Briarcrest prepares our students for college and for life.

Preparing for College

 
The College Counseling program at Briarcrest is a highly personal and supportive process of matching students with colleges and universities that are best suited to their individual interests and goals. We look forward to working with you during this exciting time. Please call or email Mrs. Gray with any questions that you may have regarding the college search and application process!

“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those
who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints.”

Proverbs 2:6-8 

Meetings for College Planning

The following meetings and activities have been scheduled for the 2018-2019 school year. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Gray by email (llgray@briarcrest.com) or by phone at 901-751-6424.

Senior Parent College Counseling Coffee
Thursday, October 18
Cox Room
8 am

Junior Parent College Counseling Coffee
Thursday, November 15
Cox Room
8 am

College Events in the Memphis Area

 
 

College Representatives Visiting Briarcrest

Admission representatives will be in the Commons from 9:40 - 10:10 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays unless noted otherwise. 

Friday, October 12
Eckerd College (St. Petersburg, FL)
Union University (Jackson, TN)

Tuesday, October 16
Hendrix College (Conway, AR)
Ramp School of Ministry (Hamilton, AL)


Friday, October 19
Christian Brothers University (Memphis, TN)

Grade by Grade College Planning

List of 4 items.

  • Grade 9

    The ninth grade is the beginning of your High School experience. College applications are a long way off, but in ninth grade you begin to lay the foundation for a successful Briarcrest experience that will lead to a rewarding college application process.

    Ninth graders should look for ways to form a strong foundation in academics.

    Take advantage of the numerous opportunities at Briarcrest.

    Get to know your teachers.

    Develop good study habits.

    Get in the habit of writing.

    Read as much as possible to build your vocabulary.

    Get involved! Invest in your four years at Briarcrest. Find activities you enjoy.

    Begin keeping a list of every award, activity, club and/or organization. This will be vitally important as we build your resume for college applications. 

    Seek out leadership roles. If you find things to do that you like, you will look forward to school each day and your ability to succeed, even excel in academics and extracurricular life will come more naturally. 

    Colleges will look at freshmen grades and curriculum. Your academic progress in ninth grade can make a big difference in your college options by senior year.  Make it count!
  • Grade 10

    • Continue to build a strong academic profile in the sophomore year. and take advantage of rigorous courses when possible. Your transcript will be the most important piece of information collegs will consider when selecting students for admissions.
    • Continue to pursue activities and interests outside of the classroom. Seek leadership opportunities. Consider choosing three or four activities you can pursue in depth. Colleges often look for commitment to a few activities rather than a long list of activities.
    • Think about summer activities. First, take a break and take time to have fun and enjoy your family and friends. But also think about programs or activities you would like to participate in during the summer: camp, sports, travel, volunteer or enrichment programs.  Summer is the perfect time to invest in activities that you may build upon in your high school years.
    • The summer between 10th and 11th grades is a good time to begin visiting colleges. Most college websites will have a schedule of tours and information about making an appointment. Take advantage of the variety of colleges and universities in your own backyard. Memphis is home to a large, public universities (University of Memphis), medium-sized, private universities (Rhodes, Christian Brothers). Even if you’re planning to go out-of-town for college, visiting local colleges will help you develop a sense of what you like and don’t like in a college experience.
  • Grade 11

    Junior year is a big year in the college admissions world. Rigor of courseload and grades really do count.

    The following is a suggested college admissions calendar for the junior year. Read it carefully so that you are informed about what to do and what is available to you as you go through this important year in high school.
     
    September
    -Concentrate on doing well in your classes. Remember that junior and senior year grades are often weighed more heavily than freshman and sophomore year grades in the college admission process.
    -Visit with college admission representatives when they visit Briarcrest during Activity Period. They are included in daily announcements..
    -Begin thinking about preferences in four-year colleges and universities, such as location, size, public, private, liberal arts, coed or single-sex, activities, majors, housing, scholarships and financial.
    -Do a general search using criteria you may be considering. The Naviance program has a great search engine for developing a prospective college list.
    -Begin preparing for the PSAT and SAT I. You may read preparation books on your own or visit these online resources: http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/psat/prep.html or http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/prep_one/prep_one.html
    -Consider registering for the October ACT
     
    October
    -Take the PSAT. Although the sophomore year PSAT was given for practice, the junior year scores may qualify you for National Merit Semifinalist status and make you eligible for possible National Merit scholarships. Mark on your PSAT answer sheet that you wish to receive materials from colleges. At that point, schools will send you information if your PSAT score suggests that you would qualify for admission.
    -Continue to meet college reps during Activity period and attend their information sessions throughout the semester.
     
    November
    -Keep up the good work in your classes.
    -Explore schools by reading guide books, looking at brochures in the Guidance Office, and accessing information on the Internet and Naviance. If you have the resources to do so, begin going on campus tours. If you cannot go out of town, consider looking at the college campuses in the Memphis area to see what type of campus may be the best fit for you! CBU, Memphis, Rhodes, Baptist College of Health Sciences and Southwest Tennessee Community College are all very different types of schools right in your own backyard!
     
    December
    -PSAT scores will be mailed to you this month. Establish what areas you need to work on and organize a study routine to improve those areas.
    -Talk with previous BCHS graduates who are home from college for the holidays. They can tell you their likes and dislikes of their college choice, their adjustment to college, and what they wish somebody had told them before they left for college. Enjoy having a break from school!
     
