At St. Albans we take it for granted that our boys will go to college, and that is fitting. We have always been and we are likely to remain a college preparatory school. Still, this does not mean that we must give undue concern to college admission. To do so would resemble the unhealthy concern an occasional boy has about grades. Although we like our boys to get good marks we do not want them to work toward that end alone. Instead, we want them to have the fun of pursuing a subject for its inherent interest, to have the pleasure of experiencing the satisfaction of high achievement for its own sake. Any grade should be incidental to the stimulation of intellectual curiosity. Likewise, attending college should ideally be an incidental result -- the natural next step to a secondary education filled with the satisfaction of hard work and of academic achievement. At St. Albans we do not want parents and boys to worry about college admissions. We want to be concerned with giving boys a sound education; the future will then take care of itself."
--- From Letters From a Headmaster's Study by Former St. Albans School Headmaster Canon Charles Martin, April 16, 1963.
Despite the hype and glitz and anxiety that surrounds the college search and application process today, Canon Martin's words of the past still ring true today. If a boy pursues education for its own sake, stretching himself academically, shining in extracurriculars and finding his place socially, his college search and application process will follow quite naturally. He will approach the end of his time at St. Albans with a greater understanding of himself and a greater understanding of those universities that are the best match for him. "Getting in" is a byproduct of the hard work, self-exploration, acceptance of challenge and expansion of thought that is an everyday reality at St. Albans School.
Still, we in the College Counseling office recognize the complexity and the uncertainty inherent in the modern-day college search, and with this in mind we take great care to help each boy find his own way toward the best school for him. Finding the "best" university is much more difficult than picking up a magazine; the "best" means something different for every student. Throughout a sometimes stressful, sometimes joyful process which begins formally in the winter of the Fifth Form year, we hope to help each of our boys identify the specific qualities that he is seeking in a university. Later, we will be here to assist with actual applications, to serve as a liaison between students and universities, to untangle "red tape" and to answer any questions that families may have. We believe that this process is one of education, self-discovery and growth, and we are excited to work with you as you embark upon this momentous journey.