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SAAS College Advising Letter to the 11th Grade

Dear 11th grader and family:

College Advising Office is thrilled to work with you, the 11th grade. As a reminder from our summer and fall communications and from our October evening meeting, two upcoming events officially launch our work together. On Tuesday, December 6th at 7 PM in the Sanctuary of the Temple (please note location; some parking available across the street in the Temple parking lot on 16th), College Advising will present to 11th grade parents/guardians. Like all of our evening presentations, we will record this meeting and SAAS Communications will send out the link (generally the Friday after the presentation). During this meeting both for students and parents, College Advisors outline steps necessary to launch the process formally. Then, during class meeting on Thursday, December 8th, College Advising will attend a regular 11th grade meeting to recap briefly 11th graders’ next steps. In the presentations, families will learn about our web-based program, MaiaLearning (through which students will access their assigned College Advisor) and advice for navigating the next twelve months. Roughly twelve months from that meeting, the Class of 2024 will have applied to nearly all of its colleges. One of College Advising’s most important objectives is to lay out the steps involved in the process so that students 1) focus on school when appropriate and don’t encounter unexpected college application burn-out, and 2) aren’t hustling through various steps during the lively first trimester of senior year. We will help you ensure students’ steps are clear, manageable, and appropriately timed.      

Another important objective is to make sure everyone feels well informed such that no one panics or feels behind. No matter the year or the circumstances, attention to academics, and to the interests and curiosities important to students, remain the most important elements in a successful college search. Don’t let worry, rumor, and guidebook-selling media hype distract from the core material of one’s future application. Grounded in experience and fact, we will help individualize the rest of the process for students. 

  • Between December and graduation, students will encounter a highly-structured college-seeking process with Seattle Academy as home base. 

  • Using the information from these meetings, students and families will access both MaiaLearning and Schoology, complete preliminary surveys, and set up appointments for January after we return from winter break when both SAAS and College Advising are closed. 

  • Every graduate of a strong college-prep school like Seattle Academy will have good college choices available. If you choose to apply and complete the steps we require, you will be admitted to college for the fall of 2024. While competition is fierce at the fifty most selective schools in America many terrific, and sometimes more appropriate colleges, are more accessible. We proudly work at a school where students and families embrace an exciting and diverse range of possibilities. If you are a strong and intellectually curious student who wishes to enter the competitive process at the most selective colleges, Seattle Academy has a great and proven reputation with those colleges, and your application will be considered strongly. No one can predict who will or will not get into the most competitive colleges, but you will have as excellent a chance as any student in the applicant pool.

  • We will continue to discuss standardized testing at our meetings in December and in individual appointments thereafter. 11th graders who took an on-campus, official PSAT are expected to receive scores from the College Board around December 5. We will help interpret those and other practice scores during 1:1 meetings starting in January. 

  • For additional support and information, parents and guardians often benefit from reading Julie Lythcott-Haims’ How to Raise an Adult and VanDeVelde and Mamlet’s College Admission: From Application to Acceptance, Step by Step. 

Our third and most important goal is for students to treat this college process as a natural step in the Seattle Academy “Culture of Performance.” No matter the world’s complications, this is still the perfect time for students to apply skills to move beyond Seattle Academy. Sometimes it’s difficult for families to turn this over to students:  parents worry children will miss deadlines, make mistakes, and so on. But, Class of 2024, this is your opportunity to take charge of the next step of your future as each class has before you. Most beneficial to you and to your growth is that you should be in the driver’s seat, with your College Advising team coaching and your parents nearby, watching closely but trying hard to let you take over.

We try to vary how we share information, so plan to hear more helpful instructions and advice at the December meetings. We look forward to seeing students and parents soon and to our productive, rational, and healthy work together.

Best wishes, 

College Advising (

Visit our College Advising for 11th Grade Resource Online


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