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College Counseling

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College Roadmap

Our four year process seeks to empower each student through deliberative self-discovery that will help forge a college or career path which best matches each student’s talents and interests. Fundamental to this is that each student’s journey is unique.

  • Spring of 8th Grade Year or Summer - Families and incoming freshmen meet with College Counseling to choose classes and draft a tentative four year plan.
  • Fall/Spring
    • Freshmen choose extracurricular and athletic activities that speak to their interests.
    • Students are introduced to the Winston community service program and are presented opportunities to meet their 30 hours per year requirement.
    •  Winston welcomes college representatives from over 75 colleges to our campus, freshmen students must attend at minimum 1 college representative visit per semester
  • Spring - College Counseling meets with freshmen to answer early questions about colleges and the college process.
  • February/March - Families and freshmen meet with their advisor and College Counseling to select 10th grade courses and reevaluate their four year plan.
  • Spring/Summer - The student and counselor explore exciting, impactful summer work and/or service opportunities. Please check early and often.
  • Fall/Spring - Winston welcomes over 75 college representatives to our campus, sophomore students must attend at minimum 2 college representative visit per semester
  • November - College Counseling meets with sophomores to introduce Naviance (College Counseling software) and to create a personalized “interest inventory”.
  • December - Students interested in a U.S. Military Academy should inform College Counseling and request a pre-candidate questionnaire.
  • March - Families and sophomores meet with their advisor and College Counseling to select 11th grade courses and reevaluate and/or adjust their four year plan.
  • April - All sophomores take the PreACT test. Score reports arrive within 2-3 weeks.
  • Spring/Summer
    • College Counseling meets with sophomores to discuss types of colleges and decision-making factors. Students conduct preliminary research.
    • Sophomores and their families are encouraged to attend the local Dallas College Fair in the spring.
    • Students and the counselor continue to explore exciting, impactful summer work and/or service opportunities. Please check early and often.
  • All juniors are encouraged to meet with college representatives who visit Winston throughout the year.
    • September - Juniors begin to create their résumé in Naviance through English class workshops.
    • October - PSAT Testing is administered to interested juniors. Score reports arrive within 6 weeks.
    • January - College Counseling helps junior families register for the April ACT test and/or May SAT test.
    • February - Students formulate an initial list of “Colleges I’m interested in” on the My Colleges tab in Naviance.
    • March - 
      • The counselor and Director of Testing & Evaluation conduct a Personal Educational Profile (PEP) meeting with students and families to review testing and discuss options.
      • Students and families complete a student/parent questionnaire.
      • Students and families are encouraged to attend the Dallas College Fair in the spring.
    • April 
      • ACT is administered to interested Winston students.
      • Students meet with College Counseling in their 11th grade English classes to workshop and begin to draft a Personal Essay for college applications.
      • Students identify and request teacher recommendations from faculty.
    • May/June - 
      • Students complete their résumé for inclusion in their college applications.
      • Students finalize the preliminary “Colleges I’m interested in” list under the My Colleges tab in Naviance.
      • May SAT and June ACT is administered to interested Winston students.
      • SAT subject tests are administered to interested Winston students (if applying to colleges which require subject tests).
    • Summer - 
      • Students and families are encouraged to conduct college visits throughout the summer. 
      • Students work on their personal essay.
      • Note: Seniors are required to submit their personal essay on the first day of class for review and suggestions by the college counselor.
  • Fall -
    • Seniors submit their personal essay on the first day of class for college counselor review and suggestions (required).
    • All seniors are encouraged to meet with visiting college representatives throughout the fall.
      • Students are encouraged to schedule campus visits throughout the year. Download the planned absence form here
    • Each senior meets individually with College Counseling throughout September to review current college choices/interests, establish application deadlines, and plan timeline for supplemental documents and/or video essays.
    • Seniors refine their list of “Colleges I’m Applying to” on the My Colleges tab on Naviance.
    • ACT is administered at The Winston School.
    • Families can start the financial aid process through FAFSA on October 1st.
    • Seniors are required to complete all portions of the Common Application and ApplyTexas by October 15.
    • ACT is administered at The Winston School.
    • Seniors and families are encouraged to visit colleges during Fall Break. Download the planned absence form here.
    • The application deadline for most Early Action and Early Decision schools falls in November (acceptance letters generally mailed in December).
  • Winter
    • ACT is administered at The Winston School in December.
    • Regular Decision (RD) deadlines begin in December and extend through April.
    • 1st semester grades are mailed to colleges, if requested.
    • The majority of RD deadlines fall on January 1st or 15th.
  • Spring - 
    • Decision notifications from remaining colleges and universities arrive.
    • The deadline for student enrollment decision and deposit is May 1st for most Regular Decision schools. Families inform The Winston School of matriculation plans.
    • Families work with College Counseling and Office of Testing and Evaluation to secure paperwork for Accessibility Accommodation Requests for the student's chosen school
    • Celebrate graduation!
  • Summer - Final grades are mailed to colleges.

College Acceptances & Matriculation

In the last five years, Winston students have been accepted to 112 colleges and universities nationally and internationally.

Graduates of the Class of 2022 are attending schools across the United States, with 95% of the class attending one of their top-choice schools.

College Representative Visits

Each year, representatives from more than 75 institutions, representing a broad range of programs and specialty areas, visit Winston to meet with students and share information. Representatives who wish to visit the campus can request a visit through RepVisits.

College Representative Resources

Contact College Counseling


Meet the Director of College Admissions

Our college counselor takes great care to individualize the process so that students find a college where they will thrive.


Through Winsto’s four-year College Counseling program, your student will learn both about what different colleges have to offer and also how those best fit their interests. During this process, students will have the opportunity to meet with college representatives from all over the country and world. Additionally we work with each student to gain a greater understanding about themselves as a learner and what different fields of study and jobs best suited to their unique strengths and passions. We will also work on identifying various colleges that will offer proper learning accommodations and services.

A student’s learning difference is confidential unless a student or family wishes to share with the college through the application and matriculation process. Many Winston families usually find that discussing the student's learning difference is an empowering exercise for the student. Colleges and universities have accessibility services at the ready for students. In many cases, this is a separate application filed after a student's acceptance. Winston aids in this process as well during the application and matriculation process.


As a college preparatory institution (and as historical data has shown), Winston's college prep curriculum is the best driver of standardized testing success. Winston also offers opportunities to practice and shares those results with families. Winston students take the PreACT in April of their 10th grade year and the PSAT in October of their 11th grade year to prepare for the format of the tests. All tests are given with the approved accommodations for each student. While the college admission landscape is changing with test-optional application methods, we are prepared to help students navigate and take either or both of the two tests.

The short answer: it depends. Dual Credit courses are offered to Winston students in 9th through 12th grades. Generally, students take college-level courses beginning in 11th grade. It is an opportunity for students to "drill down" further in areas of their interest or to prepare further for college level work. The credits from these courses are accepted for credit in all public Texas institutions, but for private or out-of-state colleges and universities, it varies depending on the institution's policy. Winston partners with the Dallas College system and also has a designated college liaison who can act as an advisor as to which courses might offer the most benefit for a student. All dual credit courses are identified on a student's transcript, and a Dallas College transcript is also provided in the application/matriculation periods.

As part of the college counseling process, students who express an interest in a gap year between high school and college are given the resources and support to understand the process and possibilities for this transitional time. If a student, following their gap year experience, next is interested in applying to college. The College Counseling office at Winston helps the family through the application process at that time.

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