USM is widely known among colleges for its outstanding faculty, strong college preparatory and Advanced Placement
programs, wide range of extracurricular opportunities
, and commitment to educating well-rounded individuals prepared for the challenges of the 21st century. Colleges understand that our graduates have little difficulty adjusting to college workloads and expectations. Preparing for the Next Step
The four-year USM College Guidance Program
has defined goals for each grade level. Beginning freshman year, students meet both individually and in college counseling groups to discuss issues relevant to the college search and application process. The College Guidance team assists each USM family in discovering which colleges best match a student's talents and interests in a suitably challenging academic, extracurricular, and personal environment. The College Guidance team is devoted to helping students find the best "fit" schools.
Students are prepared for required entrance exams, instructed on how to fill out applications, informed about what to expect at college interviews, coached on what to look for in relation to their academic and extracurricular goals, and given a preview of campus life. The counselors actively advocate for their students to the colleges and provide consultation through the students' final decision. Exam Preparation
Each fall and spring the College Guidance office offers PSAT, SAT, and ACT preparation and review courses. USM students are given opportunities to take practice tests.Writing the Student Essay
Students are encouraged to work on one of the most difficult parts of the college application, the student essay, during the annual Upper School essay project. Students learn to write with style and candor, and USM English teachers and college counselors work with students to polish their essays, offering insight and advice gained from knowing the students and the process.Junior Class College Tour
An important part of the college process is helping students evaluate colleges and universities. USM offers juniors a unique advantage through college visits during the annual fall junior class college tour. The tour is organized to give students a feel for the differences among schools and includes visits to large universities, small colleges, urban and rural environments, and state and private schools.College Representative Visits
About one hundred schools send representatives to our campus throughout the fall in order to provide personal presentations about their programs. College Counselors
College Counselors are each responsible for guiding approximately 180 students (45 per grade level) through the college application process in individual and group sessions.Advising
Upper School advisers reinforce the College Guidance Program, participating in group sessions and working with the college counselors to keep students on track. Many write letters of recommendation and provide important references as part of the college application.