College Counseling

West Sound Academy has an impressive record of graduates being admitted to their first choices for higher education. By developing a partnership with students, parents, teachers, and advisors, the college counselor helps guide students through the process of narrowing their lists of schools, completing their applications, and finalizing their personal essays and college supplements. Self-reflection and solid research are strongly encouraged so that students and parents look beyond rankings and name-recognition to find more meaningful measures of college fit. Understanding that no two students are alike, the college counselor works with each student to find the school that best matches his or her abilities, interests, and aspirations. The success of our graduates attests to the strength of the West Sound Academy college counseling program.

Class of 2020 college destinations

We congratulate our Class of 2021 for their college success!

These seventeen students were accepted at 39 different 4-year colleges and universities, and were offered over $2,500,000 in scholarships.

They are attending schools in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, including Washington University at St. Louis, Cornish College of the Arts, Linfield University, Pacific Lutheran University, Whitman College, Willamette University, University of Washington, and Western Washington University.

Chaidie is Stanford bound!

College Planning Timeline


Grade 8

Résumé Planning
Start thinking about activities you will want to pursue during high school

Grade 9

Building résumés with extracurricular and service opportunities
Finding a good way to keep track of academic and extracurricular awards and service accomplishments will make it easier to fill out college applications.

Grade 10

Continue to build and narrow résumés
Work toward leadership positions in the activities that you like the best

Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) – October
Determine any content areas that need extra attention and use personalized practice on Khan Academy.

YouScience Profile
Your profile will include an overview of your aptitudes, suggested environments where you will succeed, detailed information on possible careers that match those skills and interests, majors that map to those careers, and much more. It will also provide information on how you think, process, information, and where you naturally excel.

Spring Planning Meeting
You and your parents will meet individually with the College Counselor and IB Coordinator to plan your IB path and to talk about the College Counseling process.

Manage Email Inflow
Create a dedicated email account for college applications and materials. It could be firstname.lastnameYear@gmail.com – you want it to be professional, easy to remember. Then, use this address when you provide SAT or request materials from college. It’s good to have a separate email dedicated to this process to help keep track of things

Visit schools
The summer before junior year is a great time to visit schools. When on campus, pay attention to positives and negatives to look for or avoid in schools. It can be very helpful to tour any specific departments in which you might be interested. The purpose of these visits is to get a sense of the kinds of colleges you might find appealing.

Grade 11

Continue to build and narrow résumés
Work toward leadership positions in the activities that you like the best

Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) – October
Determine any content areas that need extra attention and use personalized practice on Khan Academy.

WSA SAT preparation course
This optional class is offered after school in the spring. It provides strategies and practice for the math and writing sections and includes a full-length practice exam session. It finishes in perfect time to take the SAT at WSA.

SAT offered at WSA
Scheduled during a school day in March students have the opportunity to take the SAT right at West Sound Academy.

Preliminary college list
Guided by the Counselor, use online tools to identify what school characteristics are important and what schools might be a good fit. Consider your “why” – why are you going to college?

College planning meeting
Students and their family meet with the College Counselor to discuss thoughts and wishes for life after West Sound Academy.

Grade 12

Finalize college list
Return from summer break with a final list of schools that you would be happy to attend. Pay attention to admissions statistics and ensure your list includes a few safety schools.

SAT is offered at WSA
Scheduled during the school day in October students have the opportunity to retake the SAT.

Keep track of deadlines
Make a calendar showing all deadlines and remember that any items from teachers (recommendations) or the school (transcripts) require at least two weeks to prepare.

Complete applications
Carefully proofread everything. Make sure that all additional items such as recommendations and transcripts are sent. Ideally this will be done before winter break so that you are not rushing to meet deadlines.

Scholarship search
Utilize resources on scholarships from the College 101 Guide (see link below) and pay attention to announcements of local scholarships. As with enrollment applications, you will need to communicate any needs you have early for recommendations and transcripts required for your scholarship applications.

For resources on choosing, applying to, and affording your ‘best fit’ college, go to:


College 101 Guide

College 101 Guide - April 2021