Private Independent school from PK through 12th grade.

The best colleges and universities know us well.

The college admission process is a daunting one. Understanding such, the counseling program at Hammond School is a personalized and supportive one, designed to help individuals navigate the complexities involved in the search and application process.

It is our hope that the information contained within Hammond's College Counseling webpages will demystify the process, allowing students and their families to concentrate more on finding a good match and less on the frustrations involved in understanding just how this creature called "college admissions" works.

We are excited about working with students during this time in their lives. Upper School students (and their parents) are encouraged to visit this page and its links often especially during their junior and senior years.

The Office of College Counseling is located in the Upper School office suite in the Manning Building at center of Hammond's Upper School Campus.

Office hours are from 8:00-4:00.

College Admissions Year-By-Year Planning

The College Admissions program at Hammond is structured to include grades 9-12. Although the program is intense for juniors and seniors, it is important to encourage all students to start thinking about life after Hammond. The process begins with freshmen and sophomores, who are instructed about course planning, time management, and extracurricular activities. This evolves into a more structured and comprehensive program during the junior and senior year. This is strategically planned to slowly ease students into the process, to keep students interested, and most importantly to help eliminate the stress and pressure. The goal is always to find a college or university that matches a student's interests, goals, and academic needs.

List of 4 items.

  • Ninth Grade

    The goal of every freshman at Hammond School should be to become fully engaged in the life of Hammond School. The freshman year should be one of discovery and development. As such, freshmen are encouraged to take an active role in the life of the school and to take advantage of the opportunities Hammond offers for development in mind, body, and spirit.

    The following are keys to freshman success. The mastery of these simple habits for success will ultimately allow students to move through the college search and admission process with as many options open as possible:

    • Enroll in challenging academic courses and do well in those courses.
    • READ, READ, READ and take advantage of the writing opportunities you have in various courses. The SAT emphasizes critical reading and has a new writing section.
    • Develop and refine study habits and academic discipline that will be critical for future success. Practice good study skills, time management, and organization.
    • Use an assignment book
    • Review nightly material covered in class (even when no homework has been assigned)
    • Schedule work and study time
    • Organize your study materials (notes, handouts, etc)
    • Stretch physically through the extensive athletic and physical conditioning programs available to Hammond students.
    • Get involved outside the classroom. Actively explore the wide array of visual and performing arts offered as electives and as extra-curricular options.
    • Discover new interests and develop hidden talents by sampling clubs, taking part in student government, and supporting service projects by volunteering.
    • Get to know your teachers. Let them get to know you. 
    Remember:
    At first you make your habits. Then your habits make you.
    Nothing could be more true of the habits you make during your first year in Hammond Upper School.
  • Tenth Grade

    By the time students become sophomores at Hammond School, they should have successfully maneuvered the transition into Upper School. Sophomores should be ready to focus on enhancing their academic opportunities, accepting responsibility for personal academic success, and seeking opportunities for involvement in the larger life of the school through extra-curricular activities.

    Ideally, a sophomore should be completely engaged in the life of Hammond Upper School and should be spending significant amounts of time investing in a Hammond education both inside and outside the traditional classroom environment. As a part of that engagement, a sophomore should continue to pursue the habits for success honed during the freshman experience:

    • Take challenging courses and do well in those courses. As colleges consider applicants, nothing takes the place of strong academic achievement in a rigorous curriculum.
    • If your freshman year was less than stellar, make up your mind to improve. Colleges are willing to overlook a poor start IF a student shows sustained improvement over the next three years.
    • If your freshman year was a strong one, keep up the good work. Colleges expect you to maintain effort and focus. A downward spiral will hurt your chance of admission.
    • READ, READ, READ and take advantage of the writing opportunities you have in various courses. The SAT emphasizes critical reading and has a writing section.
    • Practice good study skills, time management, and organization.
      • Use an assignment book
      • Review nightly material covered in class (even when no homework has been assigned)
      • Schedule work and study time
      • Organize your study materials (notes, handouts, etc)
      • Keep your options open
    • Get to know your teachers. Let them get to know you.
    • Get involved outside the classroom (performing/visual arts, athletics, special interest clubs, student government, service projects). Sophomores should begin to focus more on the activities that have become most meaningful to them. Explore leadership roles in areas of involvement.
  • Eleventh Grade

