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Grade by Grade Tips

Below is just some of the guidance our college counselors will share with our students to ensure a smooth application process.

Grade 9

Start off high school strong by stretching yourself academically. Your high school transcript is weighed the most in the college admissions process.

Colleges consider all four grades of high school, including Grade 9.
Try out new sports, clubs and activities. Grade 9 is a time to explore what piques your interest. Colleges want to see you pursue non-academic activities with commitment and genuine passion. The best way to find out what you love is to try new things and your first year of high school is a great time to do this.

Seek out role models at school. Faculty members are the best role models because they see you every day and get to know you through classes. They are not only great sources of information on what they teach, but they have a vast amount of knowledge on colleges and careers.

Grade 10

Take the PSATs to get familiar with standardized tests. Take the ACT/SAT Combination Test offered at school to get a feel for which standardized test suits your strengths more. 

Plan to do something with your summer vacation. It doesn’t necessarily matter what you do, as long as it is productive—get a summer job, volunteer, research, travel, or anything else that’s important to you.

Grade 11

Take the PSAT National Merit Qualifying Exam. Plan to take the SATs or ACTs with Writing (or both) at least once. Consider taking two to three Subject Tests in June if you are planning to apply to the most selective colleges.

Attend our “College Kickoff.” This program provides an overview of the college admissions process. The guest speaker is a professional in the college admissions field. Consider taking our College Counseling class in the third quarter. This class provides a foundation on the application process, from a mock admissions committee to navigating the Common App.

Take part in the Independent School College Fair. College admissions officers from across the country and abroad are available to speak to prospective students and provide materials on their institution.

Each student is assigned a college counselor who closely works with you throughout the college admissions process. Individual and family meetings with your assigned counselor begin in the spring.

Build a prospective college list with your counselor. Try to visit 5 to 15 colleges between the spring and summer. The more schools you see, the more informed your final college list will be.

Grade 12

Take advantage of senior visit days. These days allow you to visit colleges, plan an overnight, or spend time preparing your applications.

College representatives from approximately 100 colleges across the country and abroad visit Baldwin every year. If you are considering a particular college, try to stop by the session to learn more.   

Finalize your paperwork. Meet with your counselor to finalize your college list and fine-tune your applications. Complete any necessary financial aid forms (including the FAFSA and the Profile).

Most admissions decisions will be sent during March and early April. Enrollment deposits are due by May 1st.

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