College Planning Progams

Benilde-St. Margaret’s offers a comprehensive guidance program that includes personal and academic counseling, with emphasis placed on helping students plan for their future.

BSM’s Guidance and College Counselors

Amy Larson – Guidance and College Counselor, last names A-Do

Kate Berry – Guidance and College Counselor, last names Dr-I

Heidi Wessman – Guidance and College Counselor, last names J-McG

Vicky Haas – Guidance and College Counselor, last names McH-Sc

Amanda Anderson – Guidance and College Counselor, last names Se-Z

Click here to download a PDF file of important program dates for 2020-2021. 
 

 

Freshman Year

Freshmen Individual Meetings (Fall): Counselors meet individually with students and parents (optional) to discuss the student’s high school and college goals.

*Naviance Family Connection Introduction (October): Freshmen are introduced to Naviance, a college and career planning website that they will use throughout their years at BSM.

Performing Arts College Fair (September 30): Performing Arts and Visual Arts College Fair will be held virtually this year

Pre-ACT 9 (October 14, 8 a.m. - Noon): BSM Freshman take the Pre-ACT 9 

ADD/ADHD and LD College Fair (Canceled for 2020): Groves Academy ADD/ADHD and LD College Fair 

National College Fair (September 30 and October 1, 2020): National College Fair will be held virtually this year

Freshmen High School and College Planning (Yearlong): The counselors meet with the freshmen several times on “Freshmen Fridays” during the school year. At these meetings, they talk to the students about how to make the most out of high school including the importance of academics, study skills, and extracurricular involvement. Freshmen also hear from a panel of our seniors who will pass along advice and tips about how to make the most out of their years at BSM. 

Sophomore Year

Performing Arts College Fair (September 30): Performing Arts and Visual Arts College Fair will be held virtually this year

National College Fair (September 30 and October 1): National College Fair will be held virtually this year

Pre-ACT test with interest inventory (October 14, 8 a.m. - Noon): BSM sophomores take the Pre-ACT test, the practice test for the ACT, and they also take the Pre-ACT test interest inventory. Results are mailed home in December.

ADD/ADHD and LD College Fair (Canceled for 2020): Groves Academy ADD/ADHD and LD College Fair 

Sophomore Sessions: The counselors will work with the sophomores for five days throughout the year regarding college and career planning. Sophomores will also hear from a panel of our seniors in the spring regarding college visits, test preparation and the college planning and application process. Also in the spring sessions, they will go over the Pre ACT test results and continue to research information about colleges and careers using *Naviance Family Connection.

College Planning Meeting for Parents of Sophomores (January 27, at 10 a.m. or 7 p.m.): The counselors host an evening presentation for parents of sophomores that will introduce parents to the college planning and application process.

BSM College Fair (April 21, 6:30 - 8 p.m.): Representatives from approximately 120 colleges and universities in the United States are invited to BSM. This is a great opportunity for students to ask questions and gather information. BSM juniors are required to attend. Sophomores from BSM and students from other schools are strongly encouraged to attend. 

Junior Year

Junior PSAT/College Planning Timeline Meeting (September 17, 8 a.m.): The counselors meet with all juniors to address the details of the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test). The students also receive a college planning timeline for their junior year and are encouraged to attend fall college fairs and information sessions in the area.

Performing Arts College Fair (September 30): Performing Arts and Visual Arts College Fair will be held virtually this year

National College Fair (September 30 and October 1): National College Fair will be held virtually this year

PSAT (October 14, 8 a.m. - Noon): BSM juniors take the PSAT, the practice test for the SAT. Results are emailed home in December.

ADD/ADHD and LD College Fair (Canceled for 2020): Groves Academy ADD/ADHD and LD College Fair 

Junior "Building Your Future Day" (February 9): All BSM juniors take part in this all-day college/career planning workshop. The students attend several sessions led by college admissions counselors, a representative from a test-prep agency and the BSM Guidance and College Counseling Team. Students will also receive a college/career portfolio that is worth .5 credits and a Pass/No Pass grade, and is a graduation requirement. Part of the portfolio is required attendance at the BSM College Fair in April.

College Planning Meeting for Parents of Juniors (February 10, 10 a.m. or 7 p.m.): The counselors host a presentation for parents of juniors. The meeting will summarize the information their sons and daughters received on the "Building Your Future" day, including information about the required portfolio that is due in April. The counselors will discuss the college application process, and will refer to forms, deadlines and details specific to BSM. In addition, they will address ACT/SAT testing, scholarships and financial aid.

Junior/Counselor Individual Meetings (February/March): The counselors meet individually with each junior during February and March to discuss the following topics: possible post-secondary options, important criteria in college selection, possible majors/career fields, college application process, etc. The counselors also review transcripts and senior-year course selections with each junior.

Letter of Recommendation Surveys (due with portfolio assignments in April): Juniors fill out a survey about their high school activities and achievements, their post-secondary plans and their goals for the future. This survey is required of any student who will need a recommendation letter from a teacher or a counselor.

BSM College Fair (April 21, 6:30 - 8 p.m.): Representatives from approximately 120 colleges and universities in the United States are invited to BSM. This is a great opportunity for students to ask questions and gather information. BSM juniors are required to attend. The fair is held in mid-April.

Senior Year

College Planning and Financial Aid Meeting for Parents of Seniors (September 2, 7 p.m.): The counselors host a college planning meeting for senior parents during the first part of September. The counselors address the policy regarding students’ visits with college representatives in the College and Career Center, the college visit policy, applying for scholarships, taking or retaking ACT/SAT tests, NCAA policies, the process of requesting letters of recommendation, and the timeline and procedures for applying to college through BSM. Finally, a financial aid expert from a local college presents to parents about financial aid and scholarships.

Senior Small Group Meetings (September 3 during school day): The counselors meet with all seniors in small groups during their BSM hours. The counselors address the policy regarding students’ visits with college representatives in the College and Career Center, the college visit policy, applying for scholarships, taking or retaking ACT/SAT tests, NCAA policies, the process of requesting letters of recommendation, and the timeline and procedures for applying to college through BSM.

Parent Questionnaire (September 6): Parents of seniors will be asked to complete a questionnaire about their sons and daughters. This questionnaire is used by the counselors when writing letters of recommendation.

Individual Counselor Meetings (September/October): The counselors meet at least one time with each senior to go over their college application progress. Counselors will help make sure each student has a well-rounded list, and will help organize deadlines and requirements for each of their colleges. Students can meet with their counselors thereafter as needed.

*Access BSM's Naviance Family Connection Website:

We are proud to provide our families with Naviance Family Connection accounts. For information about colleges, careers, the college application process, scholarship possibilities, college representatives visiting BSM, Twin Cities college receptions and much more:

  1. Go to Naviance

  2. If you do not know your username and password, you will need to see your counselor or go to the College and Career Center for "guest" registration information.

  3. Juniors and seniors may be dismissed for a visit with the college representatives with prior permission from their teacher. Students will need a pass to attend. Parents are always welcome.

National Decision/Reply Date for Colleges (May 1)