Empowering students and guiding families


Is College just 13th Grade?

Childhood goes by quickly. Any older person will tell you this. High school, in comparison, goes by in the blink of an eye. Navigating the rough seas of adolescence can be tough enough without worrying about what to do after high school. Who has time for post-secondary planning?

Post secondary plans can be anything from a four-year college, two-year college, a gap year abroad or in City Year, military, trade certificate, apprenticeship, entering the world of work or perhaps something else. Some students and their families will start their planning process barely out of the womb and others will mull a few things around and make plans during their high school years. The important thing is to have a plan.

Public schools have many opportunities to explore and discuss plans from very early on and are covered in the comprehensive guidance plan that each school district has in place. Entering this phase of life can be exciting, overwhelming, downright frightening or all of the above. It’s perfectly normal.

The four-year college process has probably the biggest time commitment and is certainly the most expensive option. When is a good time to start planning? (The earlier the better). When is it too late? (Never). It all depends on what you are looking for in a college experience.

Four-year college applications take everything into consideration; from grades, rigor of classes, test scores, extra-curricular activities and leadership, volunteer work, paid employment and in general how you spend your time. Four-year colleges also look at essays on the application, recommendations from teachers and guidance counselors and an applicant’s character. As you can see, there is a lot of prep work to be done and the more selective a school is, (the harder it is to get into), the sooner an applicant must begin preparing.

Since grades are listed first in what many colleges look at in an applicant, this is a good place to start. Colleges look at the student’s high school transcript, but concentrating on academics from the start of school will set you up for success later. Turning all homework in and asking for help, if necessary, are great ways to start. Having said this, it’s never too late to start working on and improving grades, study habits and school performance.

College is not just thirteenth grade so the more planning and preparing you can do now, the easier the college process will be later.

College Transfer

“Mrs. Duley was very helpful when I decided to transfer after my freshman year in college. She helped me choose a university that wasn’t even on my radar and it is a perfect fit.” –Student

College Search and Application Process

“The college search and application process seemed complicated and time consuming for our family. Ellie has quickly developed a great understanding of our son’s strengths, weaknesses, interests, and goals. She is very knowledgeable about the college search and application process. Ellie has educated us and provided us with tools to assist us in finding the college that will be the best fit for our son. Duley College Counseling Services has made the college search and application process less intimidating and more manageable.” –Parent

Page 3 of 3123


Contact Information

Duley College Counseling, LLC
124 Court Street
Farmington, ME 04938


ellie@duleycollegecounseling.com www.duleycollegecounseling.com