Finding the Right Fit for Every Student
Deciding which college to attend is one of the most exciting and difficult decisions our seniors face each year. Our college counseling office is available to guide students through this often perplexing process. From parent and student meetings starting in ninth grade to individualized sessions with juniors and seniors, college counseling at GWA empowers our high school students to be proactive in their college search.
For a better idea of where our seniors head after graduation, take a look at our Class of 2017 college acceptances and matriculations.
George Walton Academy holds accreditations from AdvancED (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools,) the Southern Association of Independent Schools, and the Georgia Accrediting Commission. Click image at left to access the official School Profile.
Our students have access to a variety of resources and tools to help them prepare for the college admissions process.
Each year the GWA campus hosts a number of admissions representatives from colleges and universities around the country. These representatives hold informal meetings for our high school students in the upper school media center throughout the fall and early spring, providing an opportunity for students to ask questions, check on application requirements and get to know these colleges a little better.
All students interested in financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Learn more.
The Georgia Student Finance Commission has become one of the most successful state student aid operations in the nation. According to its website, it was orignally created to provide loans, but "the agency progressed to state- and lottery-funded scholarships, grants, service cancelable loan programs and providing free financial aid consultation. GSFC's mission is to ensure Georgians have an opportunity to access education beyond high school." Learn more.
Making college a reality for all students, the Coalition helps students prepare for and applu for college. The program offers free online college planning tools. Learn more.
With instant access to more than 700 colleges and universities around the world, the Common App is the most seamless way to manage the application process.
Naviance is a software package available to our counselors and students that provides college research and matching tools, course planning options, scholarship sources, and alumni college updates. GWA utilizes Naviance as a college and career readiness solution that helps align student strengths and interests to post-secondary goals, ultimately improving student outcomes.
This web-based program helps our juniors more clearly identify their natural strengths and interests as they consider potential career and academic paths. Students get personalized matching to strong career fits, in-depth information on each career, comprehensive insights on how natural abilities are projected to affect work life and performance, and customized language designed to help students self-advocate in both college and career.
George Walton Academy is pleased to offer dual enrollment options through Georgia’s Move On When Ready program. This program allows qualified high school students to maximize their education and career training by taking courses that earn college and high school credit at the same time.
Internships are new this year for GWA juniors and seniors. Through partnerships in our community and the surrounding area, our internship program aims to give students an opportunity to gain work experience, explore their interests and build real-world skillsets.
Click here to access a variety of helpful videos, including a series produced by the University of Pennsylvania that provides insights and tips for navigating the application process.
Click here to access a library of interesting college admissions-related articles and links to university blogs. .
Public Institutions in Georgia
Private Institutions in Georgia
2018 Summer Programs with Financial Aid: http://blog.collegegreenlight.com/blog/2018-summer-programs-with-financial-aid/
UGA Summer Programs: https://www.admissions.uga.edu/connect-with-us/precollegiate-programs
UGA Summer Academy Camps: https://www.georgiacenter.uga.edu/youth/summer-academy
Vet Camp @ UGA: http://vet.uga.edu/academic-affairs/vetcamp
Blueprint Programs at UGA: https://www.bpsummerprograms.com/uga-pre-college-summer-programs/
Emory Pre-College Programs: http://precollege.emory.edu/
GA-Tech Pre-College Programs: https://design.gatech.edu/precollege
CEISMC Summer PEAKS at G-Tech: https://www.ceismc.gatech.edu/ceismc-summer-peaks
Hands on Tech (H.O.T) at GA-Tech: https://www.ece.gatech.edu/outreach/hot-days
Women in Engineering @GA-Tech (for girls in grades 5-8): http://wie.gatech.edu/tec-camp
For a list of programs in the USA and beyond: http://www.internationalacac.org/summer-programs-2017
Vanderbilt University Pre-college Programs: https://admissions.vanderbilt.edu/prospective/precollege-programs.php
Texas A&M Summer Programs: http://admissions.tamu.edu/events
Notre Dame Pre-College Programs: https://precollege.nd.edu/
Yale Young Global Scholars: https://globalscholars.yale.edu/
Harvard Summer Programs: https://www.summer.harvard.edu/high-school-programs
Summer Programs @ MIT: http://mitadmissions.org/apply/prepare/summer
Columbia University NYC Summer Immersion: http://sps.columbia.edu/highschool/summer-immersion/new-york-city-3-week
Barnard Summer Enrichment in NYC: https://barnard.edu/admission-aid/high-school-pre-college-programs/summer-programs
Space Camp: https://www.spacecamp.com/
New York Times: https://www.nytedu.com/pre-college/nyc-summer-academy/
Smithsonian in Washington, DC: https://www.si.edu/youth-programs
We host several events throughout the year, both on and off campus, to help inform our students of their college and career choices. University Recruiters, please click here for information on scheduling a visit, as well as directions to the GWA campus.
