At Stratford our goal is not to package students for colleges but to find colleges that offer the best possible fit for each of our graduating seniors. Our focus is on helping students cultivate their particular talents and interests in ways that will serve them well throughout their lives as well as in the college admissions process. Once their academic and extracurricular strengths and passions are apparent to them, we help seniors zero in on those colleges that will serve them best in achieving their goals.
The college admissions process for a Stratford student begins in Beginners. Stratford’s curriculum is designed to lead all students to achieve at the peak of their potential from the first day they arrive until the day they graduate. The journey continues through lower and middle school where children are encouraged to explore their particular interests through enrichment activities as well as clubs. The first formal introduction to our college office and the college admissions process comes in ninth grade when college counselors address freshmen and their parents at the freshman orientation session. The College Office provides general information relevant to college admissions throughout the freshman and sophomore years. Sophomores and juniors take the PSAT in October of every year, and the school provides feedback to students on their performance. Juniors who take the PSAT compete for the prestigious designation of Commended Scholar or National Merit Scholar, designations awarded to top performers on the PSAT each year by the College Board. Juniors and seniors take the SAT and/ or the ACT.
In the winter of their junior year, students and their parents are invited to a college kickoff night where they learn about the college admissions process and are provided with a copy of The Stratford Academy College Counseling Handbook. Following kickoff night, juniors and their parents attend an individual college conference with our counselors and the college admissions process is formally launched. Throughout the year, the college office hosts a number of special sessions for juniors and their families, communicates information about college fairs in our area, and helps individual students narrow choices and set specific college goals.
Seniors have opportunities every week in the fall and early winter to visit with college representatives visiting our campus. Students work closely with the college counselors to see that every application is complete before it is mailed. College counselors help students gather letters of recommendation and offer detailed guidance to students related to their list of college choices. Virtually every senior applies to multiple colleges, some deemed to be reach schools and some safety schools. At the end of the journey, our goal is that every senior will have more than one exciting acceptance.
Stratford students and parents should refer to the College Office tabs in the upper school student and parent portals for up to date information relevant to college rep visits, local scholarships, forms and specific guidelines pertaining to their particular class and graduation year.
College Office Advising
What you can expect from the College Office:
- The counselors will be easily available to students and parents to counsel and facilitate, but not to tell students where they can or cannot apply, or where they should enroll.
- The counselors will arrange informative meetings for the school community, as needed.
- The counselors will meet with each junior and parent(s) for an extended conference during the spring of the student’s junior year.
- The counselors will schedule and publicize college representatives’ visits to Stratford.
- The counselors will write a positive, thorough, honest letter of recommendation for each senior on behalf of Stratford Academy.
- The counselors will package and mail all student applications to colleges.
What is expected of students:
- Students are to complete college office assignments and meet deadlines.
- Students are to meet with visiting college representatives from colleges that interest them.
- Students are to inform themselves of all their colleges’ deadlines and requirements.
- Students are to turn in college application materials at least ten days ahead of deadlines.
- Students are to keep the counselors aware of developments in their college plans.
- Students are to locate and apply to at least one “sure-bet” college where they are certain they will be admitted and where they could be happy as a student.
- Students are to be ethical in their application practices.
What is expected of parents:
- Parents should be encouraging and supportive in this process, but they should make college applications be the student’s project as much as possible.
- Parents are asked to support an ethical approach to college admissions.
- No teacher, administrator, or staff person is to show any student a recommendation written about him or her, or about any student. This policy, to which our school has adhered for many years, gives Stratford enormous credibility with colleges. A college can trust us to be candid in our reflections on students; this way, our praise carries more clout.
- Students are to do their own work on applications. A student may fill out a photocopied rough draft, then hire a typist to complete the final draft—but the typist should not make any alterations in the student’s work. Students may, of course, ask teachers or peers to help proof-read an application.
- Stratford will not support students in any unethical dealing with colleges: failing to comply with an Early Decision commitment, getting unethical help with an application, misrepresenting any aspect of the high school record, double-depositing in May (officially enrolling in more than one college)—such actions and others like them may result in the school’s official withdrawal of support for a student’s andidacy for admission to college.
Any breach of the following ethical principles may result in an institution’s dismissal from the National Association of College Admissions Counselors. Please alert the College Office if you notice any unethical college practice.
- When accepting a student, no college may require a deposit or commitment from the student before May 1, except in the case of binding Early Decision applicants. If a college states or implies that you must make a deposit or commitment in order to hold your place, make a request in writing for a deposit deferral until May 1.
- A college may not accept a student before the student has officially applied to the college.
- A college may not require a deposit or commitment from a student in order to retain a place on a waiting list.
- A student must abide by the provisions of an Early Decision or Early Action plan.
- By May 1, a student must make or retain a deposit and promise to enroll at no more than one college.
- Stratford may have to report a change in status that has developed for a college admissions candidate. Occurrences that may qualify as “changes in status” include honor offenses, excessive absences, sharp drops in grades, significant changes in course enrollment (dropping a course or transferring to another course, for example), major disciplinary action, failure to qualify for graduation, and convictions and other legal offenses.
Congratulations to Stratford's Class of 2017
Stratford Academy’s 56th graduating class celebrated commencement exercises on May 27, 2017, at the Macon City Auditorium. The class included 71 students who received their diplomas with 34 graduating with honors.
The ceremony opened with an invocation led by senior class president, Anna Katherine Boswell, followed by a vocal performance by senior Sarah Kate Sellers of “Where the Music Comes From” by Lee Hoiby. The class was addressed by Salutatorian Tarab Ajjan and Valedictorian Carly Wanna.
Head of School Dr. Robert Veto, along with Chairman of the Board of Trustees Mary Ellen Grossnickle, presented the 2017 graduates with their diplomas. In conclusion, Cameron Walsh led the singing of the alma mater and student body president Maggie Greer gave the benediction. Included in the ceremony was the presentation of the Distinguished Alumnus Award (George McCommon ’83) and the Alumni Service Award (Eric Hefner ’83), both established in 1986.