciding which schools to focus on—all these tasks require levelheadedness and a sensible and methodical approach. These personal qualities are precisely what our college staff aims to nurture and encourage as they help students establish goals, set timelines, and learn to manage this milestone. While our hope is that students will successfully attain admission to the colleges of their choice, our overriding goal is to help them take their first major step into adulthood and responsibility with calm and optimism in their ability to make the most of those choices.
At Thacher, we believe that there is value in having time to process information, gain perspective, and achieve comfort with the various aspects of college admission. Initiating this process in the junior year when there is less pressure about the final results, students can successfully establish a foundation of knowledge that will help them navigate the actual process as seniors. At that time, they can expend energy more effectively on the truly important issue: identifying the personal priorities that will contribute to a rewarding match with an appropriate college or university community.
In addition, ours is a dynamic office that takes great pride in our responsiveness to the particular needs, strengths and weaknesses of each graduating class and the shifting trends in selective admission. Therefore, while much of the process remains the same from year to year, each spring/summer we make necessary adjustments to our work and policies in order to best serve our students.
This website provides helpful information for freshman and sophomores and their parents. It answers some basic questions about Thacher's college counseling work and offers a brief glimpse into the college search and application process. In the junior year, students and their parents will be introduced to Naviance, a web based program that will support and inform their college search and application process. Also, in January of that year we will begin individual and group meetings with students and parents to officially initiate the college search. Finally, in the senior year, students, parents and counselors will work closely together on the process we have all been preparing for.