Our students are as unique as the colleges to which they apply, and this fact makes the campus visit an integral part of their college decisions.
Every spring our college counseling office coordinates a series of college tours to take GWA freshmen, sophomores and juniors to visit potential college and university choices. While on tour, students enjoy lunch at the dining halls, walk and talk with current college students, and chat with admissions staff.
Our college tours in March 2017 included Berry College, Mercer University, the University of North Georgia and Georgia Southern University. Future tours will include both in-state and out-of-state destinations.
This series provides our students with an informal setting to explore possible areas of study in college, career and beyond. Members of the community visit campus to share lunch, advice and insights into their chosen professions with small groups of our students.
Geared toward GWA parents, each lunch session focuses on a relevant aspect of the college admissions process and will help parents stay informed throughout their student’s college application journey.
In the field of college admissions, April is when seniors mull over their offers and university admissions departments try to convince them to choose their institutions. It is not a particularly busy time in most high school college counseling offices, so this is when many colleges host events designed for counselors. These can range from an event at a single institution for one day or more, to a tour of several colleges. In most cases, the university, or group of universities, assumes the cost of accommodations and transportation. These “fly-ins” allow counselors to learn more about an institution by touring facilities while students are still on campus, meeting with current students, interacting with faculty and receiving updates and guidance from the admissions team.
Invites usually go out through different professional organizations such as the Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools, the National Association of College Admissions Counseling or the Southern Association of College Admissions Counseling, the latter two of which George Walton is a member. I received dozens of invites to apply to different tours and fly-ins and applied for a few that included institutions I thought would be a good fit for George Walton students. My application to Berry College’s inaugural Counselor Conference was successful and I was waitlisted by Vanderbilt and the Ohio Six Tour, which included Denison University, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wittenberg University, and the College of Wooster. As luck would have it, I was taken off the waitlist for both events days before Spring Break.
The first institution I visited was Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Vanderbilt is highly selective university that also has a well-regarded music conservatory. In addition to looking for students with high GPAs and test scores, Vanderbilt seeks students who show leadership potential and a commitment to service and social justice. Vandy could be a good fit for students who possess those characteristics and either want to continue their study of music or at least attend a university where there are many opportunities to perform.
On the way back from Nashville, I spent Friday in Rome, Georgia visiting Berry College. Like many who have visited Berry, I was struck by the beauty of its campus. Despite having the largest campus on earth, Berry enrolls slightly more than 2000 students, almost all of whom are undergraduates. As a result, Berry students receive a lot of individual support. Students graduate Berry well prepared for both graduate studies and for life. Many of the institutions on the Ohio Six Tour have enrollments the size of Berry’s.
In general, the schools on the Ohio Six Tour could be a good fit for some George Walton students. Their small size and focus on undergraduate education would be beneficial for students coming from a small school like GWA. In fact, three of the institutions are part of the Colleges that Change Lives (CTCL) group: Denison, Ohio Wesleyan and College of Wooster. CTCL schools are small, primarily liberal arts institutions that focus on teaching undergraduate students, In fact, most CTCL institutions do not have graduate programs; however, they produce students who have given them an excellent reputation among most highly selective graduate programs. For those who would like to know more about Colleges That Change Lives, go to https://ctcl.org/ or attend the Fair they will be hosting at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta on Tuesday, May 22 at 7:00 PM.
Each of the six Ohio institutions I visited had different strengths, but all shared a commitment to the personal growth of their students. In addition to strong academics, most had competitive athletic programs along with a strong commitment to the arts. For example, Oberlin has a highly-regarded music conservatory and Denison is completing a performing center to be named after alumnus and benefactor, Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney.
Visiting eight colleges in a week is not just a great way to gain a sense of what it might be like to attend one of these colleges, you also see student housing and other facilities and you observe the environs around the campus. This gives you a sense of which type of student would thrive at a particular institution. However, spending time with other counselors is also valuable. It gives one a chance to ask other counselors about their policies and practices. I always return from these conferences with new insights into the college admissions counseling profession.