College Counselling

Each year, approximately one third of École Jeannine Manuel graduates decide to pursue their higher education overseas. To help them achieve their goals, École Jeannine Manuel offers a college counseling program that begins in earnest in the middle of the junior year (première), allowing students time to mature as they embark on this important process. The College Counselor invests a healthy measure of time educating the students and their parents as to how each individual senior (terminale) should research colleges and universities in Canada, in the UK, in the USA or in other countries.

We support our students as they embark upon the important process of self-discovery vital not only to the college search, but also to a successful transition into adult life. Our goal is to empower them with confidence and self-knowledge. The college counseling process must begin and end with the student and our objective is to help each student find the college environment that best fits his/her unique set of talents, interests and aspirations.

In this student-centered approach to the college admissions process, we expect each student to take charge and we strive to enable students to gain a sense of responsibility and autonomy. Our job is to guide, counsel, suggest and inform. But the student is ultimately responsible for all key decisions required to drive this process forward.

Students, not the College Counseling Office, are responsible for signing up for all the appropriate standardized tests and meeting all application deadlines.

As well, the application process should be a unique experience that brings together students and their parents. Parents should attend the first individual meeting with the College Counselor and are urged to attend all school presentations relating to this important matter.

In this section of our website, we've included information covering all aspects of the college/university admission process—topics specific to École Jeannine Manuel students as well as links to a great variety of other resources. We hope that you will find this site useful and welcome your suggestions.



More than 25,000 international students study at some 90 universities in Canada. These range from large research institutions to small liberal arts universities, and are located in both major business and cultural centres and smaller, more intimate communities. The range of choice is tremendous - large and small, denominational or secular, English, French or bilingual. Most institutions are publicly funded and more than half offer graduate as well as undergraduate education.

Canada is a country built on diversity. Often referred to as a cultural mosaic, it is widely viewed as a progressive, multicultural and very welcoming country. Canada is known for its global perspective, tolerance and international peace initiatives. Three of Canada's major cities are rated by the World Bank as among the top ten best places in which to live, work and study. Canada's universities are world-renowned for their high standards and educational excellence. A degree from a Canadian university is internationally recognized. Furthermore, tuition and living expenses are lower than at comparable institutions in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Choosing a university

One of the easiest and best ways to get information on the wide range of universities and programs of study is through the Internet. A good place to start is the web site of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) at This site provides access to the Directory of Canadian Universities which offers hotlinks to the homepages of the universities themselves. In addition, there is comparative information on tuition fees among Canada's ten provinces, as well as comparisons of fees and living costs between Canada and the United States (for both public and private institutions), the United Kingdom, Australia and France. Additional information about specific universities and their programs can be obtained by writing to the university's Registrar.

Information Services

  • Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) 151 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5N1 : general information on programmes for international students wishing to study at Canadian universities (application forms and details on admission requirements available only from the universities and colleges).
  • Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) 85 Albert Street, Suite 1400, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 6A4: general information on study, work and exchange in Canada and abroad ; reception service for incoming international students during August and September each year at the airports of Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver.
  • Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates abroad provide general information on studying in Canada and on visa requirements.
  • Canadian Education Centres (CECs) have been established in a number of locations around the world. These centres are supported by the government of Canada and are located in seventeen cities in Asia, the Americas and Australia. The CECs sponsor education fairs, stock information about study at a variety of Canadian institutions, give presentations on Higher Education in Canada, and have counselors on hand to assist students. For details, see

College Counselor : Natalie La Balme
Assistant : Patricia Talavera



With over 320 institutions to choose from it can be a daunting task to narrow study choices down to the five (only four for medicine, veterinary science or dentistry) allowed on the application form that is submitted to UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Apart from the usual considerations in choosing an institution of higher learning (countryside/city, large/small), there is the definite choice to be made as to traditional (one that has been around for some time), or the post-1992 universities that were formerly known as polytechnics. These newer institutions are apt to offer a broader scope of subjects that are more specifically related to employment. League Tables and Alternative Guides can be helpful, but should be taken with a pinch of salt.

For university and course selection there simply is no substitute for personal research: browsing college websites, attending university presentations and making on-site visits on Open Days. UK universities welcome visitors, and students should schedule visits, if possible during the academic year or summer sessions so as to meet students and get a good feel for life on campus. (Except for Christmas break, French breaks don’t necessarily coincide with UK academic vacations.) It is a particularly good idea to ask friends, siblings, or École Jeannine Manuel alumni currently attending a university to host a visit.

