College Prep

Guiding Students and Families through the College Application Process

Our college counseling team includes advisors, teachers, the Academic Dean, and the Head of School, and works closely with students throughout the college application process. As a longtime college preparatory school, the Cascadilla School prepares students for all sorts of colleges and universities and is committed to closely assisting and guiding students and their families through the college admissions process. Cascadilla School’s college acceptance record is excellent. As soon as a student enters Cascadilla, our advisors and teachers help choose an appropriately challenging class schedule and give advice on pursuing extracurricular activities and taking standardized tests. As these are important parts of a Cascadilla student’s life, they are likely to become key components in their eventual application to college.

The Cascadilla School is particularly well-suited to help international students apply successfully to an American college or university. In addition to preparing students for the Test of English as a Foreign Language Exam (TOEFL), Cascadilla’s English faculty gives all international students substantial individual assistance in assembling the necessary forms and letters needed to apply to college and successfully making online applications. The School’s library maintains a large collection of admissions catalogs for colleges and universities in the United States. Many useful resources for applying to college are also available nearby at Cornell University. In writing application essays, getting strong letters of recommendation, and having the opportunity to take AP courses, international students at Cascadilla have a significant advantage

1. Letters of Recommendation: In our small classes, teachers get to know individual students well enough to serve as their champions in describing their strong points to college admissions offices.

2. College Application Essays: The School’s faculty works closely with each individual student coaching and inspiring them as they write – and rewrite — their all-important college application essay. The faculty will work one-on-one to help students discover their life stories and ambitions and then write effectively about them.

3. Advanced Placement (AP) Courses: We work hard to equip students with the right reading and speaking abilities so that they feel comfortable taking an AP course. For those who are then interested, we help them learn how to succeed in an AP course, which allows all students to experience an American college-level course and classroom. As many colleges and universities often give serious weight in making their admissions decisions to AP courses, Cascadilla students who take one or more AP courses will typically increase their chances to attend the college of their choice.

Cascadilla and College: Tools and Information

College Application Timetable

Cascadilla School’s comprehensive “to-do” list for students and parents.

Standardized tests like the ACT exam provide opportunities for a student to demonstrate reasoning abilities or mastery of a specific subject and are standard credentials used by many colleges and universities to help them make their admissions decisions.

The ACT (originally known as the “American College Test”) is a three-hour standardized test plus a 30-minute optional essay that, like the SAT, assesses critical reading, writing, and mathematical reasoning ability. The standardized test consists of four multiple-choice sections in English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science. The ACT is preferred by many Midwestern and some Western colleges and universities in the U.S. as a required test for admission. Since some students perform better on the ACT than on the SAT, Cascadilla counselors may recommend that some students take both the ACT and SAT in order to give them more options when submitting scores to the colleges and universities to which they are applying.

When Should a Student Take the ACT?

Juniors (11th Year) can take the ACT as early as April (or June) of their junior year.

Seniors (12th Year) can take the ACT on three possible dates in the fall of their senior year.

The Cascadilla School’s high school code is 332530.

What are the SAT Exams?

Standardized tests like the SAT exams provide opportunities for a student to demonstrate reasoning abilities or mastery of a specific subject and are standard credentials used by many colleges and universities to help them make their admissions decisions.

The SAT is a three-part test lasting three hours and 45 minutes that assesses critical reading, writing, and mathematical reasoning ability. Each part of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200-800. It is administered by the College Board seven times a year in the United States and is required or accepted by many colleges and universities in the U.S. for admission.

When Should a Student Take the SAT?

Juniors (11th Year) should take the SAT in January or May of their junior year. Seniors (12th Year) should take the SAT in October of their senior year. The December and January exam dates during the senior year can then be used as extra “fail-safe” dates in case a student needs or wants to take the test at the end of the college admissions process.

The Cascadilla School’s high school code is 332530.

SAT Preparation Courses

Because standardized tests like the SAT play a significant role in the admissions process at many colleges and universities, we want to make sure that Cascadilla students are aware of and use online SAT preparation courses such as Kaplan SAT Prep. Whether or not students take an online SAT preparation course, we strongly urge all students to take their standardized test preparation seriously. Cascadilla teachers are always available to assist students in preparing for these tests.

SAT Subject Tests

The SAT Subject Tests are one-hour multiple-choice tests on specific subjects in about 20 different subjects and are scored like the SAT on a scale of 200-800. The most competitive colleges in the United States may require prospective students to take an SAT Subject Test. The Subject Tests may be taken any high school year, on dates determined by the College Board, but it is most appropriate to take a Subject Test when the student has just completed a course in the corresponding subject.

The current list of SAT Subject Tests:

  • Literature
  • U.S. History
  • World History
  • Mathematics, Level 1
  • Mathematics, Level 2
  • Biology-E (Ecology)
  • Biology-M (Molecular)
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Chinese with Listening
  • French
  • French with Listening
  • German
  • German with Listening
  • Spanish
  • Spanish with Listening
  • Modern Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Japanese with Listening
  • Korean with Listening

 

The TOEFL Exam tests a student’s ability to read, write, speak, and understand Standard American English and is regularly required for non-native speakers for admission to U.S. colleges and universities. The TOEFL Exam is given by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in the Ithaca, New York area – in Syracuse and Rochester, NY – about twelve times a year and may be taken two or more times.

When should International Students take the TOEFL Exam?

Cascadilla’s English teachers and College Counseling staff closely monitor each student’s progress in English and will recommend when and how many times a student should take the TOEFL Exam

In October, all juniors (11th year) take the PSAT which assesses critical reading, writing, and math. Each part of the PSAT is scored on a scale of 20-80. Taking this test provides practice in test-taking and is a diagnostic tool to better understand a student’s testing pattern. Many merit scholarship programs, especially the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, use the PSAT administered in October of the junior year. All students taking the PSAT are registered by their schools

SAT: (Test Center is Ithaca High School; Test Center Code is 33517)

  • October 1, 2016
  • November 5, 2016
  • December 3, 2016
  • January 21, 2017
  • March 11, 2017
  • May 6, 2017
  • June 3, 2017

View SAT registration deadlines.
NOTE: Deadlines are typically ONE MONTH BEFORE the exam

 

ACT: (Test Center is Ithaca High School; Test Center Code is 182100)

  • September 10, 2016
  • October 22, 2016
  • December 10, 2016
  • April 8, 2017
  • June 10, 2017

View ACT registration deadlines.
NOTE: Deadlines are typically ONE MONTH BEFORE the exam

 

PSAT/NMSQT: (Students are registered for the PSAT by the Cascadilla School)

  • October 19, 2016

 

AP Exams: (All AP Exams will be administered at the Cascadilla School)

  • AP Exams in 2017 will be during the weeks of May 1-5 and May 8-12, 2017.

View specific AP Exam dates.