Academics

Finding the Right College: A Four-Year Program

Preparation for college is paramount at Lake Ridge Academy. As such, our school is proud of its rich matriculation history: 100% of our graduating seniors are accepted at four-year institutions, many of them highly selective.

Lake Ridge’s wide variety of resources, including a dedicated college counselor, individualized essay-writing assistance, in-person and virtual visits from college representatives, and links to merit scholarships and financial aid opportunities ensures the student and family are well informed throughout all four years of the high school experience.

Choosing a college is about finding the right mix of academics, activities, location, resources, and faculty. The process of finding that right fit begins in 9th grade. Through several formal contacts with the Director of College Counseling, freshmen learn how to build a strong academic and extracurricular profile.

At Lake Ridge, College Counseling spans across all of the Upper School to get the conversation started early. Ninth graders have several formal contacts with Mr. Rhett Rybarczyk, Director of College Counseling. These will occur in Freshman Seminar throughout the course of the year.

October:

PSAT Testing
All freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will take the PSAT test in mid-October. Around Thanksgiving, the College Counselor will share a detailed score report highlighting each student’s strengths and potential areas of growth. While the freshman and sophomore tests are intended to introduce the student to the formal testing environment, the junior test is the first step to entering the National Merit® Scholarship Program.

November:

SAT/ACT Prep Class
Open to all freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, the SAT/ACT Prep Class will afford the student the opportunity to learn and practice test-taking strategies.

Lake Ridge Academy Mini College Fair
Resuming in Fall 2021, the annual Lake Ridge Academy Mini College Fair brings together a variety of colleges from Ohio and its contiguous states. In addition, panel programming provides important information to students and their families.

January:

Freshman Seminar
During Freshman Seminar, Mr. Rybarczyk will introduce Naviance, the college search and application service used by Lake Ridge Academy, to help students begin the initial steps of exploring colleges and universities.

In the sophomore year, the college conversation becomes more focused as students start to think about testing and scores. With the guidance of the college counselor, sophomores use Naviance to build resumes, take career assessments, and research schools.

As students transition into the sophomore year, the college conversation becomes more important as students start to think about testing and scores. Tenth graders have two formal contacts with Mr. Rybarczyk, the first during the fall administration of the PSAT and the second during the Spring Family Meeting for Sophomores and Families. Students are encouraged to make appointments with Mr. Rybarczyk to discuss any questions and/or concerns.

October:

PSAT Testing
All freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will take the PSAT test in mid-October. Around Thanksgiving, the College Counselor will share a detailed score report highlighting each student’s strengths and potential areas of growth. While the freshman and sophomore tests are intended to introduce the student to the formal testing environment, the junior test is the first step to entering the National Merit® Scholarship Program.

November:

SAT/ACT Prep Class
Open to all freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, the SAT/ACT Prep Class will afford the student the opportunity to learn and practice test-taking strategies.

Lake Ridge Academy Mini College Fair
Resuming in Fall 2021, the annual Lake Ridge Academy Mini College Fair brings together a variety of colleges from Ohio and its contiguous states. In addition, panel programming provides important information to students and their families.

January:

Cleveland Council of Independent Schools Sophomore Event: Navigating the College Process
Held annually at an independent Cleveland-area school, this program will feature a panel of admissions deans representing several colleges.

April:

Spring Meeting for Sophomores and Parents
At this meeting, Mr. Rybarczyk will discuss ways to use the summer to assist in the college search/admission process and make the most of the junior year.

Cleveland Council of Independent Schools College Fair
Held annually at a Cleveland-area independent school, this event features over 100 colleges and universities and panel programming. Open to sophomores and juniors only.

The junior year is an important year for High School students as the college search and admissions process begins in earnest. This year the PSAT counts: not only will colleges use it to initiate direct communications with students who interest them, it puts students in the running for a National Merit Scholarship .

During the junior year, Mr. Rybarczyk will have two formal meetings with the students, the first during the Fall Meeting for Juniors and Families and a One-on-One Meeting for juniors and families. Students are encouraged to make appointments to see Mr. Rybarczyk with any questions and/or concerns.

October:

Fall Meeting for Juniors and Parents
At this meeting, Mr. Rybacrzyk will discuss the junior year college search timeline.

PSAT Testing
All freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will take the PSAT test in mid-October. Around Thanksgiving, the College Counselor will share a detailed score report highlighting each student’s strengths and potential areas of growth.
While the freshmen and sophomore tests are intended to introduce the student to the formal testing environment, the junior test is the first step to entering the National Merit® Scholarship Program.

November:

SAT/ACT Prep Class
Open to all freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, the SAT/ACT Prep Class will afford the student the opportunity to learn and practice test-taking strategies.

Lake Ridge Academy Mini College Fair
Resuming in Fall 2021, the annual Lake Ridge Academy Mini College Fair brings together a variety of colleges from Ohio and its contiguous states. In addition, panel programming provides important information to students and their families.

January-March:

Junior/Family One-on-One Meeting
At this meeting, Mr. Rybarczyk will discuss college visits and develop a list of colleges based upon aptitude, merit, financial aid, interest, distance from home, and other factors.

April:

Begin College Visits
Juniors are permitted 4 college visits in the spring semester.

Cleveland Council of Independent Schools College Fair
Held annually at a Cleveland-area independent school, this event features over 100 colleges and universities and panel programming. Open to sophomores and juniors only.

During the required Senior Seminar, students will be led through all aspects of the college application process, from narrowing the college list and writing the essay to nativating financial aid and scholarships. With a thorough understanding of each student’s unique background, needs, and accomplishments, the college counselor is well prepared to write a personalized college recommendation for each senior. Students are encouraged to make appointments to see Mr. Rybarczyk with any questions and/or concerns.

September:

College Night for Seniors and Families
This meeting will provide families an overview of the senior year. Topics to be covered include the Senior Seminar role in the admissions process; submitting the application; timing and deadlines; sending scores; financial aid; and scholarships.

Cleveland Council of Independent Schools Financial Aid Night
Open exclusively to parents of seniors, this presentation will help parents understand the difference between need-based and merit-based financial aid. Specific attention will be devoted to how and when to complete the FAFSA and the CSS Profile.

September- May:

College Visits Seniors are permitted up to 6 days for college visits. Students should reserve at least one day to attend their chosen school’s spring admitted students day.