    January-March
    - Schedule a meeting with your college counselor.  Come prepared with a list of colleges you have researched and are seriously considering for application. Your counselor will go over this list with you and possibly offer other suggestions. Come with any questions you may have about the admission process, scholarships or other matters that concern you. 
    -Start the second semester working hard in your classes. Strong second-semester grades may be a key factor in an admission decision. Remember that junior grades are often weighed more heavily by admission committees and it will be the last grades they see on your transcript as they make their admission decisions. 
    -You will often receive mail from colleges. Take the opportunity to visit colleges on school breaks. Also use your 3 school-approved college visit days! See Mrs. Gray for more information.
    -Register for the ACT in February and/or April

    April-May
    -Begin thinking about your summer activities and consider an internship, summer study, outdoor adventure, travel, etc.
    -Attend local college fairs and events such as the NACAC College Fair at the Agricenter
    -Formulate a list of schools where you believe you will be applying

  • Grade 12

    The fall of your senior year is the time to finalize your college list and prepare your applications. This is the time to work closely with your college counselor on making your application list appropriate for you and your goals. The more information you share with your counselor, the more help your counselor can give you in this process. The following is a college admissions calendar for the senior year. Read it carefully so that you are informed about what to do and what is available to you as you go through the application process.

    August
    • Schedule a meeting with your college counselor. Your parents are welcomed and encouraged to attend this meeting. Come prepared with a list of colleges you have researched and are seriously considering for application. Your counselor will go over this list with you and possibly offer other suggestions. Come with any questions you may have about the admission process. scholarships or other matters that concern you.
    • Pay close attention to the intercom announcements, postings on the bulletin boards outside of the Guidance Office, as well as information on the Briarcrest website under College Planning and in the "Recent Announcements" section. The Banner also has pertinent college details that may interest you, such as evening programs in the Memphis area, scholarship deadlines, helpful hints, and other important information.
    • Completed applications should be submitted to colleges by the deadline dates. Briarcrest's college counselor recommends students meet a preferred deadline of November 1. The completed application and fee are sent directly to colleges by the student, while the high school transcript is sent to the college directly from the College Counseling Office. Students must complete a Transcipt Release Form through Naviance. 
    • Make arrangements to visit the colleges to which you have decided to apply by calling the admissions office at each individual college. Arrange to meet with an admission counselor for more information about the college, and take a campus tour. Check out the housing facilities, cafeteria/food courts, heath/exercise facilities, and walk through the academic buildings associated with your college major and academic interests. If possible, ask to speak to a professor within your school of interest. 
    • Register (or register) to take the SAT I or ACT at www.collegeboard.com or www.actstudent.org. You may take these tests more than once. Multiple tests scores could be adventageous for an ACT "super score." You do not have to take both of these college entrance tests, but some students score better on one test than the other. All college and universities accept either test, but some of the more selective colleges may prefer or require the SAT. Also, the SAT Subject Test are required by some very selective schools.
    • Write your college admissions essay(s). Your Briarcrest senior English teachers will offer essay guidelines and suggestions through class assignments in August or early September. Your college counselor will also be glad to help you with ideas.

    September
    • Consider attending the Memphis Area College Night at the Agricenter, scheduled in later September or early October.  Admission and parking are free, and sophomores, juniors and seniors, along with parents are encouraged to attend.
    • Concentrate on doing well in your classes. First semester senior year grades are important to colleges, and many require the 7th semester grades to be sent to them.
    • Continue to complete applications for colleges on your list. Consult the application deadline dates to determine when your transcripts, test scores, counselor recommendations forms, and teacher letters of recommendation are due to the colleges. Please allow a minimum of three weeks for all of these things to be processed, so that they can be mailed on time and meet the college deadlines.

    October
    • Many colleges and universities have Early Actiion deadlines during November. Be sure applications are submitted ontime and work with the guidance office to have any transcripts or recommendation letters sent.
    • Many scholarship deadlines are in November and December. Check the Scholarship link on the college websites for deadlines and application information. See your counselor if you have scholarship questions that have not been addressed or answered.
    • Continue to talk with college admission representatives visiting Briarcrest during activity periods. These reps are often the ones that will be reading your college applications, essays and helping you gain scholarships specific to their schools.

    November
    •If you are admitted to a college under the Early Decision program, you must withdraw all your other applications by writing to the colleges. You are honor bound to do this. Your college could rescind its offer of admission if you do not withdraw your applications to other schools.

    December
    • Keep your grades up! Don’t let senioritis take over! If you have been admitted to a college by this time, remember that your admission is conditional on your first and second semester senior grades being at or above the level at which they stood when you were admitted.
    • Enjoy having a break from school!

    January
    • Complete the FAFSA to be considered for need based financial aid and to receive the HOPE scholarship. It is recommend that you complete the financial aid forms, even if you think you will not qualify for financial aid. (Some scholarships and grants are a part of financial aid, as well as student loans and work study programs.) The FAFSA form is required by most colleges and universities as a financial need assessment. However, some of the more selective colleges also require the CSS Profile form. You could miss out on financial aid money if you do not apply. Check the college websites financial aid link for more information.
    • Continue to focus on your grades this semester. Your college acceptances are conditional upon your successful completion of your senior year. All college require your final transcript to be sent to the college where you are matriculating.
    • Some colleges will require a Mid-Year grade report be sent to their admission office. Be sure and stop by the Guidance Office to request that transcript to be sent.
    February
    • Notify the Guidance Office of any college acceptances. Also let the Guidance Office know if a college requests any additional information in order to make a decision
    • February 15 is the typical "priority" deadline for the FAFSA to be submitted
    March - May
    • Begin to carefully choose your college based on all the information you gathered through the search and application process. Discuss your choices with your family and determine what will be best for you. The college counselor is here to help and advise you.
    • Submit Housing applications and deposits for the school where you are planning to attend.
    • May 1 is the Candidate Response date. By this date you must have informed all schools that admitted you of your intentions.
    • In late May, the Guidance office will send your final transcript to the college you will attend.
    • AP Exams will be administered during May.

List of 2 members.