College advising at Kingswood Oxford relies on the principles of individuality and candor to highlight the many different elements of a student's educational and extracurricular interests and accomplishments. A student's strengths in both performance and potential, taken together with contributions to the life of the School, provide a framework for our understanding of the student as an individual. With that understanding, and with a solid grasp of a student's character, interests and aspirations, we then work closely with the student to select specific colleges and universities that best match him or her.
The college admissions process is a learning experience, a means by which students discover themselves and their capacities. The process is highly involved for both the student and parent. For this reason we hope that both will explore together the reasons for college preferences and consider a wide range of institutions before narrowing the field to a reasonable number for the final application process.
Colleges use varied criteria to select a freshman class, criteria that may differ greatly among institutions and also from year to year. In almost every case, the final decision rests with a committee and not with an individual. In our experience, the following credentials are critical: the evidence of intellectual interest and stamina, a willingness and a demonstrated ability to contribute talent and personal attributes to the college community, and a demonstrated initiative to pursue goals with the spirit to persevere.
These qualities cannot be demonstrated simply by presenting a student's credentials. There is not any one single feature, whether it is a transcript, test scores, a record of activities, recommendations, interview or essay, that can possibly paint a valid picture of the student in his or her entirety. Rather it is the combination of these factors in total that provide the basis for decision. It is our task as well as the student's to make these elements of the whole both vivid and unique, and to accurately reflect the student’s individual excellence and accomplishments.