Calander & FAQs

The College Planning Calendar for Parents of High School Students

Alert for Seniors and Parents

For Rising Seniors, Call on College and More, Inc. for:

•   Drafting, Writing, and Polishing the Personal Essay for College
•   Completing the Common Application and College Supplements
•   Learning Effective Interview Strategies
•   Knowing What to Communicate to Your Admissions Reader

For Parents, Call on College and More, Inc. for:

•   Planning the College Visits: What to Do and Who to See
•   Asking Important Questions at the Campus Information Session
•   Finding Colleges Which Offer Major Merit Scholarships
•   Understanding More About Financial Aid Programs and Practices
•   Learning How You Can Help Your Child in the College Process


Ninth Grade 

 •    Meet with the college counselor or academic advisor to discuss course selection over the next four years to assure academic rigor

 •    Design a four year academic program that builds on your child’s natural abilities and personal interests

 •    Encourage your child to get involved in leadership roles and extracurricular activities that build on strengths and interests

 •    Select 10th grade courses that are most rigorous in areas of strength; ask if there are any SAT II tests that should be taken in the spring

 •    Plan summer enrichment such as a language program abroad, community service, camp, or a summer job

Tenth Grade

  •     Encourage your child to take the PSAT or P-ACT in early October as a practice exam to identify areas of strength and weakness
 •     Make sure you child is focusing on doing a few activities well and not trying to do too much; the key is depth of commitment
 •     Plan courses for the junior year and determine what, if any, standardized testing should be done in the spring

Eleventh Grade
 •     Make sure you child is taking the most rigorous courses in areas of strength
 •     Have your child review for the PSAT or P-ACT ; take the test in early October; these scores determine the National Merit winners
 •     Meet with the college guidance counselor to review your childs test results in December to decide  which standardized tests to take in the spring; be sure to have a clear sense of the dates to take the SAT I or ACT and the SAT II
 •     Attend College Night to get an overview of the college process
 •     Meet with the college guidance counselor to review your childs academic profile and begin to put together the preliminary college list
 •     Research financial aid (if appropriate) and learn about the difference between the CSS Profile (non  federal financial aid given by colleges) and FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid);research merit scholarships
 •     Begin to plan college visits based on the preliminary college list
 •     Research summer programs offered at different colleges, study abroad, community service opportunities, internships and jobs
 •     Complete the college visits during the summer with the idea that your child can return to visit colleges in the fall when they are in session
 •     Encourage your son or daughter to prepare any videotape. audiotapes, or art portfolios, if appropriate


Senior Year

  •      Finalize college list: decide whether to apply early or regular decision
  •      Have your child complete any additional standardized testing in the fall
  •      Make sure that your son or daughter attends meetings with the college representatives who visit the school during the fall
  •      Make sure that your child is “on schedule” for completing the application to meet all deadlines
  •      Register and file for the CSS/ Financial Aid PROFILE form (if appropriate) for nonfederal financial aid (
  •      Complete FAFSA form with estimated numbers; forms can be updated after taxes are filed and submitted any time after January 1st
  •      Make sure that all application materials have been received by the colleges, including the two teacher recommendations
  •      Plan to visit colleges that have offered letters of acceptance. Students need to make a final decision and submit the Reply Card and deposit to this college on May 1st. This completes the college process


“GAP” Year Resources for Taking Time Off before College


Planning Your Gap Year by Nick  

      Vandome The Gap Year Book by Joe Bindloss

The Gap Year Advantage: Helping Your Child by Karl Haigler Taking Time Off by Colin Hall 

      (Princeton Review)

Taking A Gap Year by Susan Griffith Work Your Way Around the World by        Susan Griffith   

Web Sites

GAP Program Planners

for Interim Programs Center 

Time Out Associates

Frequently Asked Questions

by Dr. Gay S. Pepper

FAQ: What is the advantage of beginning the college counseling process in the junior year?

