Student Artwork

College Process

For a detailed explanation of much of the following information, please refer to the Class of 2020 Post Secondary Guide. Each student will receive this in 11th grade from their counselor.

Suggested College Application Timeline

Class of 2019 School Profile 

Welcome new College & Career Counselors

We are so excited to welcome our new College & Career Counselors – Melanie Banks and Jonathan Carbutt. Students will still see their School Counselors for their post secondary planning and our College & Career Counselors will be here to provide additional follow-up and support for students.

Information for 11th Grade Students and Families

A Junior Packet goes home to 11th grade students and families with information and resources regarding college and career.
Access the Junior Packet here:
Letter to Juniors in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole for 2018
Let's Get Ready Flyer for Spring 2019


Naviance is a web-based program for post secondary planning. All students at SHS have a Naviance account and should be using it. Their username and password are the same as their Aspen X2 username and password. All parents/guardians also have Naviance accounts and can access them by following the Naviance Parent Login Instructions. Note: the first time a parent/guardian logs into Naviance, they must have a registration code, which is also your Aspen X2 password. If you are the parent/guardian of multiple students at SHS, choose one student’s Aspen X2 password to initially set up your parent account and then email Melanie Kessler to link your students’ accounts.
Note: as of July 20th, 2018 the website for students and parents to access Naviance is

College List

Most students have between 8-10 schools on their list. Others may have more or fewer - talk to your counselor about what is right for you. College lists must include the following:

Reach Schools

Schools where the admissions criteria is slightly above your credentials OR any school with a very low acceptance rate, regardless of your credentials.

Target/Match Schools

Schools where the admissions criteria seems very similar to your credentials. You have a 50/50 chance of being accepted.

Safety/Likely Schools

Schools where your credentials appear to be above the admissions criteria for a school.

Financial Safety Schools

Schools that will likely be affordable for you and your family. Often these are state schools.

College Entrance Testing

Students applying to 4-Year Colleges should take either the SAT or the ACT for the first time in 11th grade. See our College Entrance Testing page for more information.

College Visits

Students are encouraged to visit as many colleges as possible! It is the best way to determine if that college is for you. In 11th and 12th grade, students can do two Post Secondary Visits that will count as an excused absence. They must fill out the Post Secondary Visit Form.


Teacher Recommendations: Students applying to 4-Year Colleges will likely need two teacher recommendations. Students applying to 2-Year Colleges or other programs may need teacher recommendations as well. Students should always check the requirements at each school/program. Recommendations should be from teachers of a student’s core academic subjects in their 11th or 12th grade years, however, exceptions can be made to this guideline- discuss your teacher recommendation choices with your counselor.

To request a teacher recommendation

  • Fill out the Teacher Recommendation Brag Sheet on Naviance
  • Ask their teacher(s) in person (and provide any additional information they request)
  • Request the teacher on Naviance under your “colleges” page.
  • Submit yellow teacher recommendation request form to each teacher writing a letter for you. You can find these forms in Room 220

Counselor Recommendations. Students applying to 4-Year Colleges (and some other programs) will likely need a counselor recommendation. Students must:

  • Fill out the Counselor Brag Sheet on Naviance
  • Ask their counselor in person (and provide any additional information they request)
  • Submit a pink counselor recommendation request form to your counselor. You can find these forms in Room 220.”

Financial Aid

SHS believes that students should choose an affordable post secondary path. We partner with an organization called uAspire to help students complete the financial aid application process. See our Financial Aid page for more information.

Families Together Somerville

The new Families Together Somerville program is a family-to-family mentoring program which pairs first generation college-going juniors’ families with another Somerville family that has direct experience with the college application process. Parents and guardians with familiarity with the college application process will serve as guides and mentors to selected juniors and their families as they work through the college application process.  Contact Director College and Career Readiness Melanie Kessler for more information or fill out the forms below. Ms. Kessler will also connect students and families in the program to the extensive set of resources at Somerville High School, including Enroot, UAspire and College and Career Counselors.

Are you an interested student? Please fill out this form.

Are you a family interested in volunteering to mentor? Please fill out this form.