College Planning

Our college counselors work very hard to help every student achieve their college goals. 

However, ultimately, it is the responsibility of the student themselves to manage this process and we strongly encourage students to leverage the resources Minuteman makes available, especially as colleges grow more and more selective.

Potential Post-Secondary Education Programs

There is a whole world of post-secondary schools out there, depending on a student’s long-term goals, and we wanted to take a moment to briefly define each category:

COLLEGE: An institution that offers educational instruction beyond high school in a two-year (Associates Degree) or four-year program (Bachelors Degree).  

UNIVERSITY: An academic organization which grants undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of fields and which supports at least two degree-granting professional schools that are not exclusively technological (such as medicine, journalism, or agriculture). It is composed of a number of "schools" or "colleges", each of which encompasses a general field of study.  

LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGE: Four-year institutions which emphasize programs of broad undergraduate education.  

JUNIOR COLLEGE: Two-year institutions of higher learning which provide vocational training and academic curricula.  

COMMUNITY COLLEGE: Two-year public institutions that offer similar programs to junior colleges.  

Special note: A “Joint Admissions Program” enables you to earn your Associates degree at a community college and then transfer to a Massachusetts state college, like the University of Massachusetts or Suffolk University, for a Bachelors degree. Earn a 2.5 (C+) or higher cumulative GPA and you can transfer to a 4-year state school without an application. Earn a 3.0 (B) GPA or higher and receive a 33% reduction on in-state tuition for up to two years.

ENGINEERING OR TECHNOLOGICAL COLLEGE: Independent professional schools which provide four-year training programs in the fields of engineering and the physical sciences. They are often known as Institutes of Technology or Polytechnic Institutes.

TECHNICAL SCHOOL: A two-year institution which offers occupational programs intended to prepare students for immediate employment in fields related to engineering and physical sciences. These schools may also offer one-year certificate programs in certain crafts and clerical skills.  

MILITARY SCHOOL: Federal military academies prepare officers for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. These institutions require recommendations and appointment by members of Congress. Other private and state-supported military institutes, however, operate on a college application basis. They all offer degree programs in engineering and technology with concentrations in various aspects of military science.

TECH PREP: A federally funded program for students who are planning on pursuing further education in their vocational major at a post-secondary institution. A career pathway for a particular career is developed between the high school vocational educators and the college faculty, providing a seamless and non-duplicative sequence of courses for the student. The pathway includes the courses required for the high school’s commitment and the courses required at the post-secondary institution leading to an Associates degree, Bachelors degree, two-year certificate, or apprenticeship. Once a pathway is developed, an articulation agreement (which is a written contract) between the high school and the college is created. Many articulation agreements will waive classes required in a college program that were taken while the student was in high school. Students must apply for Tech Prep status during their junior year and maintain a 2.0 or higher grade point average and a “B” or better in their vocational major.

Quick Tips

  • As you begin your college application process, these are some tips to keep in mind:
  • Take responsibility for planning for your own future.
  • Maintain at least a 3.0 GPA or better in your vocational and academic classes.
  • Proactively meet with your counselor.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Listen to the morning announcements for information about college visits, open houses, etc.
  • Look at the bulletin boards for college-related notices.
  • Watch deadlines for applications, tests, etc.
  • Use your college planning calendar (below) to organize tasks into more manageable pieces.
  • Listen for scholarship announcements starting in February.

Application Process and College Planning Calendar

The college admissions process can seem both mysterious and perhaps even intimidating. However, it’s really just a series of sequential steps that begin with you taking the necessary courses to qualify for college, and concludes with you dropping an application into the mail.

The purpose of this calendar is to help students and their families more efficiently organize their college application process. The following resources help outline the process and deadlines.

Information About Standardized Tests

There are a number of standardized tests that students can take for admission into the college of their choice, and admittedly, the differences between them can be confusing at times.

In an effort to make it less confusing, here are some SAT notes and below is a breakdown of each test and its purpose:

SAT I

  • Visit www.collegeboard.com to learn more about the SAT and register for the exam.
  • Find out early whether the colleges you are interested in require or recommend either the SAT or ACT.
  • Determine the application deadlines of the colleges you are considering.
  • Decide which tests you will take and when you will take them. 
  • If you are taking the SAT I, pick-up a free copy of “Taking the SAT I” in the Counseling Office. This contains tips for taking the test, a sample test and the registration form.
  • Complete the Registration Form, including the optional Student Descriptive Questionnaire (SDQ).
  • Mail the form and a check or money order by the registration deadline, or register online at www.collegeboard.com (keeping in mind that late registration often has an additional fee).

SAT II tests are meant to measure the amount of knowledge gained in a particular academic area. Most colleges require that students submit scores from two or three SAT II (check the admission requirements of colleges you are considering). SAT II is increasingly being used as admission criteria rather than course placement. SAT II should be taken as soon as possible after you complete the last course in a subject area.

ACT assessment is a standardized examination designed to measure academic achievement in four major curriculum areas: English, Mathematics, Reading and Natural Sciences. This test is acceptable for admission to many Midwestern and Western colleges. It can also be used in place of SAT II’s in some instances.

ASVAB is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. It is available to all students whether or not they intend to enter the military. This test measures aptitude in two areas: academic, for students intending to continue their education, and for occupational areas, for students intending to enter employment. This test is available through military recruiters.

SAT I PREP prepares students for the SAT I in a variety of ways. Some review the sample test in the “Taking the SAT I” booklet. Others use available computer review programs or enroll in courses given by the Department of Community Services or private agencies. It is important to remember however that SAT I scores reflect cumulative academic proficiency and therefore the most important factors in test results will be your academic potential and your accumulated academic knowledge.

CPT, the College Placement Test, is administered by many colleges and universities to assist with initial placement levels in Math and English courses.

School Code

This six-digit number is required on all tests and test reports. It is also requested on many college applications and may be referred to as the “CEEB number”. MINUTEMAN’S SCHOOL CODE IS: 221191.

Processing College Transcript Requests

Colleges typically require a copy of a student’s transcript to process and review an application. A transcript is a formal record of the courses a student has taken at Minuteman and that student’s resulting grades in those courses. 

Some notes on transcripts:

  • Students usually mail college applications themselves unless a college specifically requests Minuteman to mail a transcript with an application.
  • Students may request transcript packages from the Guidance Department secretary two weeks in advance of the application deadline. Students will complete a transcript release form at that time. They should also bring to the secretary any Secondary School Reports included in their applications.
  • Transcript packages may be requested at any time during the school day.
  • For all applications with a January 1st deadline, please submit recommendations and a transcript request to the Guidance Department by December 9th.