College Admissions Process

At OES the college counseling process begins, formally, during the Sophomore parent meeting held each spring. At this meeting the college counselors meet with parents and discuss the process that awaits. Parents are introduced to this College Counseling Homepage, which has links to dozens of helpful sites and includes The OES College Admission Handbook, which is now “published” as a PDF file. Those who need a printed copy of the handbook should contact one of the college counselors.

In the Handbook, students will find a series of questions about their goals and values, their education, their activities and interests, the world around them, and their personality and relationships with others. There is a Calendar for College Planning that contains a year-byyear, step-by-step timeline for each year of the process and a Resource Guide listing useful books. Many of these resources, in addition to college catalogues, and view books, can be found in the College Counseling office located in the Upper School Library.

Representatives and Fairs

In spite of the relatively small size of OES, in any given year more than 90 colleges send representatives to our campus. Their visits provide an excellent opportunity for both Juniors and Seniors to learn more about particular colleges. The schedule for college representatives’ visits is posted on Naviance, the college counseling on-line system, and announced at Gathering. The Naviance system also sends students e-mails to remind them of visits by representatives from the colleges in which they have expressed an interest.

Various college fairs routinely come to the Portland metropolitan area. The largest and most popular one is sponsored by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. and is usually held sometime in October. A list of the colleges which will be in attendance is always posted on the NACAC website ( In the spring the Pacific Northwest Association for College Admission Counseling sponsors a smaller fair (

Junior Year

The College Decisions program is the focus at the beginning of the junior year. It is designed to familiarize students with the process of searching for and applying to colleges. Activities include clarifying goals and values, finding a good match, researching colleges, visiting a college, and participating in a mock interview. In the spring, the college counselors meet with Juniors and their families in individual sessions.

Senior Year

In the fall, the college counselors work with seniors as they go through the application process. There is a long weekend set aside in October for visiting colleges. If seniors choose not to travel, the time is used to focus on the college application process. It is the responsibility of each student to notify the college counseling office through Naviance of his/her intention to apply to specific colleges. The college counselors act as guides: keeping the process on track, reviewing admissions essays, providing resources, and meeting with students and/or parents when necessary.

Upper School

College Counseling Info