    SEPTEMBER
    • Above all else juniors should concentrate on doing well in classes. College admissions committees sometimes weigh junior and senior grades more heavily. Nothing takes the place of doing well in a rigorous curriculum. Make no mistake: This is a very important year.
    • Attend College Night for juniors offered by the College Counseling Office for an overview of the college process as it applies to juniors and their parents.
    • Juniors are invited and encouraged to attend sessions with college representatives visiting Hammond. Visit schedules are posted via Naviance, in the Daily Announcements and on the bulletin board outside the College Counseling Office. (Student must first clear attendance with subject area teacher whose class will be affected, and the student is responsible for any work missed.)
    • Begin to think about preferences in colleges such as location, size, liberal arts or technical emphasis, coed/single sex, reputation, activities available, majors/course offerings, cost, etc. 
    • Begin preparing for the PSAT by reading PSAT/SAT review books on your own. 
    OCTOBER
    • Following interims, juniors should evaluate academic standings in all coursework and make adjustments in study habits and daily routines to ensure peak performance. Meet with faculty to explore their suggestions for personal improvement strategies. Schedule and attend extra help sessions where necessary. Remember: Juniors should concentrate on doing well in classes.
    • Hammond juniors have the privilege of attending a PSAT Prep Series on campus prior to the October PSAT. Take full advantage of this opportunity by paying close attention and actively involving yourself in the process.
    • Take the PSAT. Although the freshmen and sophomore year PSAT was given for practice, the junior year scores are used to qualify you as a National Merit Semifinalist and a scholarship candidate. As you complete your PSAT answer sheet, mark that you wish to receive materials from the College Scholarship Search Committee, and colleges will send you information about their schools if your PSAT suggests that you would qualify for admission.
    • Attend appropriate college rep visits on campus.
    NOVEMBER
    • Meet with College Counseling during a free period for your Fall Semester one-on-one conference. Be ready to discuss first quarter grades, yearly goals, GPA, SAT plans, and initial college interests.
    • Attend appropriate college rep visits on campus.
    • Continue to concentrate on doing well in classes. First semester exams are just around the corner.
    DECEMBER
    • PSAT Score Reports will arrive around the second week of the month. The College Counseling Office will schedule an information session. You will learn to analyze your score report and how to tailor your preparation for the SAT based on your personal PSAT performance.
    • Prepare carefully for First Semester Exams well in advance of test dates.
    • Register for January SAT if you plan to take it.
    • Talk with first year college students who are home during the holidays. These folks have survived the college application process and can share valuable first-hand experience in making the college choice. Ask them for hints about how to make the college search more productive…and what they would do differently if they were to do it again. 
    JANUARY
    • Start fresh this semester with strong study habits and a commitment to doing well in all your classes.
    • Use winter evenings to explore internet resources and identify possible college choices. College web sites hold a wealth of information and many offer virtual tours.
    • Spend some time reviewing for the SAT.
    • Take the January SAT if you have planned to do so. 
    • Consider taking the ACT once during spring semester. Check dates, register and review.
    • Juniors should begin to plan a significant summer experience.
    • Register for the March/April SAT.
    • The College Counseling Office will sponsor two sessions of the JuniorSymposium. The first session will be designed for junior parents. The second session will be designed for juniors themselves. Select several breakout sessions that interest you and use the symposium as an opportunity to learn more about the college admission process. 
    Immediately following the Junior Symposium, junior families should schedule a Family College Conference with College Counseling. You will receive a copy of the Hammond College Information Guide and an overview of the college search/application process.

