college counseling

INTL’s high school diploma and the IB Diploma open the door to a world of possibilities. We strive to find the right path for each of our students.

College counseling is an important part of INTL’s high school program. Students and their parents/guardians in 10th Grade and up regularly meet with their college counselor, who provides guidance and advice on course selection, extracurricular activities, testing, college visits, and much more. The INTL high school diploma, in combination with the IB Diploma, allows INTL students to attend their top choice universities anywhere in the world. We aim to support our students wherever life takes them.

As a small school, INTL’s college counselor and teachers know every student personally and can help each student find their passion and ultimately find the right college for them. All high school students participate in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, a globally recognized, academically rigorous high school diploma program that is highly regarded by colleges and universities in the United States and worldwide.

School Profile 2023-2024

College Counseling Timeline at INTL

Our comprehensive college counseling program begins in 9th Grade with guided exploration into students’ interests, passions, and strengths and how those may lead to college, university, and career goals. From 10th to 12th Grade, ongoing advice and support provided by the college counselor in collaboration with parents supports students to prepare for and submit successful applications and plan for their futures post-INTL. Our college counselor is available every step of the way to support students and families in this important process, through presentations and group meetings, individual counseling and family discussions, and full support of essay drafting and application completion and submission.

List of 4 items.

  • 9th Grade

    Parents are invited to meet with the college counselor individually to initiate a conversation about college admissions, and discuss how we can best support students with their collaboration. While emphasizing the importance of academic success, students are encouraged to explore activities that help them develop a passion, talent, skill, or interest outside of the classroom during the school year and school breaks. Interested students and their parents may consider seeking advice on exploring extra-curricular activities and applying to summer programs related to their interests and aspirations.
  • 10th Grade

    At the beginning of the school year, we direct students to create a College Board account and guide them on accessing the PSAT practice guide and taking the practice PSAT.

    The college counselor meets with the 10th graders in early October to review test-taking skills and to register them for the PSAT. The PSAT is administered at the school in October. All 10th graders are required to take the PSAT.

    The college counselor meets with students in January to distribute PSAT results and advise them on score interpretation. Students are encouraged to schedule a meeting for any additional questions and advised to develop their interests outside of the classroom. Parents are invited to meet with the college counselor if they have questions or concerns about the PSAT or to plan for college. 

    February - May:
    The college counselor meets with parents of 10th Grade students to discuss the current college admissions trends, provide advice, and answer questions. Interested students and their parents may consider seeking advice on exploring extra-curricular activities and applying to summer programs related to their interests and aspirations.
  • 11th Grade

    At the beginning of the school year, the college counselor advises 11th graders to review the PSAT/NMSQT practice guide and to take the practice PSAT. In mid-September, students review their test-taking skills and they are registered for the PSAT/NMSQT. Students consult with the college counselor on when to take the SAT for the first time.

    The PSAT/NMSQT is administered at the school in October. All 11th graders are required to take the PSAT/NMSQT.

    November - December
    Students and their parents may consider seeking advice on exploring extra-curricular activities further, and applying to summer programs related to their interests and aspirations. Students are encouraged to meet with college counselor to seek any guidance they may need to identify such activities and programs and support with the application.

    The college counselor meets with students in January to distribute PSAT/NMSQT results and advise them on score interpretation. Students are encouraged to schedule a meeting for any additional questions and advised to develop their interests outside of the classroom. Parents are invited to meet with the college counselor if they have questions or concerns about the PSAT/NMSQT or to plan for college. 

    In early January, 11th graders start the intensive process of planning for and working actively on their college applications. The college counselor will advise on when to take any future SATs or ACTs.

    The college counselor meets with 11th Grade families as a group to provide a general overview on college selection, demystify the college application process and requirements, and go over the current college admissions trends and climate. The presentation will be followed by Q&A’s.

    February - April
    The college counselor meets one-on-one with each student and bi-monthly with all 11th graders in group settings to go over the college essay writing process, lists of activities, and résumé building.

    During the initial meeting, the college counselor and student work together to build a preliminary list of colleges as a springboard for further research. Students are given detailed, individualized advice on all application requirements including standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT for their US college applications, and other tests required by universities in other countries. 

    The college counselor meets with each student and their family to plan out their applications, explore their post-secondary options, identify the application requirements and discuss any financial aid needs. Counselors have these meetings with students and families as many times as the student and/or family deems necessary or helpful.
    March - April
    11th graders take the SAT School Day, offered at school in March and April. All students will likely take the SAT more than once to improve their chances of admissions at their selected colleges. Beyond SAT School Day offered at INTL, students may sign up for SATs offered at test sites regionally. Students are encouraged to discuss preparation strategies and whether or not to take the SAT/ACT, based on their college selection, with the college counselor.

    The college counselor advises students about other college application tasks that should be done over the summer. Students are given a college questionnaire that would guide the counselor letter of recommendation which students should complete before the summer break.

    In addition, students are instructed to identify at least two teacher recommenders and reach out to them to ask for recommendations.

    The college counselor sends a message to each student’s parents with a list of tasks to be completed over the summer, including doing additional work to finalize their college list and essay writing. 

    Students are expected to return their college counseling questionnaires and the college counselor meets with them individually to discuss their responses in more detail. It is suggested that each student take each standardized test that they will need for their college applications at least once by the end of 11th Grade! The summer should be used to get a head start on the college application process.
  • 12th Grade

    August - September
    The college counselor meets with all 12th graders as soon as school starts to discuss college application deadlines, and works with them on finalizing their application list, discusses and strategizes early applications, and more.

