Our Approach

At Pomfret, we start early and go deep.

The decisions you make now will determine where you end up later. To help guide you, we have created a four year plan rooted in the following priorities: (1) a whole-school approach to college preparedness (2 ) great relationships with colleges and universities (3) direct exposure to admission reps and (4) a strong commitment to parent communication.

A whole-school approach » Our advisors, teachers, and counselors, in cooperation with our academic registrar and testing coordinator, work together to guide you, beginning in your freshman year. This forward-looking, team-based approach gives everyone with a stake in your future (not just the college counseling office) an opportunity to participate in the process. The result is a level of personalized, proactive attention that only a small school like Pomfret can provide.

Great college relationships » Within the world of college admissions, Pomfret students are known and respected for the power of their minds and the bigness of their hearts. Over the years, our college counseling team has successfully cultivated relationships with colleges and universities from coast to coast, earning the trust and respect of admissions reps everywhere.

Ninth Grade

    • think about who you would like to be when you graduate from high school
    • how will Pomfret be different (improved?) because I attended it?”
    • try two or three different activities and/or sports (take appropriate risks)
    • learn how and whom to ask for help
    • also learn to balance academic demands, social time, and extracurricular activities
Suggested reading:

The Road to Character (students)
How to Raise an Adult (parents)

Tenth Grade

    • consider attending the October college fair
    • take the October PSAT, for which Pomfret students are automatically registered
    • pursue an interest during Project: Pomfret
    • learn from your high school past and look ahead to your future in your STEP meeting
    • be introduced to Family Connection in early April
    • take the April PreACT
    • visit a college as part of QUEST to get a general sense of characteristics
    • attend the April college fair
    • perhaps take a Subject Test or two in June
Suggested reading

David and Goliath (students)
Where You Go to College is Not Who You Will Be (parents)

Eleventh Grade

    • students continue to do their best in a challenging yet manageable curriculum
    • junior year is arguably the most important year in the college process
    • final set of year-long grades
    • perhaps meet individually with visiting college admissions reps
    • attend the October college fair
    • take the October PSAT
    • take the December SAT and/or the December ACT (both are offered on-campus)
    • good timing during Project: Pomfret
    • students and parents complete in December or January their respective college counseling surveys
    • students begin meeting individually with their counselor soon thereafter
    • discuss testing results, testing plan, and test prep options
    • pursue an interest or two with greater conviction
    • speak candidly with your parents about the role cost will play in your search
    • applying for financial aid and/or a merit scholarships will influence which schools your college counselor suggests
    • work with your college counselor to draft an appropriate preliminary list of colleges
    • visit colleges during spring and summer vacations
    • complete prior to each visit the Net Price calculator if applying for aid
    • request at least one teacher recommendation
    • attend in May the application case studies exercise with visiting college admissions reps
    • perhaps take one or two Subject Tests and/or an Advanced Placement tests
suggested reading

Colleges That Change Lives (students and parents)

Twelfth Grade

    • view this year as the culmination of your high school experience
    • fall term grades for most students will be submitted to colleges
    • take one or two more standardized tests, if necessary
    • return to school with a completed Common Application, including a working draft of your essay
    • continue to immerse yourself in activities you enjoy
    • request second teacher recommendation if necessary
    • finalize a balanced list of 8 - 10 colleges to which you will apply
    • submit all pertinent financial aid information
    • FAFSA and CSS profile are available October
    • students receive all decisions no later than April 1
    • revisit a small number of schools if necessary
    • families deposit at no more than one school by May 1 (National Candidates Reply Date)
    • attend in mid-May the “transitioning to college” QUEST program
suggested reading

O.M.G. The Official Money Guide for College Students (students)
The Wealthy Barber (students)
There is Life After College (parents)

Direct exposure to admission reps » College admission officers routinely travel to Pomfret to meet with students in small groups. We also hold two college fairs annually, attracting hundreds of college reps to campus. In addition, Pomfret is well-known for our W.P. Carey Lecture, which brings administrators from some of the most respected colleges and universities in the country to speak with families about the college admissions process.

Strong parent communication » At Pomfret, we believe strong parent communication is a critical part of the college counseling experience. During the year, parents receive a steady diet of information and updates through a variety of means, including regular emails and phone calls, face-to-face meetings, campus workshops, and grade-specific communications.

Our Advice

Always do your best work — even when the stakes are low or you think no one is looking.

Every year counts, and each year is more important than the previous.

Thoughtfully select a challenging but manageable slate of courses.

Plan productive summers that allow for well-deserved downtime.

Never be afraid to fail. If you want to be heard, speak up. Be engaged and engaging.

Pursue interests. Cultivate friendships. Build bridges.

Make a deliberate effort to get off campus and take full advantage of our location.

Get to know your advisor, your teachers, and your college counselor.

Read, read, then read some more.