Most schools begin the college advising process at the mid-point of the junior year so that students can begin building their college list before visiting colleges over spring break. Families often want to begin this process earlier in the year so that there is more in-depth counseling in terms of determining the best college matches for the student. Counseling at College and More, Inc. includes: an analysis of the academic profile, course selection for the senior year, the standardized testing program in the junior and senior years, and summer enrichment. Once students have their preliminary college list (approximately 10-14 colleges), they research these colleges on line. Working with the counselor, students refine their lists and decide which colleges to visit over spring break when students are on campus. Students also work on interviewing techniques, and how to evaluate a college campus. At the end of the junior year, the student should have a clear idea of their college list; should have completed the standardized testing; have identified two teachers to write recommendations letters; and have an understanding of how the common application works, with special emphasis on the personal essay.

FAQ: What is the advantage of beginning college counseling in the sophomore year?

College admissions decisions are largely based on the quality of a student’s curriculum, particularly in the junior and senior years. Colleges look at how well students have progressed in each discipline and how well they have performed in the tougher courses. Course planning in the sophomore year allows for this kind of strategic academic planning. Students can also be counseled about how to build on non-academic strengths so they can show evidence of distinction in extra-curricular activities by the time they submit their applications. Starting early to shape a program of study and identify personal strengths gives a student’s greater distinction in an applicant pool.

FAQ: What is the benefit of college counseling in the senior year?

Mostly the first semester of senior year revolves around completing the college applications as well as getting good grades. Due dates are typically the first of November for Early Action and Early Decision applications and January first or fifteenth for Regular Decision applications. Some students use the fall to take another round of standardized tests, visit additional campuses, or arrange for interviews. But in terms of making important decisions about course selections, senior year is simply too late.

FAQ: What counseling plan has the greatest impact in terms of strengthening a candidate’s chances of getting into a competitive college?

The key is long-term planning in terms of building a strong program of study, doing those activities that build on individual strengths, and having a game plan that brings out the best in a candidate. Having a three-year (or even a four year) window allows for this kind of strategic planning.

FAQ: What is the primary role of parents of a college-bound student?

Parents can play a very positive role in this process if they accept the fact that the student is in the center and is the one who essentially drives the process. Parents need to be supportive of the dialogue between the student and the counselor. They also need to play an important role in planning college visits.

FAQ: What is the way for a student to approach the college process?

Students who fare the best in this process see it as an adventure that takes careful planning so that each step is done well before moving to the next one. In the junior year, it is important to begin to think about what you, the student, want from a college. Is it close relationships with professors who serve as mentors? Or is it the opportunity to do research at a major university, a very different kind of setting from a small liberal arts college. Students who decide they want eight “first” choices also do well because they know they could be happy at a variety of different colleges which offer what they are looking for. Being open-minded, flexible, and confident about your ability to be successful in different kinds of settings are all healthy ways to achieve success in the college process.

FAQ: What is the advantage of working with an independent college counselor?

For most college-bound students who are applying to selective and highly selective colleges, knowing how to navigate the admission process with confidence is difficult, and can be confusing. The benefit of an independent counselor is in helping students sort out specific college goals that relate to their abilities, values, goals, and career interests. Beginning early in this process can also help the student build the strongest possible academic and personal profile that clearly reflect individual strengths. Making the “match” between the strengths of the student and those of college means knowing yourself as a student and matching these to individual colleges. It is a thoughtful process that requires time, research, planning, organization and energy. Working with an expert can add value to this experience and make the journey one of great personal growth and success.

FAQ: What distinguishes College and More, Inc., from other college advisory services?

Successful college admissions has been the hallmark of College and More, Inc. The key to this success has come from knowing how to identify a student’s personal strengths and growth potential and finding the best college matches. To do this well, Dr. Pepper has been visiting college campuses and meeting with admission deans for over three decades.

FAQ: What are the different pricing options and services?

Parents can choose to work with Dr. Pepper on an hourly basis, or they can choose to have unlimited hours per semester for a flat fee. Most families find the second option most beneficial for college work undertaken in the junior year. For further information contact Dr. Pepper by email or call 203-259-2024.

Dr. Gay Stebbins Pepper, Founder and Director

Winter Office (December 1-April 30)

7032 Pelican Bay Blvd. #104

Naples, Florida 34108


Summer Office (May 1-November 30)

2301 East Avenue

Rochester, New York 14610


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