    FEBRUARY
    • Concentrate on doing well in all your classes. Don’t fall victim to a mid-winter slump.
    • Continue your college investigations. Begin to formulate a list of schools that interest you. You should have at least three schools at this point.
    • Juniors will have the privilege of attending a SAT Prep short course sponsored by the College Counseling Office.
    • Review for the March/April SAT. 
    • Consider taking the ACT once during spring semester. Check dates, register and review.
    • Continue planning for a significant summer experience.
    MARCH
    • Continue to concentrate on doing well in your classes.
    • Take the March SAT if offered. If not, juniors should take the April SAT.
    • Continue to explore college possibilities. Check admission requirements against the academic preparation you have. Your list should be made up of 3-5 college possibilities at this point.
    • Meet with College Counseling for your Family College Conference if you have not already done so.
    • Plan and make a college visit in the not-too-distant future. It’s never too early to begin your search.
    • Register for the May/June SAT or SAT II’s (if necessary based on your college interests).
    • Consider taking the ACT once during spring semester. Check dates, register and review.
    • Participate in an Application Essay Writing Workshops for juniors in English classes.
    • Finalize plans for a significant summer experience.
    APRIL
    • Continue to concentrate on doing well in classes.
    • Meet with College Counseling for your Family College Conference if you have not already done so.
    • Review for May SAT.
    • Consider taking the ACT once during spring semester. Check dates, register and review.
    • Work on college essays. Juniors are required to submit final drafts of application essays to Junior English teacher (Due date TBA)
    • Continue researching college options.
    • Make use of pretty spring weather and plan a college visit.
    MAY
    • Continue to concentrate on doing well in classes. Final exams are just around the corner.
    • Take the SAT or the SAT II’s (if necessary based on college interests)
    • Work on college essay if you have not already submitted a final draft to your junior English teacher.
    • Prepare for and take AP Exams if enrolled in an AP course.
    • Before school ends juniors should give College Counseling a list of current college choices.
    MAY - AP Exams 

    JUNE/JULY/AUGUST
    • Take June SAT/SAT II’s (if necessary based on your college interests)
    • Develop your resume using format contained in your college counseling guidebook. Your resume should be completed by August 1.
    • Visit colleges and continue to refine college list.
    • Continue SAT/ACT prep.
    • Register for September ACT if you plan to take it.
    • Participate in a significant summer experience. Remember: Colleges want to know how you spent your time.
    • Read, read, read.
  • Twelfth Grade

