College pennants used to illustrate the College Counseling page.

College Counseling

The Winston School is a college preparatory school for “bright students who learn differently.” We keep this in mind as we help you search for the college to best suit your interests, abilities, and individual learning style. We stress the importance of looking for the best college fit for each individual. The college counseling process begins early in your sophomore year and continues through your graduation. Group and individual meetings become much more frequent during the junior and senior year. Information gathered from LD testing, transcripts, parents, and teachers aids the counselor in compiling a list of possible college choices. The college counselor guides you and your parents step-by-step through the college process to ensure a complete application packet. Our college process has proven successful— colleges and universities regularly seek out Winston students. Winston students attend many well-known colleges and universities, and have received substantial scholarships based on their academics.

Click one of the links at the left under College Counseling to access more information.
Director of College Counseling, Will Jennings

The College and Career Planning Process

Built from the core values which drive the Upper School, the College and Career Planning Process seeks to empower each student through deliberative growth in self-discovery toward a college program or career path which best match his or her talents and interests. Fundamental to that belief is that each student’s journey is unique. The four year planning process is aligned closely with Winston School Upper School curriculum to support that growth.

9th Grade year
Prior Spring of 8th Grade Year or Summer

  • Families and incoming freshmen meet with College Counseling to choose classes and draft tentative 4 year plan


  • Freshmen choose extracurricular and any athletic activities that speak to their interests
  • Freshmen introduced to Winston community service program and are presented opportunities to meet their30 hour per year requirement


  • College Counseling meets with 9th graders to answer early questions about colleges and the college process


  • Families and freshmen meet with advisor and College Counseling to select sophomore year courses and reevaluate 4 year plan


  • Explore exciting, impactful summer opportunities and summer service opportunities. (Some summer opportunities are communicated to Winston and are available through teachers, academy leaders, and the College Counseling office). Please check early and often.
10th Grade year

  • PSAT is offered for any interested sophomores (optional). Scores reports arrive within 6 weeks.


  • College Counseling meets with sophomores to introduce Naviance (College Counseling software) and to create a personalized “interest inventory”


  • For students interested in a US Military Academy: students should inform College Counseling and request a Precandidate questionnaire


  • Families and freshmen meet with advisor and College Counseling to select junior year courses and reevaluate/adjust 4 year plan


  • All sophomores take the PreACT test. Score reports arrive within 2-3 weeks.


  • College Counseling meets with sophomores to discuss types of colleges, factors in choosing colleges. Students conduct preliminary research.
  • Sophomores and their families are encouraged to attend local Dallas College Fair in the spring.
  • Continue to explore exciting, impactful summer opportunities and summer service opportunities (summer opportunities communicated to Winston are available through teachers, academy leaders, and the college counseling office).
11th Grade year

  • All Juniors are invited to meet with college representatives who visit Winston throughout the year


  • Juniors begin to create their Resume on Naviance through English class workshops


  • PSAT Testing is administered to interested juniors. Score reports arrive within 6 weeks.


  • College Counseling helps junior families register for April ACT testing and/or May SAT testing


  • Juniors formulate initial list of “Colleges I’m interested in” on the My Colleges tab on Naviance


  • Juniors and families meet in Pep meetings with Director of Testing and Evaluation and Director of College Counseling to review testing and sketch college options
  • Students and families complete “Student/Parent Questionnaire”
  • Juniors and families encourage to attend Dallas College Fair in spring


  • Juniors and families encouraged to use Spring Break to visit colleges
  • Junior students and families attend at College Workshop Night at Winston followed by a Financial Aid Information Seminar conducted by college financial aid officer


  • ACT is administered to interested Winston students
  • Students meet with College Counseling in their junior English classes to workshop and begin to draft Personal Essay for college applications


  • Juniors complete Resume for inclusion in their college applications
  • Juniors encouraged to attend Winston Summer Seminar on Writing the College Essay/Mock Interview/and local College visits
  • Students finalize preliminary college list on “Colleges I’m interested in” under the My Colleges tab in Naviance
  • May SAT and June ACT is administered to interested Winston students
  • SAT subject tests administered to interested Winston students (if applying to colleges which require subject tests)


  • Students and families encouraged to conduct college visits throughout the summer as needed
  • Students work on Personal Essay.
  • Note: Seniors are required to submit their Personal Essay on the first day of class for review and suggestions by the Senior Faculty Council.
12th Grade year

  • All seniors are encouraged to meet with visiting college representatives throughout the fall
  • Seniors are encouraged to schedule campus visits throughout the year (“Planned Absence Form” located in College Counseling Office)


  • Seniors submit their personal essay on the first day of class for Senior Faculty Council review and suggestions (required)


  • Each senior meets individually with College Counseling throughout September to review current college choices/interests, establish application deadlines, and plan timeline for supplemental documents/ video essays
  • Seniors begin to enter their list of “Colleges I’m Applying to” on the My Colleges tab on Naviance
  • By Sept 15th, seniors submit College Recommendation Requests to faculty members
  • ACT testing available at Winston


  • October 1st: Opening date which family’s can submit and file FAFSA Student Aidapplications to request financial aid
  • October 15th: Seniors complete all portions of the Common Application and ApplyTexas by this date (required)
  • ACT is administered at Winston School
  • Seniors and families encouraged to visit colleges during Fall Break


  • Application deadline for most Early Action and Early Decision schools during this month. (Acceptance letters generally mailed in December).


  • ACT is administered at Winston School
  • Regular Decision (RD) deadlines begin this month and extend through April
  • 1st semester grades mailed to colleges if requested


  • Majority of Regular Decision deadlines (Jan 1st or Jan 15th) occur


  • Decision notifications from all remaining colleges and universities arrive


  • May 1st: Deadline for student enrollment deposit and decision for most Regular Decision schools. Families inform Winston School of matriculations plans.
  • Celebrate Graduation!


  • Final Grades are mailed to colleges