College Counseling

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about college counseling at University High School.

What happens in college counseling each year?

Because college counseling at University High School is a truly four-year process, it begins in the student’s freshman year. Visit the college counseling timeline page to learn more about what happens during each of the student’s four years.

How does a student register for the PSAT?

University High School handles the registration for the PSAT, ACT-PLAN and AP Exams. There is no cost to the family for the PSAT, ACT-PLAN, or AP Exams. Learn more about each of these standardized tests.

How many standardized tests should a student take, and when should the student take them?

We recommend that students take the SAT a minimum of two times. Colleges usually take the highest scores. Students should take the first SAT test during the second semester of the junior year. Students should take the ACT in the June following their junior year. Learn more about standardized tests.

Do you recommend taking a test preparation class?

This is a personal decision. University High School does not endorse any particular program. The college counseling department can provide families information about some of the options available locally, so if your family is interested, we encourage you to ask. In addition, the College Board provides an SAT question of the day as well as an online practice test that we recommend students check out.

When should students begin visiting colleges? How do we set those visits up?

Students should begin visiting colleges during their junior year. The best time to visit is when the college is in session. This gives students the chance to sit in on classes, observe campus activities, and meet students at the college. To set up a visit, simply visit the school’s website. Please set up the appointment at least two weeks in advance of your visit. When possible, visits should include a personal interview with an admissions officer, a campus tour, observation of at least one class in your academic area of interest, an interview with a professor in the area in which you intend to major, an information session and an overnight stay with an existing student.

How many colleges should a student apply to?

We recommend that a student apply to 5-7 colleges with a mix of safety (1-2 colleges), good fit (2-4 colleges) and reach schools (1-2 colleges). A maximum of seven college applications is ideal. If a student cannot imagine attending a particular school, it should not be on the list. Some students submit 10-15 applications in an effort to increase their chances of admission. This increases the amount of work a student must do but does not necessarily increase the odds of college acceptance.