USM is widely known among colleges for its outstanding faculty, strong college preparatory and Advanced Placement programs, wide range of extracurricular opportunities, and commitment to educating well-rounded individuals prepared for the challenges of the 21st century. Colleges understand that our graduates have little difficulty adjusting to college workloads and expectations.
The four-year USM College Guidance Program has defined goals for each grade level. Beginning freshman year, students meet both individually and in college counseling groups to discuss issues relevant to the college search and application process. The College Guidance team assists each USM family in discovering which colleges best match a student's talents and interests in a suitably challenging academic, extracurricular, and personal environment. The College Guidance team is devoted to helping students find the best "fit" schools.
Students are prepared for required entrance exams, instructed on how to fill out applications, informed about what to expect at college interviews, coached on what to look for in relation to their academic and extracurricular goals, and given a preview of campus life. The counselors actively advocate for their students to the colleges and provide consultation through the students' final decision.
Each fall and spring the College Guidance office offers PSAT, SAT, and ACT preparation and review courses. USM students are given opportunities to take practice tests.
College Representative Visits
About 100 schools send representatives to our campus throughout the fall in order to provide personal presentations about their programs.
Junior Class College Tour
An important part of the college process is helping students evaluate colleges and universities. USM offers juniors a unique advantage through college visits during the annual fall junior class college tour. The tour is organized to give students a feel for the differences among schools and includes visits to large universities, small colleges, urban and rural environments, and state and private schools.
Crafting the College Essay
Students begin the introspection at the heart of the college essay in the College Guidance Seminar in the second semester of junior year. They begin their summer with topics in mind, a thorough understanding of how to structure the essay, the purpose it serves in the application, and drafting exercises to help launch their draft.
College Counselors are each responsible for guiding approximately 180 students (45 per grade level) through the college application process in individual and group sessions.
Advisers contribute to counselor letters of recommendation and collaborate with counselors on recommending course options to help students meet their long-term goals.