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College Advising

“One of the things I love about Briarwood is the sense of family within the school. The teachers and administrators really want to connect with you beyond the school setting and have become some of the most impactful people in my life.”   Lauren, 12th Grade

Our School Counseling Department begins the college advising process during freshman year and we continue to walk students and families step by step through the process until applications and decisions are made.  Applying to college can be a somewhat confusing and stressful process but through exploration and planning we strive to help students not only find the institution that fits them best but also to begin to identify God’s calling on their lives.

College & Counseling Resources

What to expect each year

9th grade


Freshmen year is a year of transition to high school.

Counselors visit the classroom as well as meet with students individually or in small groups. Counselors explain the importance of grade point average (GPA) for future college admission and how their GPA begins with the grades students earn in freshman year and continues through each grade in high. Students are encouraged to join extracurricular activities in school and to become involved in their own communities. Leadership is explained and students are prompted to begin to look and ask for ways to show leadership.

During course selection for sophomore year, counselors walk students through the process of updating their four year plans and choosing the best courses to help reach their post-secondary goals.

Freshmen Orientation is held for parents of freshmen.

Freshmen are given the Pre-ACT test. 

Each student has his/her own Naviance Student account for career/college search. Students begin using their account in the Career Preparation course, which is required before junior year. In Career Prep, students begin taking assessments to discover their interests, abilities, personality traits, and their strengths and weaknesses as it relates to possible careers. Students learn how to use college search tools as they begin to discover and compare colleges and universities. In preparation for future part time job applications, opportunity applications, scholarship applications, and college applications, students create their resume in Career Prep. 

10th Grade


Sophomore year is a time when students embrace high school.

Counselors visit the classroom as well as meet with students individually or in small groups. Counselors remind sophomores of the importance of maintaining or improving their GPAs while finding an extracurricular activity or activities to commit to throughout high school. Students are reminded of the importance of leadership and are given examples of how to lead and how to apply for leadership opportunities. 

Sophomores who have not taken Career Prep are required to take the class sophomore year in order to learn to use their Naviance Student account for college/career search and later for college applications.

Counselors monitor academic progress and keep track of requirements students have met for graduation in order to help students with course selection for junior year. 

Sophomores take the Pre-ACT or they may opt to take the PSAT as a practice test for the National Merit Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) their junior year.

Students may choose to take an ACT Prep course as an elective either sophomore or junior year.

Counselors teach sophomores how to perform a credit check for meeting graduation requirements, help them update their four year plans, and choose classes for their junior year during the course selection process. 

11th Grade


Junior year is a time to begin narrowing the college search. Juniors attend two college fairs in the fall, the Christian College Fair and the College Fair, to meet college admission reps personally and to plan visits to colleges campuses. Counselors visit the classroom to encourage college visits, explain the College Visit Policy, provide lists of questions to ask when visiting colleges, and remind students to use their Naviance Student account to generate a list of potential institutions that match their interests and abilities. Counselors direct students to the Scholarship Calendar and how to search for scholarships and remind students of the Opportunities Calendar which includes leadership opportunities. In the spring, juniors update their existing resumes and can use them for applying for part-time work, for a scholarship or for college application after their junior year. 

Parents of juniors are encouraged to attend the College Information Night which is geared specifically toward parents of juniors. 

Juniors take the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) in October.

Students may choose to take an ACT Prep course as an elective either sophomore or junior year.

Counselors walk juniors through a complete credit check and updating their four year plans during the course selection process in order to make sure juniors are meeting the requirements for graduation and taking courses to help them reach their post-secondary plans.

Second semester of junior year is when the School Counselor and College Advisor work hand in hand with juniors as they prepare for applying to college after the junior year. A classroom presentation is held for juniors regarding specific elements of college application. 

The College Advisor and/or School Counselor meet individually or in small groups to help with the college application process.

12th Grade


Senior year is a time when many students have applied or are applying to colleges and for scholarships.

The College Advisor works specifically with second semester juniors and all seniors on applying to colleges, applying for scholarships, and finalizing college plans. Small groups or individual meetings may cover topics such as Completing College Applications, Matching Common App to Naviance Student, Requesting Letters of Recommendation, Essay Writing, Completing the FAFSA, and more. 

Seniors write college essays in their English classes.

Seniors may take additional ACT/SAT tests in the fall, if needed.

The National Reply Date, is the deadline for the student to formally notifying one college he/she will accept their offer of admission. 

Above all, we value Christian character, godly compassion, and a life of service to God and others. Those values are evident in all we do as we disciple students through competitive athletics, the arts, academic achievements, and both local and international missions.

Four years ago, FACTS and RenWeb united to provide the best education experience possible. Since that time, we’ve worked toward combining our services in a way that benefits our school partners and their families.

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