Is Your Student College-Ready?

For many reasons, the high school years are a pivotal time in your student’s life. The college conversation looms large over grades 11 and 12, and many families begin to wonder if their high schooler is ready.

At Lake Ridge Academy, our Director of College Counseling Keeon Gregory, has over fifteen years of experience helping Upper School students navigate the college search process. Want to know if your child is college-ready? Read on for Mr. Gregory’s advice!

The Preliminary SAT, or PSAT, is a standardized test administered by the College Board. All Lake Ridge students take the PSAT by the end of their sophomore year. Mr. Gregory explains, “The PSAT is an important step in getting college-ready. It gets students’ names on college mailing lists, exposes students early to the college testing environment, establishes a baseline to determine prospective National Merit Scholars, and identifies students who may need additional testing support early on.”

By the junior year, students should know when they are going to take the ACT. As Mr. Gregory describes, “Too many students wait until fall of their senior year to decide when to take the ACT. Don’t wait! You need to have a plan for when to test, when to re-test if needed, and how to prepare.” Each fall we offer a SAT/ACT prep class at Lake Ridge Academy for students to build confidence with standardized test taking or simply help improve their overall score.

A close relationship with your guidance counselor or college counselor is integral to your child’s college search process. At Lake Ridge Academy, the Director of College Counseling meets with each student and his or her parents during the junior year to outline an individualized plan to find the college or university that best suits their talents, academic strengths and needs. All seniors attend Senior Seminar, which is a required fall semester class led by the Director of College Counseling, who helps guide them through the busy college application season. The Director of College Counseling also works individually with every senior on his or her college application. “Only by first establishing a close relationship, can a college counselor individually help students identify schools that make sense academically, socially, and financially”, says Mr. Gregory.

In order to make the best decision about a college, your child will need to understand all of their options. “Many students don’t understand the many differences between colleges, like how a national research university compares to a liberal arts college, or that attending a private college can often by less expensive than a state school. There are also options to consider when it comes to early decision and early action plans, especially when it comes to college application strategy”, observes Mr. Gregory.

If you have concerns about your child being college-ready, it’s not too late to make a change. Lake Ridge Academy has a long tradition of supporting students who enter our Upper School in the 10th and 11th grade.

Because we know how important this time period is in your child’s life, we have made extra funding available in addition to our generous financial aid and scholarship packages. Apply today and then schedule your shadow day at Lake Ridge Academy, and learn why our students graduate college-ready!

Upper School Story

Ryan '20

Lake Ridge provides an environment that encourages and stimulates learning. At my old high school, it was not viewed positively to be smart. At Lake Ridge, the student body is encouraging to one another and it is "cool" to be smart. Not only do I have great classes, but I have the freedom to do more like participate in sports, theater, and clubs. At my old high school, participating in sports meant that I could not join clubs or theater.

Transferring to Lake Ridge in high school was a breeze and I felt happy here almost immediately. Thanks to the house system, I immediately started bonding with the students. The faculty was also extremely friendly and made me feel right at home.

The things you learn, the relationships you make, and the opportunities you have at Lake Ridge are so far beyond other schools. Even if a student can only come here for their final two years of high school, it is worth it.

Ryan '20
Transferred in 10th grade