5 Questions You Might Not Think to Ask Your Admission Counselor

GPS Blog
As you explore schools to find the best fit for your child’s next chapter, we know you will be reviewing a lot of information. It might be difficult to identify subtle distinctions that could make all the difference in choosing the best school for your girl. Here we compiled a few questions we feel are important when comparing programs across the board along with our responses.

1) What support services are available for students?
At GPS, we believe educating girls means educating her mind, body, and spirit. That’s why we offer extensive support services outside of the classroom. These include our newly enhanced The Teaching and Learning Center, a welcoming, safe, student-centered space designed to support teacher instruction, while helping girls recognize and achieve their potential. A focus is placed on helping students build their executive functioning toolboxes, which include skills such as time management, self-advocacy, planning, organization, processing, and more. 
Of course, the support we provide students extends beyond classroom strategies. Our new Health and Wellness Center offers social-emotional support with dedicated and grade-level programming planned by our counseling specialists in addition to one-on-one counseling opportunities, parent consultations, advisory activities, classroom curriculum, and more. A full-time nurse has also been added to our staff to benefit our students.
2) What’s the favorite tradition on campus?
We may be biased, but we think school traditions—the ones steeped in history and importance—can make all the difference between an ordinary experience and an extraordinary one. GPS is known for its unique traditions, which students look forward to throughout their entire careers at the school. From Opening Day and Chapel Talks to May Day and Cat-Rat, students at every grade level are incorporated into each tradition in a different yet meaningful way, and memories bond girls for life.
3) What do students do for fun?
Your children obviously attend school to receive a fantastic education, but that’s only one facet of adolescence. To grow and mature, it’s important that students also have fun! At GPS, we sometimes hear prospective parents voice concerns about it being all work and no play at a college preparatory school. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Step on campus throughout the school day and you will experience any combination of dancing, singing, and playing on Smith Courtyard or overhear plans for friends to meet up for weekend activities. Our school has a robust coordinate program with McCallie, so students always have something exciting to look forward to, whether it’s a dance, a field day, a dodgeball tournament, a theater production, athletic event, community service activity, or something more spontaneous.
4) What do your students accomplish after graduation?
Success certainly looks different for everyone, but a good way to get a feel for a school you are exploring is to learn about its alumnae. We are proud that, by the time they leave GPS, students know how to advocate for themselves and how to barrel through any roadblock that might stand in the way of achieving their goals. We have recent alumnae who are building robots to explore Mars for NASA, advocating for underprivileged and underserved communities in the medical field, launching nonprofits, working in television and film, and more. Regardless of the breadth of industry (which we truly believe is unmatched), there is a throughline: People can always tell they attended an all-girls school because they speak up and stand out. Read about some of our alumnae here.
BONUS: Looking at Upper School specifically? Make sure to ask how new students are onboarded.
While Upper School is a new chapter for all students, girls who are new to GPS have some ground to cover when it comes to getting to know peers and teachers, training on new technologies, making their way around campus, and enmeshing themselves in the community. For that reason, we have designed a comprehensive new student onboarding program designed to make them feel comfortable the moment they step on campus. Program components include:
  • Girl Guides who help new students get acclimated to the traditions and culture of GPS and who are in the same advisory and at least three overlapping classes
  • Monthly meetings with class deans to check on progress and follow up on any questions or concerns
  • Class retreats to get to know other students
  • Dedicated time in the Teaching and Learning Center to better understand the resources available to them and to create an academic plan that will help them be successful
  • And more!

Have other questions for our admission counselors? You can always reach us via email at or by calling our office at 423.634.7644.