Letter to the Class of 2019

Dear Parents/Guardians of the Class of 2019,

This is your official WELCOME to the college search and application process!  Few decisions are as exciting and important as choosing one’s path for higher education. It is my belief that any student who wants to go to college can – regardless of their grades, test scores, financial constraints, citizenship status, etc.  We at ICE are going to do our absolute best to help our students get into the college that is best for them, based on their strengths, personality, interests and financial means.

In February, I am going to begin meeting the juniors on a weekly basis in our College Bound class where we will go over all of the information crucial to a successful college process.  Some of the topics include: understanding and learning about public and private colleges and universities, shaping college lists, learning how to navigate Naviance (our web based college application system), essay writing, college visits, and interviewing.

In the beginning of the course, juniors will complete a Junior Questionnaire on Naviance which I will use to get to know them better in order to prepare for my individual meetings with each student.  Parents are welcome to come to these meetings as well. I will also be sending you a Parent Questionnaire sometime next week.  This questionnaire will gives you the opportunity to offer me some insight about your child that will help me find appropriate college matches for them.  Please return the questionnaire to me no later than February 9th. You can email it to: carolyn@iceeducate.org. Individual meetings will be scheduled once the Junior Questionnaire and the Parent Questionnaire are completed. Students and parents will receive an email with a link to Calendly to set this meeting up with me.  

I will also be asking your children to share your emails with me on Naviance so that I can send notices and updates to you. As we move further into this process I will ask you to check that email regularly for updates.  Naviance also has wonderful search features and connects directly to individual college websites. Once it is set up you can use your son or daughter’s Naviance account or visit Naviance yourself and log on as a guest with the password “ICEparent.”

Most, but not all, colleges require students to take the SAT or ACT exam.  All juniors will have the opportunity to be taking an in-school SAT on March 21st during the school day.  This exam will not include the optional essay, however. The SAT and ACT will also be offered throughout the city in March, April, May, June, or August and then again next year in September, October, or November. You should make sure that your child takes at least once SAT/ACT with the optional essay, as some colleges require it.   Both the SAT and ACT offer free online practice, through Khan Academy and the ACT site.  In addition, ICE will be offering its own SAT prep course that will meet 3 times a week.  You should have already received an email from Mark about this class.  If not, please contact Eileen at the front office.     

Only a small percentage of the most selective colleges require the SAT Subject Exams, and many of these allow the ACT with Writing as an alternative.  If your child is considering some of the most competitive schools which, typically require two SAT Subject Exams, please encourage them to come speak to me.  Each time they register they will be allowed to send their scores to four schools for free.  We understand that many families will choose to wait and see how the student does on the exams first, but please keep in mind that you will need to pay for all of your scores to be sent (around $12 per school) if you do not take advantage of this opportunity when you register.  It is also important to note that all colleges Super Score the SAT.  Students should send all of their scores and colleges will only use the highest Critical Reading and Highest Math.  

I will also be sharing an ICE College Planning Guide with you and all of the juniors.  This is a comprehensive guide to different aspects of the college search and selection process.  It covers many topics that we will review in class such as (but not limited to) – how to search for schools, campus visits, interviews, writing essays, asking for letters of recommendation, issues for students with special needs, athletics, testing, financial aid/scholarship, etc.  As I mentioned above, we will be reviewing these issues at length in our College Bound class.  I encourage all of you to take a look at it.

On Wednesday, March 14th I will be hosting a Junior Parent College Night at 6pm in room 518. I will be discussing the college process as it relates specifically to students at ICE and will also have a representative from Clark University here who will offer important tips and insights into the college application. It is very important that you attend this event so that you are aware of everything we are telling students in our classes.   

During senior year, there will be several other college related events and I will meet again with students (and parents who would like to attend) to finalize lists and complete applications.  Beginning in September, many college representatives will visit ICE to talk with students interested in attending their institutions.  

Over the next year and a half I will be in touch via email.  Please make sure that you check your email frequently and encourage your child to do the same.   I am very happy to help you with questions that you may have along the way. Please feel free to email me at: Carolyn@iceeducate.org.

Looking forward to an exciting, productive and fulfilling process for all.

All the best, Carolyn

Carolyn Cohen
Director of College Counseling