Creating A School Profile (Counselor Guide)

The School Profile is a document put together by your school that provides a snapshot of your school and community to college admissions officers, stakeholders and your broader community. This is a piece of what you submit along with School Reports/transcripts and letters of recommendation to support your students’ college application process. It gives admissions committees a better understanding of what your school offers and the student’s academic performance within that context.

So, what do colleges need to know about your school?

The answer lies in two parts:

Part One: The Basics (should update every year)

Suggested content includes:

  • School name, address, phone and fax numbers, and website URL

  • Names, phone numbers, and email addresses of the principal and all counselors

  • Accreditation, institutional memberships, and special recognitions and honors

  • Admission guidelines (if applicable to a magnet school or program, etc.)

  • College Entrance Examination Board CEEB code (if you don’t know, look it up here)

  • Demographic information on your student body

  • Percent of students who participate in low-income programs (e.g., Title I, AVID and free or reduced lunch)

  • Curriculum and/or special requirements (AP, IB, community service hours, etc.)

  • GPA calculation and/or grading scale (if unusual)

  • Standard test scores (understanding that COVID has changed the landscape)

  • Information about class rank (how it is calculated or if your school does not rank)

  • Extra-curricular activities offered

  • Graduation rate

  • Percentage of students going on to two-year and four-year institutions

  • List of colleges attended by recent graduates

  • Covid-19 grading exceptions/policies

Part Two: Bring your community and campus to life

This is the part of the School Profile that is often overlooked. You want to portray the uniqueness of your school, faculty and student body. 

  • What is the culture like? 

  • How would you describe the character of your school, staff and students? 

  • What are the values that your community is especially proud of? 

  • What makes your school different from the rest? (e.g. innovative programs)

Basically, what do colleges need to know about your school?

Additional suggestions:

  • Use 8.5 x 11” formatting so that it’s easy to print/scan/share

  • Embed as a PDF document on your website in an easy to find location

  • If you have made significant changes to grading policies, academic requirements and/or curriculum, clearly highlight those updates

Ready to develop one of your own?

NACAC has a guide to Best Practices for Developing a School Profile as a place to start your draft. And if you’re curious, here are examples of 1200+ school profiles from across the U.S. If there is a counselor that you admire, or a school that you are impressed by, check out their profile. You might get some good ideas to use for your own document.

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