Student Life

College Counseling

Life as an Ignatius student does not end with graduation. Saint Ignatius grads join the ranks of over 25,000 living alumni as part of a worldwide Jesuit educational network.
Saint Ignatius provides a comprehensive, ongoing college placement service that includes testing, individual counseling, family interviews, and application processing for college admissions, scholarships and financial aid. We are blessed to have the opportunity to specialize in post-secondary advisement. As specialists, the four full-time College Counselors have the advantage of doing 100% post-secondary advisement with students with the time and energy to develop relationships with many colleges through college tours, admissions representative visits and national conferences. This allows us to better communicate college options to our students and to advocate better for our students with the college admission committees.

Our Recent Graduating Classes Have Earned ...

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  • 29.1

    Average ACT Score
  • 1338

    Average SAT School (1600 scale)
  • $70 M+

    offered in guaranteed 4-year scholarships and grants

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  • Saint Ignatius alumni are currently represented at 250 colleges and universities in 39 states, the District of Columbia, Scotland, Spain, South Africa, and Mexico. This list includes ...

    • Amherst College
    • Boston College
    • Brown University
    • University of California at Berkeley
    • Carleton College
    • University of Chicago
    • Columbia University
    • Cornell University
    • Dartmouth College
    • Davidson College
    • Duke University
    • Emory University
    • Fordham University
    • Georgetown University
    • Harvard University
    • Haverford College
    • University of Illinois – Champaign
    • Johns Hopkins University
    • Middlebury College
    • MIT
    • U.S. Naval Academy
    • New York University
    • Northwestern University
    • University of Notre Dame
    • University of Pennsylvania
    • Pomona College
    • Princeton University
    • Rice University
    • Santa Clara University
    • University of Southern California
    • Stanford University
    • Swarthmore College
    • Vanderbilt University
    • Villanova University
    • Wake Forest University
    • Washington University
    • College of William & Mary
    • Wesleyan University
    • Williams College
    • Yale University

Exporing Colleges

There are many steps towards the first day of college. We have guidelines for students and parents of each grade level:

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  • Freshmen

    The challenge of freshman year is making a smooth transition into Saint Ignatius College Prep. Freshmen face new expectations and multiple opportunities for extracurricular involvement. This is the year to establish a strong academic foundation, get involved in extracurricular and co-curricular activities and begin to identify their true passions. Students should strive for academic excellence while also seeking out leadership and service opportunities that will enable them to develop their interests and promote personal growth. Utilize your Naviance Student/X2VOL portal to log volunteer hours and research colleges. There are also several skill inventory tools available through Naviance Student.

    Freshmen receive exposure to testing through a practice ACT exam in the Spring. The results are used in-house to improve curriculum.

    A College Counseling timeline for Freshmen can be found here.

    Students are encouraged to participate in summer enrichment programs. General information on a broad range of summer programs for grades nine through twelve is available here. Students are also encouraged to get involved in volunteer activities and community service.
  • Sophomores

    Sophomores are expected to build on the academic base established in the freshmen year. Students continues to engage in athletics, community service, clubs and other extracurricular and co-curricular activities that build on their special strengths and interests. Utilize your Naviance Student/X2VOL portal to log volunteer hours and research colleges.

    Each fall, sophomores take the PSAT as a practice test. They will receive their results and gain a familiarity with the process of taking the SAT test. Each spring, a practice ACT is administered to all sophomores. The results provide direction for educational and career planning and has the additional benefit of providing practice for the ACT assessment. Exposure to both the ACT and SAT gives each student insight in their testing style and aid in planning for their junior testing.

    A College Counseling timeline for Sophomore can be found here.

    Students are encouraged to build on areas on interest by doing summer enrichment, which may mean studying abroad in a language immersion program, doing a community service project or taking special courses for high school students offered at leading colleges and universities. General information on a broad range of summer programs for grades nine through twelve is available here and on the Guidance website. Students are also encouraged to seek summer employment.
  • Juniors

    College admission professionals look closely at the academic performance in the junior year. Students aspiring to attend a highly selective college or university should be enrolled in demanding courses which will challenge their academic abilities. It is important to maintain a healthy balance between course work and extracurricular activities, and therefore students are encouraged to enroll in classes where they can manage their achievement. Build healthy relationships with your teachers, some of them will be writing college recommendations for you!
    Each Fall, over 250 college representatives visit Saint Ignatius during the lunch periods. This is a wonderful opportunity to gather information about colleges. The calendar of visits is on the College Counseling home page and the college tab of Family Connection.

    We formally start working with students and their families in November of the junior year. This allows us to have the results of some of their PSAT and ACT in-house test scores and a body of four semesters of grades. Junior Family Workshops take place in the first week in November and we make sure to cover topics that include where and how a student can start to take ownership on the front end of the college selection process. Students fill out a ten page "Junior Questionnaire" that will assist each student to prioritize their criteria for a college. At this time, parents will also receive access to the Naviance Student/X2VOL portal. Within the portal, there are many resources specifically about colleges and the application results of years of Ignatian applications to colleges. Details on how to interpret this data is included in the Junior Family Workshop and on the Junior checklist.