University adviser : Nicholas Bunch
University assistant : Patricia Talavera

Admission Process

The UK university Admission Process is greatly facilitated by UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), which, with few exceptions such as Art & Design foundation year, enables students to file a single application. Most UK students choose to follow a specific degree path but there are an increasing number of courses which allow for a wider range of study where students can build their degree by choosing a number of different modules. Even within a particular academic field, there are many different options available. As you begin to explore subjects, be guided by your long-term interests, browse the websites of the universities you might consider and take some of the quizzes available on the internet. The UCAS website has a search engine that will help you narrow down your range of interest by area, size, and subject. Of course, make sure that you have taken the right courses to qualify; for example, a student who wants to study Mathematics would need to have taken Mathematics HL in the IB programme or a French Bac S, preferably with a specialité in Mathematics. Nevertheless, if you do not have the qualifications for a specific course of study, the Year 0 that several universities have instituted may help you qualify for your chosen course.

All applications go through the UCAS Apply system, which can be completed online from anywhere in the world. The documentation explaining the process and the buzzword to enter the École Jeannine Manuel pool are available from Mr Bunch or Miss Talavera. Some universities require that, for certain subjects, specific tests must be taken such as the BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test), HAT (History Aptitude Test), LNAT (National Admissions Test for Law) or the TSA (Thinking Skill Assessment). You should therefore carefully review the subject requirements at each university you wish to apply to. January of Première (Year 12 in the UK) is the ideal time to begin researching possible courses of study and different institutions. Ideally, you should be writing your personal statement over the summer. The personal statement is 500-550 words in length (written in Times New Roman 12 point, 48 lines). It includes information about your background, interests, reasons for taking the specific course of study, and reasons for studying in the UK. It should be as precise as possible. Details about articles, magazines, books, theories that intrigue you will contribute to help the reader form a picture of you as an individual. Although the deadline is 15th January (15th October for Oxbridge and Medicine) of the terminale year, the internal deadline is in November. Predicted marks for the baccalaureate are a key element of the admission process. The College Counsellor reviews records, asks teachers for predicted marks and talks to the student. Predicted marks are important: if too low, the student will not get offers from his chosen institutions; and if too high, the student may find that he cannot make the offer and will have to enter "Clearing" in August to apply to any places that are still open at that time. The UCAS fee for applications is £19, which is a separate cost from École Jeannine Manuel college counselling fee outlined in the school documentation. At the same time the UCAS website provides a wealth of free information on all aspects including student finance. It is a veritable 'All you ever need to know....' source. Art and Design students are in a special category. Very few high school graduates enter Art schools directly; they usually apply to a Foundation Year to have the time to mature, prepare portfolio work and explore different art options for admission the following year. Although Foundation Year applications do not follow the UCAS procedure, the UCAS Web site has a useful information about Art & Design foundation studies. These applications must be completed by mid-December and include a portfolio (around 20 pieces that show creativity, skills, and interests). 


In so far as Oxbridge is concerned, a student may only apply to one of the two universities, Cambridge or Oxford, not both. The application must be completed and sent by 15th October. While École Jeannine Manuel has a good record of entry to these two universities, only students that have excellent academic records should apply to Oxbridge, those students who regularly receive at least 40 in the International Baccalaureate internal examinations, or consistently over 16 in the French 'Bac Blancs'. The application is submitted and the student may be asked to send two or three written papers that have been marked by their teachers. The student may then be invited to exams and interviews in December while some subjects also require you to sit an examination (here at École Jeannine Manuel) in early November. Those receiving offers will hear in early January, and it is then up to the student to achieve the mark inherent in the offer. For more detailed information, consult the university websites.


Terminale key dates :
All UCAS application forms should be completed by 1st December. i.e you must ‘send to referee’ by then.
However, there are a few exceptions and additions to note :

  • For those going for Oxford and Cambridge and/or for Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary medicine : You must ‘send to referee’ before 10th October. There must be no surprises our end: those going for these universities/subjects will have already discussed it at length with the university adviser. Those applying for History, English, PPE or Mathematics at Oxford will have to sit additional examinations (HAT for History, ELAT for English and TSA for PPE). Those applying for Medicine will either have to sit a BMAT examination OR the UKCAT examination, depending on the university.
  • BMAT registration deadline: 30th September.
  • BMAT, HAT, ELAT, TSA and Oxford Mathematics examinations are taken on 4th November here at EABJM
  • UKCAT MUST be taken before 9th October. The test is held at the Pearson centre at 2 rue de Lancry. So register NOW if you are applying for Medicine (Deadline for registration: 25th September).

