Selecting a college to attend is often the first major life decision a young person will make. With well over 3,000 colleges and universities, there are a multitude of exciting opportunities to research and consider.
MPA’s college counseling process is driven by careful consideration of each student’s unique set of interests, priorities, and aspirations, balanced with an understanding of the current college admission landscape. Recognizing the time commitment this requires, MPA leads students through a comprehensive, carefully designed curriculum that is introduced in 9th Grade Seminar and continues through Junior and Senior Seminar classes. Throughout the process we utilize Family Connection, a secure online platform where exploration resources, student information and college application materials all reside in individual student accounts with parent portals.
Students move through developmentally appropriate steps each year of Upper School. MPA’s Seminar program provides them with time for guided self-reflection, personality assessment and career exploration, as well as instruction and practice in practical tasks such as testing, interviewing, college essay writing, and resume creation.
Along the way, individual meetings for students and parents focus on creating and editing the student’s college list, addressing family-specific questions and concerns, and supporting applications for scholarship opportunities. Families take part in the annual Minnesota Independent School Partnership College Fair and periodic information nights. Students may choose to meet with the college representatives who visit MPA (about 100 annually, from across the nation and other countries as well).
MPA’s focus on the individual student usually results in a senior class with 100 percent acceptance to four-year colleges and universities, with cumulative offers of admission typically coming from more than 125 different colleges and universities representing 30 or more states, and occasionally other countries. We annually celebrate all college choices on May 1, whether a student remains in the Midwest for college or heads off to other parts of the country or world.
We sincerely enjoy guiding all Upper School students and their families on this important journey.
Lisa Rydeski Pederson
Director of College Counseling