73% of the Class of 2016 was offered admission to one of their top choice colleges, which reflects good decision-making on students’ part as well as the respect accorded Berkeley Carroll’s rigorous program by college admission offices.
Of course one measure of success is the ability of high-achieving students to gain admission to the most selective colleges and universities. Our top students consistently go on to attend universities in the Ivy League, the most competitive technical schools, and the most selective liberal arts colleges. 91% of the Class of 2016 was offered admission to an institution in the highly selective category, one that admits fewer than 50% of its applicants. Additionally, 38% of the class was offered admission to at least one college or university in the most selective category, the 1.5% of colleges nationally that admit fewer than 25% of their applicants.
Typically somewhere between a third and half of a graduating class ventures outside the northeast to attend college, and students from Berkeley Carroll's college prep school have recently enrolled in large state universities, small liberal arts colleges, art schools, conservatories, technical institutes and universities abroad. College admission officers love the diversity of our list because it shows that we don’t shoehorn our students into a narrow range of colleges, and thus applications from our students are both thoughtful and authentic.
To help students prepare for the standardized testing required in the admission process, the College Office continues to add to the school’s test preparation initiatives. Sophomores are introduced to testing strategies in the spring and then sit for a diagnostic that helps them compare strengths on the SAT and ACT, helping them make informed decisions about testing and test prep at the beginning of junior year. Sophomores will, starting in 2016, also be offered the opportunity to take the PSAT as a way of practicing for the SAT. Juniors continue to take the PSAT in October.
The college prep school process begins in earnest in junior year, with a kick-off meeting for students and parents in October, followed by individual family meetings beginning in the second semester. The counseling staff divides the class, so although there is tremendous collaboration within the office, students are able to develop a strong, trusting relationship with the counselor who will help develop a list, write a secondary school report, offer advice on testing, personal statements and other aspects of the process, and matriculation decisions.