College Prep 101
Choosing the right school is personal—and sometimes stressful. We offer tips on how to stand out in the admissions process.
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Academy of Holy Angels
Total enrollment: 765
What are your criteria for accepting applications? Application, essay, two teacher recommendation forms, 7th and 8th grade transcript and in most cases a placement test.
How can a high school student best prepare for college-level work? We suggest taking rigorous courses that challenge the student at his/her own level, particularly in the areas of math and science. Students who take Advanced Placement courses in any content area in high school have been shown to do better in college. Twenty-first century learning skills go beyond traditional curriculum. Students need strong organizational, listening, speaking, writing, teamwork and technology skills for college.
How do you differ from other schools? AHA is a 2008 MN Quality Award Winner, Advancement Level. We are a laptop school, and our Faith in Action program draws students who participate in activities into prayer and service to others.
How do you keep your competitive edge? Since 1650, our founders—the Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet—have been rooted in a tradition of meeting the unmet needs of the times. Today, that tradition serves the Academy of Holy Angels well.
Our students are… confident, prepared, connected in faith.
6600 Nicollet Ave. S., Richfield, 612-798-2600, www.ahastars.org
Total enrollment: 1,200 students
What are your criteria for accepting applications? We’re looking for intellectually curious students who will both contribute to and benefit from being members of the Breck community.
How do you differ from other schools? For more than 120 years, Breck has been unwaveringly committed to the highest standards of academic rigor, opportunities for students to develop their unique talents and interests, the development of spiritual and moral values, and being a welcoming, inclusive community.
How do you keep your competitive edge? One big reason is our amazing faculty: lifelong learners who are supported by one of the nation’s leading professional development programs. Breck teachers have numerous opportunities to recharge and re-energize through travel, study and pursuing projects of both professional and personal interest.
Our students are… critical thinkers, talented performers and responsible citizens who leave Breck prepared to make their communities and the world a better place.
Would you like to add anything else? Our application deadline is February 1, 2010.
123 Ottawa Ave. N., Mpls., MN 763-381-8100, www.breckschool.org
Total enrollment: 900 students in grades 7-12
What are your criteria for accepting applications? Our mission is to provide an excellent Catholic educational program to students of all faiths. In keeping with the mission, our criteria for acceptance are modest. We are proud that while our students represent a wide diversity of abilities, almost all (approximately 95 percent) leave Hill-Murray to go on to a college or university, prepared and ready for the next educational challenges.
How do you differ from other schools? Hill-Murray is one of only two high schools (public or private) in the metro area cited by the ACT in its report, “Rigor at Risk: Reaffirming Quality in the High School Core Curriculum” for its academic rigor, “as a leader in preparing high school students for postsecondary education.” Only eight schools in Minnesota were cited and only 382 across the entire approximately 15,000 high schools nationwide. Beyond the core rigor in math, science, English, and social studies, Hill-Murray has outstanding programs in find arts, including an Artist-in-Residence and an award winning theatre program; service programming; and religious studies. We encourage students to: learn to access information, process it critically, and communicate it clearly; discover their intellectual and creative potential; explore and develop their faith; and learn balance between work, prayer, and leisure.
2625 Larpenteur Ave., Maplewood, MN, 651-777-1376, www.hill-murray.org
International School of Minnesota
Total enrollment: Preschool - grade 12 is approximately 600, 200 of whom are Upper School students (Grades 6 -12). A typical graduating class is around 25 seniors.
What are your criteria for accepting applications? To initiate the admissions process, the School must receive a completed application form and the $75 non-refundable application fee. There is no application deadline, but it is recommended that the admissions process be initiated in late fall or early winter for the next school year. Applications are accepted year-round; students are enrolled on a space-available basis.
How can a high school student best prepare for college-level work? By focusing on academics, but also participating in extracurricular activities.
How do you differ from other schools? The world-renowned SABIS® Educational System is what sets ISM apart from other schools. SABIS® offers students a carefully planned, sequential, and rigorous college-preparatory curriculum based on over 125 years of international “best practices.” This unique educational system tends to attract an extensive breadth and depth of students and families of different cultures, religions, languages, and perspectives.
Little known fact about ISM: We offer exceptional art, music, drama and sports programs (including sailing and crewing).
6385 Beach Rd., Eden Prairie, MN 952-918-1840, www.ism-sabis.net
Total enrollment: 1,076 students pre-k through grade 12. Our student-teacher ratio is 12:1.
What are your criteria for accepting applications? We seek to admit motivated students who are committed to developing their academic potential, while growing in their character and faith. The admission process includes a review of academic records, teacher comments, testing results, and an admission interview.
How do you differ from other schools? We are committed to academic excellence, while integrating faith and learning. Teachers meet weekly to pray for the students and discuss their academic progress. Also, at the end of each academic year, students in grades 9 - 11 participate in a weeklong learning experience called June Term. Students are exposed to different people and communities to promote an understanding of another person’s life experiences and point of view.
How do you keep your competitive edge? Our faculty consists of strong role models and gifted subject-matter experts who incorporate a variety of instructional methods and strategies to meet the teaching and learning goals of students.
Our students… come from many different backgrounds and are willing to work hard to get a good education. They are well rounded, motivated students who get involved in a variety of activities, preparing them to become the next generation of leaders.
3100 West River Parkway, Mpls., MN 612-728-7756, www.MinnehahaAcademy.net
Minnetonka Public Schools #276
Total enrollment: 8,400 students in grades K-12. In addition, our birth-to-5 Early Childhood Family Education Program serves families and children during the most critical early developmental years.
How can a high school student best prepare for college level work? Colleges are looking for students who have made the most of high school by challenging themselves with rigorous coursework (Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate), team or group activities, and service and leadership experiences. Research is clear that students who enroll in AP or IB courses are more likely to complete their college education, so Minnetonka students are encouraged to enroll in at least one AP or IB course. Applicants who demonstrate passion, persistence, a dedication to learning, and global awareness have characteristics that are welcomed by colleges.
How do you keep your competitive edge? In the last few years, student achievement has soared and Minnetonka now ranks among America’s Top High Schools (Newsweek Magazine). A school-record 15 students were named National Merit Semifinalists, with 24 Commended students in 2008.
Would you like to add anything else? Community support for dedicated technology funding has allowed Minnetonka to become a national leader in using technology as an accelerator of learning. The District has earned national awards for technology integration.
Park Center Senior High School
Total enrollment: Park Center Senior High: 1,400 students, grades 10-12; ISD 279: 21,000 students, grades K-12.
What are your criteria for accepting applications? Park Center Senior High is a public high school open to all students. Once enrolled, students self-select to enroll in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Students residing in one of the seven member districts of the Northwest Suburban Integration School District may be eligible for free transportation to Park Center. Contact the Enrollment Center at 763-585-7350 for more information.
How can a high school student best prepare for college-level work? The International Baccalaureate Programme provides excellent college preparation through a challenging program of international education and rigorous assessment. In addition to coursework, IB students are required to take part in co-curricular and/or service activities.
How do you differ from other schools? Students experience the global community every day and are challenged to approach issues from multiple perspectives. Our student body is diverse; the IB Programme promotes intercultural understanding and equips students to collaborate with people from other cultures; and our learning environment cultivates a close community among students and staff.
Our students are… prepared for success.