Timeline and Process

Over the course of their four years at Trinity-Pawling, students are guided by the college counseling team to understand their strengths, prioritize their goals, and stay on track while finding their college match. 

Trinity-Pawling uses the Naviance Network so that counselors, students, and parents can access pertinent information throughout the college process. Using Naviance’s Family Connection feature, parents will be able to: track a student’s college application, receive updates on student meetings with their counselor, view schedules of upcoming college visits, research colleges, and more. All students and parents are given a Naviance account during the spring of their junior year.

Assistant Director of College Placement Scott Harff works with a student on his college application list
English Department Chair Bill Dunham working with students on their college essays

Freshmen and Sophomores

The college counseling team begins working with students and their families in the ninth grade. Freshmen and sophomores at Trinity-Pawling are consistently exposed to a college preparatory atmosphere. Director of Studies Dave Coratti individually selects student courses according to each boy’s abilities and interest. Sophomores take the PSAT in October. Freshmen and sophomores also complete a Winter Project during the winter term, collaborating with peers and faculty members on an interdisciplinary topic.

Throughout freshman and sophomore year, students are also encouraged to:

  • Maintain good academic and effort grades
  • Meet with their advisors to plan a challenging, yet appropriate class schedule
  • Participate in extracurricular school activities
  • Visit college campuses


The college process jumps into high gear in junior year. Juniors take the PSAT in October. During the winter, juniors meet individually with Director of College Counseling Slade Meade and begin to focus on individual college objectives. Students create a personalized list of potential colleges which are placed on each student’s Naviance account. Juniors start preparing for the SAT, SAT Subject, and/or ACT exams — all of which are administered numerous times throughout the year on campus. They also participate in the Global Collaborative Challenge, in which they work in groups to tackle global issues, find insightful solutions, and present those solutions to a faculty panel.


The summer preceding senior year is the best time for drafting your college essay and visiting colleges. The college counseling team works throughout the summer communicating with rising seniors about their essays. Numerous drafts are written and edited — the goal is to have the essays ready to be used in the Common App upon returning to school in September. During the summer, students also continue to work on their Senior Independent Projects, which are incorporated into the college process either as the topic of their Common Application essay or a talking point with visiting college representatives throughout the fall. We believe allowing our students to shine in a subject they are passionate about is a win-win for both the student and the college.

During the fall, numerous college representatives visit Trinity-Pawling to meet with students. These visiting colleges conduct group sessions and one-on-one interviews. As the seniors learn about their prospective colleges, their individual lists are culled, amended, and fine-tuned. Discussions with the college counseling team continue throughout the fall and strategize on applying early decision, early action, priority, rolling, and/or regular decision. Applications are polished and completed in October and electronically filed before each individual college deadline. 

Although this process can be challenging, our college counseling team follows each student every step of the way, to ensure they each find their best fit college. The boys also learn to take responsibility for their own college application process and find the entire exercise a deep growing experience.