The College Counseling Office supports all Bullis students as they navigate the college admission process. Our ultimate goal is to provide our students with the necessary tools to make good, informed decisions. We want each senior to get to the decision-phase of the process with options; options among a list of schools that fit his or her academic, social, financial, athletic and extracurricular needs. Fit is our primary criterion for choosing a college. We are not driven by a manufactured list based on prestige or “name,” but by the hope of helping each individual student manage the process so that he/she will find schools that are right for him or her. We seek places where you will be happy and productive throughout your entire college experience.
We recognize the college process, when approached most effectively, must be a team effort. Parents and counselors certainly should be a part of this team, but the student must play the central role. Parents assist, encourage and act as sounding boards; a counselor listens, recommends and serves as a vital resource for information. But when the student actively engages and takes ownership of the process, he or she benefits the most. We hope to empower our students to:
- reflect on themselves and decide what they want and need;
- locate and use quality resources;
- ask thoughtful, provocative questions;
- express themselves with pride and confidence in written and oral form;
- make good, informed decisions.
As a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the Bullis School adheres to the policies governing communication between school and colleges endorsed by the Association. These are spelled out in the Association’s “Statement of Principles of Good Practice.”
- Provide, in a timely manner, for colleges and universities accurate, legible and complete official transcripts for the school’s candidates.
- Provide colleges and universities with a description of the school’s marking system.
- Provide a school profile which clearly describes special curricular opportunities (e.g. honors, Advanced Placement courses, seminars) and a comprehensive listing of all courses with an explanation of unusual abbreviations and any information required for proper understanding.
- Provide accurate descriptions of the candidates’ personal qualities which are relevant to the admission process.
- Report any significant changes in candidates’ academic status or qualifications between the time of recommendation and graduation, consistent with federal, state or local regulations.
- Not to reveal, unless authorized, candidates’ college or university preferences.
- Advise students and their families not to sign any contractual agreement with an institution without examining the provisions of the contract.
- Exercise their responsibility to the entire educational community.
- Counsel students and their families to file a reasonable number of applications.
- Counsel students and their families to notify other institutions in writing when they have accepted an admission offer.
- Urge candidates to understand and discharge their responsibilities in the admission process. Candidates will:
- Comply with requests for additional information in a timely manner.
- Respond to institutional deadlines.
- Refrain from submitting multiple deposits or making multiple commitments.
- Respond to institutional deadlines on housing reservations, financial aid, health records and course rescheduling, where all or any of these are applicable.
The Bullis Upper School administration, Head of School and Board of Trustees endorse the following guidelines for use in formulating an accurate assessment of a candidate’s personal characteristics, for measuring these characteristics’ relevance to college admission consideration, and for determining whether a change in a student’s status after the initial evaluation should be reported.
- Assessing Personal Characteristics: The college counselors will write school evaluations for all Bullis students. We will present accurate, balanced appraisals of students’ academic achievement, potential, character and personal contributions. Evaluations are made based on progress reports and discussions with faculty and administrators.
- Relevance for College Admission Consideration: The relevance of character and conduct assessments are measured by the degree to which they have affected an applicant’s academic progress, the progress of other’s or the order and integrity upon which the school community depends. Any single violation of a major school rule or chronic pattern of lesser violations, therefore, may be relevant. Breeches of integrity, lying, cheating or plagiarism in the senior year will be communicated to colleges.
- Significant Change in Status or Qualifications: Significant changes in academic qualification are apparent to college admissions officers because they request trimester and final grades for the senior year as a matter of course. If a change of conduct is specifically relevant, notice of such a change is communicated to all colleges to which a student has applied. Withdrawal and dismissal from school, the most significant changes in status possible, are always communicated to all colleges.
- Standardized Testing: Bullis sophomores and juniors are required to take the PSAT in the fall as part of the college process. Students are encouraged to take the SAT and SAT Subject Tests as well as the ACT exam. The College Counseling Office will advise about when best to take the exams, guide students through the registration process, as well as answer questions about test formats, scoring and what can be learned from results.