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The Gow School logo A coed college-prep boarding and day school for students, grades 6-12, with dyslexia and similar language-based learning disabilities.

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Things to Know

Students finish their Gow careers as strongly as they start them. Year after year, 100% of our seniors are accepted to college, usually receiving several offers. Naturally, we’re proud of this achievement, but we’re just as proud of our well-designed college-advising curriculum, the dedicated staff who guide families through the admissions process, and our extraordinary students, who work hard to achieve their postsecondary dreams.

The College Advising Center (CAC)

The hub of college guidance is the CAC, which provides resources and assistance beyond what’s typical of secondary schools. In addition to college fairs, workshops, and materials from and about colleges, the CAC offers a formal curriculum that juniors and seniors follow in weekly 45-minute classes and assignments.

Through the program, students are guided to research and identify right-fit colleges, write good college essays and résumés, and complete applications. CAC staff helps students prepare for standardized tests by learning test-taking strategies, taking practice tests, and requesting appropriate accommodations, such as extra time or readers. Both the ACT and SAT are administered on campus. College advisors also help students assess the support they’ll need in college, arrange college visits, meet deadlines, take interest inventories, and complete college registration.

Beyond the regular program, CAC staff provides scheduled and impromptu advising for students and their parents on admissions, financial aid, and matters related to learning differences, such as psycho-educational testing.

General Information

  • Students begin the formal application process in their Junior year.
  • We suggest students apply to 5 – 10 colleges; typically, 7 is the target number. They develop their lists with the help of the Director of College Counseling.
  • Students begin submitting applications in September of Senior year.
  • All records, applications, and supporting documents are handled and coordinated by the College Advising Center at Gow. All digital accounts for college applications and student records are maintained at Gow, including usernames and passwords.
  • We ask that all applications be sent and checked over The Director of College Counseling or the College Coordinator first.
  • Early Action vs. Early Decision: Early Action programs are non-binding; colleges promise to make expedited decisions and inform students sooner than in Regular Decision. Early Decision programs are binding commitments: if a college accepts a student under Early Decision, the student MUST attend that college, and decline all other offers.
  • Don’t get sticker shock. The most important sources of scholarship aid are the colleges themselves. Many schools offer generous packages to attractive candidates. Grades, test scores, community service, leadership, and other key skills all help earn student aid.
  • Gow students take the ACT, rather than the SAT. The ACT is universally accepted across North America. Students needing to take the SAT, the SAT Subject Tests, or the TOEFL can arrange to do so through the College Advising Center. Testing accommodations are arranged through the College Advising Center.


The Gow School administers the ACT to all Juniors and Seniors. Testing date and location is all dependent on the accommodations needed. Students with minimal or no accommodations will test at a national testing center on a day that is determined by the ACT. Students with testing accommodations at Gow may be given a date that is not a national testing date. These students testing dates are scheduled by the College Advising Center.

Students may take the SAT Reasoning Test and the SAT Subject Tests upon request. The College Coordinator will register those students and schedule their testing. Students receiving accommodation to take the SAT tests must do so in a two-day window assigned by the SAT.

Students may receive testing accommodations on standardized testing. All applications for testing accommodations MUST be made through the College Advising Center.

Testing accommodations can only be granted with a current, complete and comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation, which adheres to the following guidelines:

  • Current – testing must be within three years of the requested test date;
  • Complete – at a minimum, students must have
    • a cognitive test, (typically a Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale WAIS-V), including subscores, not only percentile ranks, AND
    • an achievement test (typically a Woodcock-Johnson Psychological Educational Achievement WJ-A-IV Battery), again including subscores, not only percentile ranks
  • Comprehensive – the written summary of results MUST include:
    • an explicitly stated DSM-V DIAGNOSIS (not an impression or a suggestion), AND
    • a complete description of the specific accommodations the student will need for both testing and instruction.

Typical testing accommodations include:

  • Double or triple extended time
  • Individual or small group testing
  • Testing over multiple days
  • Text read aloud to student


To help your child in applying for testing accommodations on standardized tests, please provide updated testing to the college counseling center by February 14.

To qualify to receive accommodations on ACT, TOEFL, or College Board tests or on the ACT Tests, please provide

  • Current – testing must be no more than three years old
  • Complete – typically, students must have at least Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-V), AND a Woodcock-Johnson Psychological Educational Achievement (WJ-A-IV) Battery completed as part of the testing. Do not use other tests without consulting either Dr. Mari Jo Renick, Director of Research and Assessment at Gow (mjrenick@gow.org), or the college counseling office.
  • Properly Formatted – the written summary of results MUST include:
    • an explicitly stated diagnosis (not an impression or a suggestion)
    • a complete description of the specific accommodations your child will need for both testing and instruction.

A student without appropriate documentation is unlikely to be approved for accommodations on standardized testing.

It is necessary to have the kind of testing required by the testing agencies (and by university support programs worldwide) done by a fully qualified professional diagnostician. Previous testing older than three years, an IEP or other public school documentation may not be sufficient.