University & College Preparation

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College Counseling

At CATS Boston, you will receive expert guidance from our experienced college counselors to help guide you through the application process for top colleges and universities. Our students are offered college counseling from Grade 9, giving you a head start in choosing the best university or college for you. Our completely comprehensive college advising program offers an open-door policy that allows all students to have access to our college counselors when they need guidance and support.

Our focus is in three areas:

  • Advising our students on how to prepare for applying to the best colleges or universities for them, this includes choosing classes, electives and extracurricular activities
  • Providing excellent testing guidance, offering the SAT on campus twice a year
  • Working closely with students to prepare a list of colleges or universities, building a personal essay that will best demonstrate their strengths and supporting them with their final decision
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    Individual Attention

    From selecting classes to your college essay, your college counselor will support you from day one
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    University Visits

    Students benefit from 150+ university and college visits to the campus each year
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    Open-door Policy

    Meet with your counselor at any time and plan your route to university or college
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    Application Guidance

    Meet with your college counselor to frequently review your application progress


Want to join CATS Boston in Grade 12?

We are now offering an enhanced College Counseling service to our Grade 12 transfer students.

How Our College Counseling Team Supports You

Your College Application

The College Counseling department has a wealth of experience in managing the college application process for international and for U.S students. We will help you with the process of choosing the best universities and colleges for you, completing the applications, and meeting the necessary deadlines. It is the counselors’ priority to help you present the best version of yourself

The College Search Process

With more than 3,500 colleges and universities in the U.S, deciding which are the best fit for you and your ambitions, and then applying, can be a daunting and confusing process. The College Counseling team help you find colleges and universities that fit your academic, financial, and social needs. We work with you to identify universities to research and ensure that your final list is manageable.

Our team will help you access information on your chosen universities and colleges, keep you and your family apprised of current trends in college admissions, and we will ensure that you complete the necessary steps in the application process to your personal list of colleges.

Visits to CATS Academy Boston From College Admissions Officers

University admissions officers from across the globe visit our campus throughout the year. You will have the opportunity to learn directly from them about the differences between hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S system of higher education, and those further afield. The admissions officers will answer any questions you may have, such as academic programs, social life on campus, clubs, housing, financial aid and requirements for specific programs of study. These visits are a fantastic way to learn about the subtle differences among American and international higher education offerings.

College Counseling Support For Each Grade

Students at CATS Boston are provided with college counseling from Grades 9 to 12, giving you a head start in choosing and preparing your application for the best university or college for you.

Your college counseling support includes: Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12
An introduction to the college admissions process
Advice on what you can do to prepare
Help with building a college essay that will showcase your strengths
Assistance with registering for standardized university entrance exams
Assistance with obtaining transcripts from previous schools, if needed
Advice on financial aid options
Arranging meetings for you with representatives from colleges and universities
Providing trips to local colleges and universities
Guidance on how to ask for school and teacher recommendations
Support with 'Common App' submissions
Finalizing your college lists
Collecting and sending all appropriate documentation, including transcripts, letters
of recommendation, profiles needed for application to your chosen colleges

What Is In A College Application?

In addition to the application itself, our College Counseling team will assist students with compiling the additional documents a university or college application committee requires.

The application process includes:

College admissions committees will review the classes you have taken and the grades you earned. To be considered for admission to selective schools, you should be taking the most rigorous classes that you are offered, and you should be excelling in those classes.  It is very important that you challenge yourself across the curriculum. 

The College Essay is your opportunity to showcase your individuality to a college admissions committee. First and foremost, the college essay should be personal. The essay gives the admissions committee the only opportunity to hear directly from you.

Your essay will be judged on two criteria: content and quality. You want the essay to tell your story and make your application stand out. You want the admissions committee to understand who you are, and what makes you different from other applicants to their university or college. In the end, make sure that the essay sounds like you.

Letters of recommendation are very important to your college application as they provide a picture of what you are like as a student both in and outside the classroom. Our counselors will advise students on choosing the teacher to write a letter as it is not always the teacher of a class where you earned a top grade. Sometimes overcoming a difficult lesson and persevering after a setback can give the teacher the chance to make your application stand out. In addition to two teachers, your college counselor also writes a letter of recommendation for you. At CATS Boston, the college counselors will meet with you often so they can get to know you. The counselor recommendation will be about you, your life as a student, your activities, and that letter will support your personal story.    

The best U.S colleges and universities want to educate the future changemakers who demonstrate passions outside of the classroom. So, when admissions committees are reviewing your application they are looking for well-rounded individuals who regularly contribute to the campus life at their school through participation in extracurricular activities. Whether you are an artist, an athlete or care about the environment, colleges want to admit students who are actively engaged in their community so that their campus will be enhanced by your presence.

Most colleges and universities require students to take one or more standardized tests as part of the application. Each has different requirements, so our college counselors will assist you in assessing which tests are required by the universities and colleges on your list.

The standardized tests you need to take may include:

  • SAT or ACT — Plan to take the SAT or ACT at least twice, once as a junior and once as a senior.
  • TOEFL or IELTS — Every university has its own TOEFL/IELTS eligibility score required in order for your full application to be reviewed.

If English is not your first language, you will be required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score unless you have been in an English-language high school for four years without ESL support. Most of the universities in the U.S accept an IELTS score of 6 to 6.5. However, to secure admission to a top-tier university in the U.S, a student has to score at least 7.

Student Success

International and Domestic Applicants
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