    College Counselors are assigned in early November of the Junior year. Junior family meetings with students and their parents/guardians are to used to identify expectations, motives and goals for the direction of the college search process. Typically, these meetings are completed by the end of the junior year, allowing student and families to have a game plan for the summer.
    There are many testing opportunities during the Junior year. Each fall, juniors take the PSAT test for qualifying for national recognition with the National Merit Scholarship Program. They will also take a practice ACT in the Spring which provides direction for educational and career planning. Because most colleges require scores on the ACT or the SAT, all students are encouraged to take both tests in the spring of their junior year. SAT Subject Tests are sometimes necessary for admission and placement at some colleges. They are hour long exams which are administered in different subject areas. The end of the school year is Advanced Placement (AP) testing season. These tests are for students who have taken AP courses in high school. Depending on a particular college's AP policy, a student may gain advanced standing in college.
    The College Counseling Junior Checklist can be found here.

    The summer between junior and senior year is a time to plan college visits, work, be involved in academic or social camps, complete service projects, gather application information and hopefully relax a bit. Many summer opportunities are curated at this website.
  • Seniors

    As the culminating year of college preparation, seniors are challenged on many fronts. Some are taking their most demanding course load and they are moving through the final stage of the college search process as they finish their standardized testing and completing their college applications. Starting in August, we conduct meetings between college counselors and senior families to iron out a final list of colleges to which a student will apply. There will be two Senior Application Workshops in August to help foster this process and clarify the application cycles: "Early Decision," "Early Action," "Single-Choice Early Action," "Regular," and "Rolling" applications. 

    In the Fall, more than 250 on-campus visits from college representatives occur during the lunch periods. These are tremendous opportunities to get a brief overview of a specific school or to get questions answered by an expert of that college. The calendar of visits is on the College Counseling home page and the college tab of Family Connection.
    All early applications need to be submitted by Nov 1st. Regular decision applications need to be submitted by the deadline date and students are encouraged to complete applications by Nov 30th. The College Counseling Office electronically submits the bulk load of applications materials through October and November. Mid-Year Reports are sent to the colleges in mid-January. Decision letters are usually mailed by colleges during the end of March and students submit their enrollment deposit May 1st.

    The commencement ceremony each year marks the culmination of a senior's Saint Ignatius career. Final transcripts are sent to the colleges where seniors plan to matriculate. The college process is now officially complete.

    A Senior checklist can be viewed here.

Other things to consider

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  • Scholarships

    Visite the College Councelling Resourses page to see more about scholarship offerings
  • Standardized Testing

    Students are given the following standardized tests:
    • Practice ACT: This test, administered to all freshmen, sophomores and juniors in the Spring, provides direction for educational and career planning and has the additional benefit of providing practice for ACT assessment.
    • PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test)This test is taken in the Fall of junior year as a qualifying test for national recognition and preparation for the SAT that will be taken in the spring of junior year. Sophomores also take the test in the Fall as practice. 
    • ACT (American College Testing Program): Because most colleges require scores on either the ACT or the SAT, all students are encouraged to take both tests in the spring of their junior years.
    • SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test): Because most colleges require scores on either the ACT or the SAT, all students are encouraged to take both tests in the spring of their junior years.
    • National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest): works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial. You can search on this site for test optional colleges and universities.
    These are additional standardized that students may take during their time in high school:
    • AP (Advanced Placement Tests): These tests are for students who have taken Advanced Placement or certain honors level courses in high school. APs are given in May in specific areas. Depending on a particular college's AP policy, as student may gain advanced standing in college. Other tests are available upon request or at the counselor's discretion. Professional consultation and referral are used when necessary.
    • SAT Subject Tests: These tests are hour long exams which are administered in different subject areas. These are offered at different times during the year and are necessary at some colleges for admissions and placement.
With over 2,000 four-year colleges and universities in the United States, each Saint Ignatius student will find their path. When looking for a college to fit your needs, consider the following: location, campus size, city size, majors, programs, activities, cost, financial aid, admission requirements, campus environments and athletic and artistic opportunities. Consider visiting as many institutions as possible, maybe even on family vacations. This is the absolute best method to get a "feel" for a college.

All students have access during their lunch periods to visit with over 250 college representative that visit Saint Ignatius in the fall. This is a wonderful opportunity to gather information about colleges and to make a good impression with a decision-maker in the application reading session. This calendar of upcoming visitors is found on the Naviance Student portal, on the link screen, on the sign outside of the College Counseling office and listed in the homeroom announcements each day.

Upcoming Events

Contact for More Information

For more information on the College Counseling department, please contact our department chair - Kurt Schmidt at kurt.schmidt@ignatius.org or by phone at 312.432.8352.