Our approach to college counseling
College counselors work closely with the class deans throughout each student’s high school experience. By the time they reach the college counseling process in Grade 11, each student has been guided and advised to build a well-balanced yet challenging high school program that lays a solid foundation for higher education goals. Students work with their advisors, teachers, college counselors and deans to explore their own strengths and interests; this self-knowledge and understanding helps them discover the right fit for their futures.
The college counseling process is student-centered and driven, with a focus on fit in order to ensure each student’s maximum success. College counselors work closely and intensively with each student, advising on course selection, testing (including testing with accommodations), applications, athletics recruiting, visits, interviews, essays and a list of colleges and universities. Parents are also involved through meetings, weekly bulletins and evening presentations by the AACC office. In the fall of Grade 12, college counselors work closely with each student on how best to tell the student’s story in essays and applications; students also work intensively with deans, teachers, coaches and advisors to craft a detailed and supportive School Statement that highlights each student’s development at ASL.
Representatives from US and UK institutions are frequent visitors to ASL, with many of them offering presentations for students and/or parents. In additions, the School hosts a mini college fair for students. We also take advantage of the Fulbright College Fair. ASL is a test site for ACT and SAT tests and uses the web-based MaiaLearning software as an organizational tool for students, parents, counselors and deans.
While many ASL students matriculate to US institutions, students applying to universities in other countries receive the same care and attention throughout their application process. ASL students have been accepted to the finest universities and colleges in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and beyond.
Each year, a number of US, UK and Canadian universities send representatives to meet with our students. These visits are open to Grade 11 and 12 students. Grade 12 students must request permission from their teachers if they are to miss class time for a visit. Visits last 45 minutes and students must return to their class at the end of the visit. Grade 11 students are welcome to come during their free periods only. Parents are welcome to attend the evening and weekend programs but we ask that day visits be reserved for students only.
Students interested in signing up for a visit with a college representative should do so through MaiaLearning. All visits, unless otherwise noted, are held in the academic advising office.
ASL students and parents are welcome in the AACC office, where each counselor has a list of extensive college resources for each family.
During each part of the college process, parents and students are provided with the appropriate college resource guides.
The general handbooks provide lots of useful facts and figures on nearly every college and university in America. The College Board, Princeton Review, Barrons, and Peterson's all publish guides. One of the best known is The Fiske Guide to Colleges by Edward Fiske. However, there are many different options available, including Princeton Review's The Best 382 Colleges, Frederick E. Rugg's Rugg's Recommendations on the Colleges and Loren Pope's Colleges that Change Lives.
The primary system of learning about and applying to British universities is through UCAS, found at www.ucas.com. Their guide books are available for borrowing in College Counseling. For an interpretive guide, look to The Guardian University Guide, available in bookstores throughout the city.
The annual Maclean's magazine issue describes and ranks colleges, and is usually published in November. Each province has its own system for applying and private universities are handled separately. The most comprehensive online resource is here: www.universitystudy.ca
Virtually all colleges have their own websites. Start there for information about individual schools. There are several general sites that you may find useful:
Welcome! We're so glad that you'll be visiting with us and our students. We've put together some information that may be helpful as you plan your visit and travel to ASL.
- Anne, Ivan, and Nicole
We welcome your visit during our school day. To ease disruption to students missing classes, we try to schedule your visit at the start of a class period or during a break in our schedule, and for 45-minute blocks. On all days except Wednesdays, we can usually accommodate visitors at 8:15 am, 9:30 am, 10 am, 11:15 am, 11:30 am or 1:45 pm. On Wednesdays, we follow a different schedule, so the start of class coincides with 8:15 am, 9:15 am, 9:45 am, 11 am or 1 pm.
Please note: ASL offers a mini-college fair during the day, 9–10:30 am, on the Friday of the Fulbright Fair.
We will publicize your visit to our students and those who are interested may sign up to meet with you. In addition to meeting with students, you will have the opportunity to meet with a member of our counseling staff: Anne Richardson, Ivan Hauck or Nicole Thompson. We regret that we are not able to pull a full grade out of class for college presentations.
Exit the St. John's Wood tube station (Jubilee Line). Cross over Wellington/Finchley Road. Walk down Grove End Road and turn right onto Waverley Place.
A note about our security staff: they will be notified ahead of time of your arrival; however, they will ask to see a photo ID before you may enter the building.
Getting to other London area schools
ACS Cobham International School
Take the Jubilee Line to Waterloo Station. Southwest Trains depart twice an hour to either Esher or Cobham & Stoke D’Abernon Stations. You can take a taxi from the station to the school (total time: approx. 1 hour).
ACS Egham International School
Take the Jubilee Line to Waterloo Station. Southwest Trains offer frequent departures to either Egham or Virginia Water Stations. The journey is approximately 35 minutes. Taxis are available at both stations for the journey to the school (total time: approx. 1 hour).
ACS Hillingdon International School
Take the Jubilee Line north to Finchley Road and switch to the Metropolitan Line. Take the Metropolitan line to the very end—Uxbridge Station. The journey takes about 40 minutes and there are taxis at the station to take you to the school (total time: approx. 1 hour)
Southbank International School
Take the Jubilee Line one stop south to Baker Street. Switch to the Circle, Metropolitan, or Hammersmith & City Line and go two stations east to Regents Park. From the station, follow Park Crescent to Portland Place. Walk down Portland Place, just past Devonshire Street. Southbank is on the right. (total time: 15-20 minutes).
Take the Jubilee Line to Waterloo Station. Southwest Trains depart Waterloo Station for Virginia Water twice an hour and take approximately 40 minutes. Once you have arrived at Virginia Water, you can call either 01932 571111 or 01784 471111 for a taxi to the School (total time: approx. 1 hour).
Should you find yourself with some time between visits, you may want to visit St. John's Wood High Street.
The High Street is a short walk from the School. From the building, exit as if you were going back to the station. At the corner of Grove End and Finchley roads, cross the street and immediately turn right to continue down Wellington Road (you’re essentially going diagonally across the intersection). Walk one block down Wellington Road and turn left onto Circus Road. Continue down Circus Road and turn right onto the high street.
A sampling of the shops on the high street
Pret A Manger (sandwiches)