"Meridian is doing the kind of work with kids that college professors are looking for."
- Deborah Wright, Director Emeritus of Admissions at Connecticut College
Meridian’s approach to college guidance mirrors our approach to classroom learning: we tailor it individually for each student. Our small size allows teachers to know students well and to closely witness their growth as learners and young adults. Students benefit from individualized support in preparing their application materials and choosing schools that closely match their interests, aptitudes, and learning styles.
Throughout the college application process, we focus on the two elements that colleges consistently say they value the most: the academic record and the essay. Our application package, detailed below, describes each student's academic initiative, analytical skills, problem posing and solving, writing, and creativity. In this way, Meridian students are able to distinguish themselves from those who have not had the opportunity to do authentic, complex, original academic work.
Although standardized tests only show one piece of each student's knowledge and learning capacity, we recognize their use in applications. Every week, each 10th and 11th grade student receives a block of test preparation and support. Some of our students use additional resources for test preparation, and others specifically seek out testing-optional schools.
Every Meridian student applies to college with a package of individualized materials, including:
- A guidance letter detailing the student’s community work, who they are as a person, and how they’ve contributed to Meridian.
- Two letters of recommendation from teachers. Because we work and interact with students throughout their high school career, these letters reflect years of experience with each student and their academic growth.
- An individualized summary of the student’s experience in each core discipline – Humanities, MST, and World Languages – throughout high school. This details long-term projects, skills that the student learned, how the student has grown, particular highlights, and what kind of learner the student is within that discipline.
- A transcript that shows the Credit or Credit with Distinction that the student earned in each class.
- A one-page summary, composed by the student, about their Junior Year Research Project. This details their process of topic selection, question posing, research, writing, and generating their final project.
- A profile of Meridian that specifically describes each course – including its major texts and projects – so that colleges can easily access the content, level, and rigor of the student’s academic career.
Below is a condensed list of institutions where Meridian students have been accepted. For a full list, click here.
Boston University - University Scholar
Boston University School of Theatre
Bryn Mawr College
Carnegie Mellon University
Massachusetts College of Art
Mount Holyoke College
Northeastern University - Honors College
Sarah Lawrence College
University of Massachusetts, Amherst - Honors College
University of Michigan - The Residential College
University of Southern California
University of Western Ontario
"I have seen literally thousands of profiles that high schools send out to put their students in context. The materials that Meridian has developed are very effective at describing its special learning environment, and because the Meridian faculty know the students so well, colleges come away with a detailed and clear picture of each student as an individual."
- Stu Schmill, MIT Dean of Admissions and Meridian Parent
"I am really grateful for the skills I acquired at Meridian because I felt prepared for college. In my classes, other students would complain about essays, but I found myself thinking "I got this," because at Meridian we were always writing papers. Hilariously enough, I went to the writing center one day to polish up one of my essays with some feedback and they were so impressed with my writing that they offered me a job."
- Elizabeth Murray, Class of 2016