    AUGUST/ SEPTEMBER
    • In early August schedule an appointment to see College Counseling. One or both of your parents should plan to attend with you. You should bring your completed resume and be ready to discuss the list of schools to which you will apply. This meeting will center on creating a TO DO list with deadlines for the application process.
    • If you are considering applying Early Decision, Early Action, or Early Notification, you must let College Counseling know at this point.
    • Ask two teachers and one person outside school to write recommendations for you. Provide each person you ask with a copy of your resume. Explain that their letter should be anecdotal in nature, providing specific examples of the qualities they establish as indicative of you. Do not forget to thank these people properly. Writing a letter of recommendation takes time and effort. Show your appreciation.
    • Begin working on your applications. Concentrate on polishing essay/s. Essays are important and will require that you put forth diligent effort well in advance of due dates.
    • Contact Financial Aid Offices at colleges to which you are applying to receive scholarship and financial aid information from those schools.
    • Register for the October and/or the November SAT. Be sure to send scores from the testing agency to the colleges to which you are applying.
    • Continue to concentrate on doing well in your classes. Regardless of what you may have heard, senior grades do count.
    • Continue to visit schools that interest you. Make contact with admission office personnel. Write thank you notes after returning home.
    • Take September ACT if you have planned to do so.
    OCTOBER
    • Continue to concentrate on doing well in your classes.
    • Stay in close contact with College Counseling. Check the Daily Announcements and the bulletin board outside College Counseling Office for important information.
    • Contact Financial Aid Offices at colleges to which you are applying to receive scholarship and financial aid information from those schools.
    • Your first application must be completed and turned in to the College Counseling Office by October 1.
    • Any Early Decision/Early Action/Early Notification application with a November 1 deadline must be turned into the College Counseling Office by October 18.
    • Take full advantage of the SAT Prep Workshop offered on campus for Hammond seniors. Listen carefully. Ask questions. Listen as others ask questions.
    • Register for December SAT II’s (if required by the colleges to which you are applying).
    • Prepare for and take the October SAT. Be sure you have sent scores from testing agency to the college to which you are applying.
    • Visit colleges. Make contacts in college admission offices. Write thank you notes after you return home.
    NOVEMBER
    • Continue to concentrate on doing well in your classes. Your GPA will be refigured at the end of the semester, and your first semester grades will be sent to the colleges to which you have applied.
    • Stay in close contact with College Counseling. Check Naviance Daily Announcements and bulletin board outside College Counseling Office regularly.
    • Take the November SAT if you need to do so. Be sure you have sent scores from testing agency to the college to which you are applying.
    • Continue working on applications. Be aware of application and scholarship deadlines.
    • Any Early Decision/Early Action/Early Notification applications with November 15 deadlines must be turned into the College Counseling Office by November 1.
    • Any application with a December 1 deadline must be turned into the College Counseling Office by November 15.
    • Attend Financial Aid Night late November/early December.
    • Contact Financial Aid Offices at colleges to which you are applying to receive scholarship and financial aid information from those schools.
    DECEMBER
    • Continue to concentrate on doing well in your classes. First semester exams are just around the corner. Your cumulative GPA at the end of first semester and your first semester grades will be sent to the colleges to which you have applied.
    • Stay in close contact with College Counseling. Check Daily Announcements and bulletin board outside College Counseling Office regularly.
    • Applications with December 15 deadlines should be turned into the College Counseling Office by December 1. 
    • Your goal should be to complete all applications by December 1. This deadline will allow you to concentrate on exam preparation and to enjoy your holidays.
    • If for some reason you do not meet the above goal, any application with a January 1-6 deadline must be turned in by December 8.
    • Take December SAT II’s (if required by the colleges to which you are applying).
    • Contact Financial Aid Offices at colleges to which you are applying to receive scholarship and financial aid information from those schools.
    • If you have been admitted to a college by this time, remember that your admission is conditional on your first and second semester senior year grades being at or above the level at which they stood when you were admitted.
    • Remember to notify the College Counseling Office of all accept/deny/defer decisions as soon as you get them.
    • If you are admitted Early Decision, be sure to withdraw in writing your other applications.
    • If you have a 3.0 and wish to qualify for the Life Scholarship but have not scored 1100 on the SAT, be sure to register for the January SAT.
    JANUARY
    • Although you will be tempted to lose focus this semester, resist the temptation. Your end of the year grades are sent to the college at which you have been conditionally accepted. If you are enrolled in AP courses, those end of the year exams are extremely important as well.
    • If you have a 3.0 and wish to qualify for the Life Scholarship but have not scored 1100 on the SAT, prepare for and take the January SAT.
    • Any application with a January 15 deadline should be turned into the College Counseling Office no later than January 6.
    • The final deadline for all applications to be turned into the College Counseling Office is January 15 regardless of the deadline set by the college.
    FEBRUARY
    • Many seniors will have received decisions from the colleges to which they have applied. Please keep the College Counseling Office posted on all decisions.
    • Some colleges will request additional information before making an admission decision. You are responsible for notifying the College Counseling Office if additional information is requested.
    • If you have a 3.0 and wish to qualify for the Life Scholarship but have not scored 1100 on the SAT, register to take the March SAT.
    MARCH
    • College decisions will continue to arrive, and you must begin deciding which college you will eventually attend. College Counseling will be glad to discuss this with you.
    • Keep the College Counseling Office posted as decisions arrive.
    • If you have a 3.0 and wish to qualify for the Life Scholarship but have not scored 1100 on the SAT, prepare for and take the March SAT.
    • If you have a 3.0 and wish to qualify for the Life Scholarship but have not scored 1100 on the SAT, register to take the May SAT.
    • Register for the May/June SAT II’s (if required by the college/s to which you are applying or will attend).
    APRIL
    • Stay focused…especially in AP courses.
    • By mid-April you will receive decisions from all colleges.
    • Carefully choose your college based on all of the information you have gathered. Once again, College Counseling will be glad to discuss your choices with you.
    • Write a letter of acceptance to the college you wish to attend and enclose required deposits.
    • Write letters declining acceptances at colleges you do not plan to attend.
    • Notify the College Counseling Office of your final decision.
    • If you have a 3.0 and wish to qualify for the Life Scholarship but have not scored 1100 on the SAT, prepare for the May SAT.
    MAY
    • Notify all colleges of enrollment intentions by May 1. Place only one deposit.
    • If you have a 3.0 and wish to qualify for the Life Scholarship but have not scored 1100 on the SAT, prepare for and take the May SAT.
    • Prepare for and take AP Exams.
    • Take May SAT II’s if required by college which you will attend.
    • Complete the year in as strong a position as possible so as not to risk losing your conditional acceptance.
    • GRADUATE!!!

College Counseling Staff:

List of 2 members.