College Planning Resources

Mr. Fisher's College Planning Page

We believe every student should be ready for college or other post-secondary education and training, even if they ultimately choose to enter the workforce or take a gap year.

Danville supports our student's college and career needs and interests beginning in middle school, through conversations in Advisory, partnership with the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, college campus visits, and more.

FAQs and Helpful Links

1. How can families start to navigate the college process?

"Big Future" from the College Board (link here)

This resource is used with 8th graders during Career Pathways day at LSC every year and with 11th graders during Advisory in the fall.

One great aspect of this tool is that it allows students to create a sliding scale of priorities and filter results based on location, size, activities, etc.

Our VSAC representative is in the building every week to work with students and answer questions.


Each year Danville School brings a group of students to the Women Can Do! Conference in October. This conference is specifically designed to expose young women to STEM related fields that are traditionally male dominated (click here for info).

We also attend Vermont Technical College's "Try a Major" Day in May (click here for info)

Students attend the NEACAC College Fair each year (click here for info)

Danville also hosts 10-15 college representatives a year.

Danville High School students have the opportunity to attend multiple college campus visits each year.

2. What tests should students plan to take?

October of 11th Grade: PSATs – essentially a practice test, sometimes used for scholarships

Spring of 11th Grade: SAT and/or ACT

Register for SATs here

SATs are administered 7-8 times a year, and registration is usually required a month ahead of time

The College Board also has an useful comparison of the two tests (link here) or visit their site

Students who want to retake the SAT should do so, ideally, in the summer before 12th grade.

3. How else can students prepare for their college application?

Students are encouraged to take an SAT Prep course, either through our in-house course or elsewhere, during their 11th grade year.

The college Board also has an official SAT Practice site

Set up an email just for college and scholarship related correspondence.

This will keep that information in a permanent place rather than on school email, which will close after graduation. It is also better to keep this separate from an existing personal email. This helps students stay organized. Be sure to choose an appropriate username!

Take an advanced level writing class. Danville offers AP Language, English Composition, Building Better Essays, and a variety of writing-based courses to help you be a better writer.

4. When should families begin visiting schools?

Anytime during 11th grade or earlier!

We also encourage students to sign up for as many school-run college visits as possible and meet with the college representatives who visit our school, in order to be more familiar with what questions to ask, what schools can offer and even practice interview skills.

Schools like to hear from students, not parents. Calls to the admissions office for information and tours should come from the student!

This chart from VSAC (link here) can help students and families organize their impressions and priorities after visits.

5. When should students finalize their application list?

By September of 12th grade, students should have a final list.

The Common Application, which many schools use, (click for link) should be started in September.

Students should begin working on their personal essay in September and begin speaking to potential recommenders (always ask first!) and put together their "brag sheet" – a list of activities, work, clubs, community involvement, hobbies, and send it to the people writing their letters of recommendation.

Advice and videos on writing a good essay from Khan Academy (link here)

Pay attention to deadlines for individual colleges. Many have different deadlines for regular admission, early action or decision (December 1 for some!) or rolling deadlines.

Regular decision letters are usually mailed to applicants by May.

Applying for financial aid?

Useful Forbes article

Financial Aid 101 from the College Board

Join us for "Paying for College Night" with VSAC in the spring of 11th grade

The VSAC "Paying for College" website is also useful! (link here)

How early should I start the financial aid process?

Begin collecting tax and financial information in September

The FAFSA form is now available in October use the free link.

We hold a FAFSA forms night with VSAC every October, and our VSAC rep is available to meet with parents one on one.

The deadline to complete FAFSA is February of your students' senior year


National scholarships – can be applied to by any student (depending on the requirements).

Chegg is a good, searchable scholarship resource (click here)

State scholarships – these are listed in the yearly VSAC "Scholarships for Vermonters" printed guide, which every 12th grader receives a copy of in September. These are usually due by February.

Local scholarships – are sent by organizations directly to the school, and we we send out to students and parents as they come in.

College/University specific scholarships – college or universities may have scholarships that students may qualify for. Usually requires students to ask the college, during the application process, what is available.

School nomination scholarships – annual scholarships nominated by application and/or the school faculty. A list can be found by clicking here (this page is being updated currently and is subject to change and updates annually).

In part, we rely on the VSAC Senior Survey data each year to help gauge how well we are preparing our students, particularly these two questions:

"My high school provided the information and assistance to continue my education."

Class of 2016: 79% agreed or strongly agreed

Class of 2014: 53% agreed or strongly agreed

"My high school helped in learning the skills needed to be successful in work or college."

Class of 2016: 70% agreed or strongly agreed

Class of 2014: 25% agreed or strongly agreed

The 2016 Danville In-School Senior Survey is available in full here.

A sample of the schools our graduates have attended or been accepted to in the past twenty years:

American University of Paris Paris, France

Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona

Averett Univeristy Danville, Virginia

Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Bates College Lewiston, Maine

Berklee College of Music Boston, Massachusetts

Castleton State College Castleton, Vermont

Community College of Vermont

Colby College Waterville, Maine

Champlain College Burlington, Vermont

Colby Sawyer College New London, New Hampshire

Dairyland Hoof Care Institute Barraboo, Wisconsin

Dartmouth University Hanover, New Hampshire

Duke University Durham, North Carolina

Duquesne University Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Eckherd College St. Petersburg, Florida

Emmanuel College Boston, Massachusetts

Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, Florida

Hamilton College Clinton, New York

Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts

James Madison University Harrisonburg, Virginia

Johnson State College Johnson, Vermont

Keene State College Keene, New Hampshire

King's College Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Lyndon State College Lyndonville, Vermont

Middlebury College Middlebury, Vermont

Massachussetts Institute of Technology Boston, Massachusetts

Mitchell College New London, Connecticut

Mount Holyoke College Holyoke, Massachusetts

New College of Florida Sarasota, Florida

New Hampshire Technical College Concord, New Hampshire

Norwich University Norwich, Vermont

Oxford University Oxford, United Kingdom

Paul Smith's College Paul Smiths, New York

Plymouth State University Plymouth, New Hampshire

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, New York

Rhode Island School of Design Providence, Rhode Island

Saint Michael's College Colchester, Vermont

Salve Regina University Newport, Rhode Island

San Diego State University San Diego, California

Smith College Northampton, Massachusetts

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Louisville, Kentucky

St. Joseph's College Standish, Maine

St. Lawrence College Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Syracuse University Syracuse, New York

Thomas College Waterville, Maine

Tufts University Medford, Massachusetts

University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska

University of Hartford West Hartford, Connecticut

University of Maine Farmington, Maine

University of New England Portland, Maine

University of New Hampshire Durham, New Hampshire

University of Notre Dame South Bend, Indiana

University of Vermont Burlington, Vermont

Vermont Law School Royalton, Vermont

Vermont Technical College Randolph Center, Vermont

Webster University Webster Groves, Missouri

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