In Première :

There are visits from British universities in October, December and March (consult the calendar for dates).
There will be a full information meeting in January for parents and students.
Individual meetings with the university adviser can be arranged throughout the year but the real work begins in January.
Students should try to visit British universities themselves. The university adviser will be able to guide you in this.



With 2,450 four-year colleges and universities in the US, over 100 of which are considered “selective” or “highly selective,” the admission process is pretty overwhelming, all the more so as it involves, for students and parents alike, one of the most important decisions they will ever make.

There is an endless supply of books, articles and Web resources available on the subject. Among them, Harry Bauld’s funny and insightful On Writing the College Application Essay and Michele Hernandez’ highly readable A is for Admission are “musts.” Neither book is recent, but they remain top choices.

For college selection, there simply is no substitute for personal research: browsing college websites, attending College Day and college presentations, and making on-site college visits. American colleges welcome visitors, and students should schedule visits during the academic year or summer sessions so as to meet students, attend classes, possibly interview, and get a good feel for life on campus. 

College Counselor : Natalie La Balme
Assistant : Patricia Talavera

A Liberal Arts Education


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Below are a few words on the selection and admission process to American universities. Liberal arts programs are one of the specificities of US universities and colleges. They enable students to explore different fields of study before choosing a specific 'major'. They focus on humanities and science, in contrast to more applied or professional disciplines such as business and engineering. Flexibility, creativity, critical thinking, strong writing and communication skills are at the core of the liberal arts education. These skills are critical for success. Most current Ecole Jeannine Manuel students will have over ten jobs during their career. A liberal arts degree provides a great foundation for adjusting to new careers and further education.


Holistic Review 

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The admission process to US universities follows a holistic review. Universities need multiple sources of information to determine if a student has the ability and character to succeed in their classrooms and in their community. Admission review therefore includes information beyond academics. Extracurricular activities, essays, letters of recommendation and 'fit', as well as context, are taken into account. Key pieces of the application are:

- The highschool transcript, which includes a list of courses and grades from troisième through the first trimestre ofterminale. French grades are translated according to the Franco-American Commission’s guidelines: 16-20 is an A+, 14-15 is an A, 13 is A-, 12 is a B+, 11 is a B, and 10 is a B-.

- École Jeannine Manuel and two teacher recommendations help admission officers evaluate a student by placing his/her academic performance in the context of the student’s participation in the life of the school community. 

- The College Counselor will use the "bragsheet" to help prepare the school’s recommendation, but students must take the initiative to solicit recommendation letters from two teachers. A “protocol,” downloadable from this site, explains the do’s and don’ts of recommendation requests.

- Standardized tests results constitute the third, increasingly important factor in college admissions. 

Standardized Tests 

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As the college admissions process has become more and more competitive, standardized testing scores have become an increasingly important factor in college admissions. The geographic and socio-demographic diversity of a growing applicant pool, combined with rampant grade inflation, make it extremely difficult to judge an applicant's grades and recommendations. Standardized test scores consequently become benchmarks, the 'common currency' of college applications. Students should therefore sit the SAT and at least two subject tests.

Holistic Review II

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Some questions admissions officers will ask in the review process include: 

- Has the student made meaningful contributions to the class?

- What is the depth and sophistication of the student's approach to the subject?

- How has the student responded to challenges and opportunities?

- What would the student bring to a university community?

- What would this student gain from the university community?



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In a pool of highly qualified applicants, admissions officers must see how each student will contribute to campus life. They are looking to create a community of scholars composed of interesting individuals, hence the importance of the college application essay and the supplemental essays. Admissions officers are trying to find out who each applicant is and the essays are the students' chance to show them. The more selective a college, the more important the essays. All applicants to selective colleges have good SAT scores and top grades. The essays are what make the difference.

Where to Apply

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There is no limit to the number of applications one can submit, but a good rule of thumb is that students should apply to a pool of no more than nine colleges - three 'reach' schools, three 'mid-range' schools, and three 'likely' schools. One of the College Couselor's main goals is to help students determine the most suitable pool and the right fit.

