College Advising

Our Process

College Process Planning Calendar
Kimball Union Academy is a college preparatory institution, so by design each year of your experience here builds towards the intended outcome of college matriculation. The expectations and guidelines for the freshman and sophomore years are more general while they become more specific with the progression through junior and ultimately senior year. Using this guide will assist you in understanding what is expected at each stage.
Freshman Year
  • It is important to begin high school as strong as possible. The later you are in your high school career, the more difficult it is to improve your G.P.A. Make certain that you are doing all the work required of you in each of your classes.
  • Building relationships with your teachers can be quite positive. Make the most of office hours and ask for assistance as needed.
  • Establish good study habits early.
  • Read, read, and read some more. This is the perhaps the best thing you can do to improve your standardized test scores and academic performance.
  • Look for opportunities to develop non-academic skills such as: leadership, creativity, responsibility, special talents, and individuality.
  • The earlier you become involved in activities, the easier it will be to achieve leadership roles in those activities.
  • The more activities you try early, the easier it will be to determine which activities hold the most interest to you.
Sophomore Year
  • If appropriate, challenge yourself with honors classes.
  • Take the PSAT for the first time.
  • Begin to include college campus visits as part of your family vacations or KUA long weekends and breaks.
  • Register for the June SAT Subject Tests if appropriate. See Mr. G for more details.
  • Read, read, and read some more. This is the perhaps the best thing you can do to improve your standardized test scores and academic performance.
Junior Year
  • Prepare for the PSAT.
    • o   The October test will be used to determine the National Merit Semifinalists and Commended students.
    • Visit with college representatives at KUA.
    • Work on maintaining or improving your grades. Grades from your junior year and first trimester of senior year will be the most important.
  • Visit with college representatives at KUA.
  • Take the PSAT/NMSQT at KUA.
  • Schedule an appointment with Mr. G to review your progress.
  • Results of the PSAT are returned to students.
    • o   Review your scores to help identify the areas you need to concentrate on in your preparation for the SAT.
    • Begin preparation for the SAT and ACT. Use our online software, Method Test Prep.
      • o   Plan on taking the April ACT and the May SAT at KUA.
      • Receive your college advisor assignment. Schedule a meeting with your college advisor to begin the college selection process.
  • Register for the April ACT and the May SAT.
  • Attend the College Planning Weekend.
  • Schedule college campus visits during spring break.
  • Take the ACT at KUA.
  • Attend the college fair at Colby-Sawyer (required junior class activity).
  • Apply for Pre-College Programs over the summer.
  • Register for the June SAT Subject Tests, if appropriate.
  • Take the SAT at KUA.
  • Identify two current teachers (one English or History and one Math or Science) to write letters of recommendation.
  • Division I or II athletic recruits.
    • o   Register with the NCAA Clearinghouse. This is required to make an “official” visit as a prospective student-athlete or to play at the Division I or II level. Register online at
Pre-Senior Summer
  • Read, read, and read some more. This is the perhaps the best thing you can do to improve your standardized test scores and academic performance.
  • Visit college websites and look through college guidebooks.
    • o   The Fiske Guide to Colleges, Princeton Review’s Best 378, Peterson’s Competitive Colleges, The Insiders Guide to the Colleges, and Colleges That Change Lives
    • Make college campus visits.
    • Read carefully the brochures you receive in the mail or in the admissions office.
    • Begin thinking about and creating a draft of your college essay. Use the Common Application topics as a guide.
Senior Year
  • Create your Common Application account. The application should be available on August 1st.
  • Begin working on your applications.
  • Link your Naviance account with your Common Application account.
  • Schedule meetings with your college advisor.
  • Know what your deadlines are and plan so you can meet them.
  • Save all of your documents (essays and short answers) so you can use them for other applications.
  • Have your college advisor read your essay.
  • Early Decision and Early Action applications must be completed now. (Deadlines do vary, but many are November 1 or November 15. The University of California system application process is geared around the month of October.)
  • Keep your grades up. The first trimester of senior year is a critical marking period. Some colleges will wait to make a decision until after they see first trimester grades.
  • Register to retake the SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Tests. Over two-thirds of students improve the second time around.
    • o   KUA is a test center for the ACT in October and the SAT/SAT Subject Tests in October, November, December, and January.
    • Update/Complete your resume. This will be useful for the “activities” section of most applications as well as helping you organize your thoughts for college admission or alumni interviews.
    • Meet with the college reps from any school in which you are interested when they come to KUA.
    • Finish campus visits to your top schools. Arrange for permission for these trips with the College Advising Office. Use the designated college visit days in October.
  • Finish and submit your applications.
    • o   The earlier you have them completed the better.
    • o   Have your college advisor review your application before you submit.
    • o   Make sure you put your full effort into your application.
  • Complete any applications you still intend to submit.
  • Apply for your FAFSA PIN # at (if you are planning to apply for need-based financial aid).
  • Submit any last applications.
  • Complete your FAFSA online at You may also need to complete the CSS/Profile (if you are planning to apply for need-based financial aid).
    • o   You can file the FAFSA and CSS/Profile before you file your tax forms with the IRS. It is possible to use estimated data, although actual data are better.
    • Some colleges may contact you for an alumni interview.
  • Respond quickly to any requests for additional information from college admissions and financial aid offices.
  • Be patient and wait. Admissions offices are very busy and they are doing their best to give your application every possible consideration. This can be a stressful time, so make sure you talk things through…with your friends, your parents, your advisor, your college advisor, or Mr. G.
  • Finish strong in your classes: your college will see your final grades. All offers of admission are contingent upon you successfully completing your final trimester. This means performing at the same level you did throughout high school.
  • Review all your acceptances and financial aid awards.
  • Meet with your college advisor to discuss your college options.
  • If you have any doubts about your decision, visit the colleges you have been accepted to: stay overnight, sit in on a class, talk to students and professors, and get a feel for campus.
  • By May 1, notify all colleges who accepted you that you will or will not be enrolling.
  • Your enrollment deposit must by paid by May 1 to the college you plan to attend. You may only deposit at one school.
  • May 1 is the deposit deadline for most colleges.
  • Inform Mr. G of your college choice so your final official transcript is sent to the correct school.


Kimball Union Academy  |  Meriden, New Hampshire 03770   p: 603-469-2000  |   f: 603-469-2040  |
Founded in 1813, Kimball Union Academy is one of the oldest private boarding high schools in New Hampshire and the country. KUA offers the best of the traditional New England Boarding School experience to a diverse group of day and boarding students from across the country and around the world. Located in Meriden, New Hampshire in the heart of the Upper Valley, Kimball Union is minutes from Dartmouth College and has direct access to Boston and New York. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy