September 2022

High school visits

Keep checking the Visits link under the Colleges tab in Naviance to learn which colleges are visiting the Guidance and Counseling Office. The first visit was Notre Dame on September 13. Next week, Creighton, Iowa, Marquette and St. Olaf will be here to speak with interested juniors and seniors. Students, make sure to sign up for a visit and clear it with your teachers.

JET College Fair:

Creighton, Fordham, John Carroll, Loyola U of Chicago, Loyola U of Maryland, Marquette, Regis, Rockhurst, Saint Louis U, Seattle U, U of San Francisco and Xavier U will all be at Hill-Murray on Thursday, October 6 from 2:30-3:00 for the Upper Midwest Jesuit Excellence Tour college fair. All students and parents are encouraged to attend.

Essay presentation/information in senior classrooms

On Monday, September 12, Ms. Egan and Mr. Reid visited every senior English classroom to talk about writing a college essay. Students practiced several different writing brainstorming strategies and heard many pieces of advice regarding specificity and authenticity. They started the process of answering the common application prompts appropriately continually asking themselves, “Why do I want a college to know this piece of information?” It’s more important to focus on who you are as opposed to what you have done. Ms. Egan and Mr. Reid are happy to read any essays and supplemental writings that students wish to receive feedback.

Direct enrollment

There are several universities who have direct enrollment into specific colleges with dedicated applications. For instance, the University of Iowa has a Nursing School. Wisconsin-Madison has business and engineering colleges, and the University of Minnesota has several different colleges.  Direct enrollment benefits a student greatly; he or she is guaranteed entry right into the program and does not have to wait until the end of the sophomore year to declare their major. Generally, these programs are for high-achieving first-year students into high-demand college programs.

Preferential application review and decisions

We are excited to announce that the University of St. Thomas and Marquette University have agreed to expedite the application review process and provide decisions for our Hill-Murray students interested in those institutions! 

For St. Thomas, any student who completes their application by October 5 will have the chance to meet with a St. Thomas admissions representative on October 18 at Hill-Murray. For Marquette, any student who completes their application by November 1, will have the chance to meet with an admissions representative on November 16 virtually. Please see your counselor for further details.

To test or not to test

Should a student take the ACT or SAT to strengthen their application for admission? The decision to take a standardized test or not is an important question to answer for the college search. Hill-Murray sets aside a day that every student in the school will take a standardized test that provides information on academic progress and allows students to practice taking these tests. 

Check out to see which colleges and universities are test optional. Of course, Ms. Egan and Mr. Reid are happy to discuss testing options with students and families.


The college counseling office keeps an updated list of outside scholarships for which seniors can apply in Naviance under the “Colleges” tab. Click on the link to stay up to date on what scholarships may be available. Keep in mind that the most readily available scholarships that students receive are from their attending colleges.


By now, seniors should have moved colleges from the “I am Thinking About” list to the “I Am Applying To” list. You should also have begun the Common Application and added colleges to that list. And, seniors should have requested their Teacher Recommendations in Naviance. If you cannot find their teacher in the list, please notify your college counselor.