The Early Admission Game

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There are three categories of early admissions: Early Decision (ED) entails applying early to a single first-choice school and committing, if accepted, to enrolling. Next, Early Action applicants break down into two sub-categories: ordinary Early Action(EA) simply refers to the deadlines and carries no particular obligation. There is no limit to the number of EA applications, and admission is not binding. The third category, Single Choice Early Action (SCEA), is a hybrid currently in place at Yale, Stanford, Princeton and Harvard. Under SCEA, students may only apply early to a single college, but results are not binding; both EA and SCEA students have until May 1 to choose a college.

All three types of early applications are due around November 1 instead of late December or early January, and results are available in mid-December - early enough so that, in most cases, no other application need be sent if the answer is positive.

Why have early programs become so popular? The stated reason is that these programs are in the best interests of students who know where they want to go to college and, if successful, can find out by Christmas and relax. The real reason is that EA and SCEA students are more likely to matriculate, and that ED students are bound to do so. Since 'yield' (percentage of admitted students who matriculate), is the most nurtured indicator of a school's attractiveness, colleges pay particular attention to programs that will contribute to a higher yield. Early applications do so. There is therefore an 'early edge'. Applying early matters.

Parting Words

The college admissions process requires a great deal of involvement on the part of the students and their parents. Think about it as a three-year continuous process of familiarization and planning, which should begin in troisième - almost three years before the application deadlines. This does not mean, of course, that students should start prowling college campuses that early. But it does man that, beyond the necessary focus on academic performance and SAT preparation, students should give serious consideration to community service, extracurricular activities, and summer plans. Colleges are looking for students actively and enthusiastically engaged in the broader affairs of their school and/or community. This involvement is rarely something that can be improvised in the summer of première. Knowing and monitoring deadlines is also an essential part of the college admissions process and it is the student's responsibility to do so. The timeline below is meant to help students navigate the college applications process smoothly.     



General Links

  • College Board The College Board and ETS (education testing services) are two not-for-profit organizations that work in tandem to develop and administer standardized tests such as the PSAT, SATs, APs and the TOEFL. The College Board website has a wealth of resources.
  • College Board Tests A direct link to testing information (types, description, dates, registration, etc.).
  • SAT Subject Tests This College Board site lets you connect directly to college websites in order to check their latest SAT Subject Tests policies - particularly useful since the navigating complexities of college websites can be bewildering.
  • TOEFL (test of English as a foreign language) Details concerning the TOEFL iBT (internet-based) test.
  • ACT You might want to check out the ACT site (the alternative to the SAT Reasoning Test).

Financial Aid Links

Financial aid is generally available to US citizens and permanent residents directly from colleges, often on a need-blind, need-based basis, which means :

  • that an application is considered without regard to the financial requirements of the applicant.
  • that if the student is accepted, the college will provide the financial aid package (tuition grants, loans, etc.) required to permit the student to attend. 

All college websites have an interactive financial aid simulation forms that let you input your family's financial data and give you an estimate of what your financial aid package would be.
For students of other nationalities, however, and with the notable exceptions of Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth and Amherst, which are need-blind and need-based regardless of nationality, colleges are rarely generous with financial aid. 

  • International Students Access a list of US schools that offer aid to international students.
  • Princeton's Financial Aid Estimator This estimator lets you or your parents input your family's financial information and gives you an estimate of what kind of financial aid package you might expect. Of course, this is just an estimate, and for Princeton only, but it is a good starting point.
  • College Board CSS Profile The CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE is a financial aid application service offered by the College Scholarship Service, the financial aid division of the College Board. The PROFILE is required or accepted by approximately 700 colleges, universities, and scholarship programs to award their private funds. The PROFILE requires a separate form in addition to the FAFSA.
  • FAFSA The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is a federal form that you must fill out to qualify for most student financial aid. Generally, you must have a Social Security number (SSN) to be eligible for federal aid. If you submit a FAFSA without an SSN, your FAFSA will be returned unprocessed. 
  • FinAid Guide to Financial Aid. FinAid was established in 1994 as a public service and has grown into one of the most comprehensive annotated collection of information about student financial aid on the web.
  • Mapping-Your-Future Guide to Financial Aid Mapping Your Future is a public-service, nonprofit web site providing career, college, financial aid, and financial literacy information and services to students, their families, and schools.
  • Sallie Mae Guide to Financial Aid Sallie Mae provides federal and private student loans, including consolidation loans, for students and their parents. In addition, this web site offers resources to assist students, parents and guidance professionals with the financial aid process. Sallie Mae currently owns or manages student loans for 8 million borrowers. Sallie Mae was originally a government-sponsored entity, but is now private and has terminated its corporate ties to the federal government.
 Documents are available on the right side of this article