    Students may start sharing their college essays with the college counselor and they are encouraged to allow sufficient time for review. The counselor is available to work with each student on as many rounds of brainstorming, editing, and writing as the student wishes, given the constraints of time. The college counselor continues meeting with students and families individually to address any question or concern specific to their applications, and to review the Common Application, UC application, and any other relevant application platforms.

    Students use the October SAT School Day date to take the test again at school, or register at other test sites in the area. The college counselor reviews all application materials for those students applying early with November 1 or November 15 deadlines, and are available for additional help.

    October 1 is the date that the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) becomes available each year. All 12th grade students who intend to apply for federal financial aid should create an account and be prepared to submit their application as soon as possible. Families are encouraged to prepare to file taxes as early as possible this year.

    October 15 is the deadline to apply to Oxford, Cambridge, medical and veterinary schools in the UK, as well as to apply with an arts supplement to Stanford.

    October - December
    The college counselor writes detailed and strong letters of recommendation for each 12th grader, supports all teacher letters of recommendation, coordinates every part of the application process, and sends documents, including letters, required forms, and transcripts in support of all college and university applications.

    Counselors continue to review and provide feedback on essays and other parts of the application for each 12th grader. Students applying to specialized art or music programs, should inquire about additional support such as art portfolios, and music audition pieces. Students who have been identified to be recruited as student-athletes should inform the college counselor as soon as possible to initiate the verification process with the NCAA.

    Students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities for admissions or alumni interviews at their US colleges of choice.

    November 1 or 15
    If a student is applying to a private college or university Early Action (EA) or Early Decision (ED), the student will have a November 1 or 15 application deadline. Student financial aid documents must also be submitted by this deadline. Some colleges may also accept students’ November SAT/ACT test scores.

    November 1-30
    The college counselor reviews the UC application in group settings with all 12th graders, and meets individually with students to address any specific questions and review each student’s UC application section by section. The UC application must be submitted during the month of November. The college counselor continues to advise students, review essays, answer financial aid questions, prepare students for interviews and provide support on every part of the application process.

    The last SAT testing date available for 12th grade students regionally. Students finalize all applications before the winter break. 
    Students receive decisions from any early applications made at US colleges.

    January 1 is the major college application deadline for students applying to private colleges and universities in the United States.
    January 15 is the major deadline for applications to universities in the UK, Canada, and some private colleges and universities in the US.

    Students receive decisions from US and UK colleges and universities. The college counselor tracks this information, and helps students compare their offers and make their final college selection to commit to.

    Students applying to universities in Europe finalize and submit their applications during this period, with full support from the college counselor for all aspects of the process.
    All students should receive decisions from their colleges and universities by mid-April.

    May 1 is the national deposit deadline for US colleges. Students must choose which (ONLY ONE) college or university to attend by this date.

    Students planning to attend university in the UK commit to a firm and insurance offer in late May.

    All students arrange to send their IB DP exam results to their colleges and universities of choice, in accordance with advice from the college counselor and IB Diploma Programme Coordinator.

    On July 6, students receive IB DP exam results, and results are sent electronically to colleges and universities the student requested in May. Students can self-request results to be sent to additional colleges and universities after this date. The IB Diploma Programme Coordinator is available for counseling on results in the summer.

College Admissions Officers

To learn more about our graduates and our program or to schedule a visit, please contact us at

INTL alumni have been accepted to and attend top colleges and universities, both locally and internationally:

Austin College
American University * 
Barnard College
Beloit College
TU Berlin, Germany
Boston University
Brown University
Brunel University, UK
California College Of The Arts
UC Berkeley
UC Davis *
UC Irvine *
UC San Diego *
UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Cruz *
Cal Poly, Pomona
Cambridge University
Carnegie Mellon University
Carroll College
Centre College
Chapman University
University of Chicago
University of Colorado
Colorado School of Mines
Columbia University
Cornell University
De Anza College
University of Denver
Duke University
Earlham College
University of Edinburgh, UK *
Emory and Henry College
Georgetown University
Guilford College
Harvard University
Harvey Mudd College
Hawai’i-Pacific University
Hofstra University
Juniata College
Kalamazoo College
Knox College *
La Fayette College
Lawrence College
University of Lynchburg
Macalester College
McGill University, Canada
University of Maryland
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Merrimack College
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota *
University of Montreal
New College of Florida
University of New South Wales *
New York University
Northeastern University
Northwestern University *
Oberlin College * 
Ohio Wesleyan College
University of Oregon
University of Oxford
Pace University
Pacific University
Université Paris Sorbonne, France
Parsons School of Design *
Pennsylvania State University
Princeton University
Polytechnique, France
Pomona College
Purdue University
Queen Mary University, UK *
Reed College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rhode Island School of Design
University of Rochester
Rochester Institute of Technology
San Diego State
University of San Francisco
Santa Clara University
Sarah Lawrence College
SBS - Swiss Business School
Sciences Po, France
Seattle University
University of Southern California
Stanford University *
Stevens Institute of Technology
Suffolk University *
Syracuse University
Temple University
Trinity College, Ireland
University of Utah
Vanderbilty University
Wesleyan University
Whitman College *
WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management *
University of Wisconsin
The College of Wooster
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

* school matriculated to by INTL High School graduates. INTL High School was founded in 2016. 

Notice of Nondiscriminatory policy as to students

Silicon Valley International School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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