Keystone College Counseling is dedicated to providing a proactive, comprehensive, and developmentally appropriate program to address students' career and college goals in addition to supporting their personal and academic growth. We will nurture our school community by advocating for and promoting a healthy college counseling culture in order to ensure individual student success by locating the right/best-fit college(s) for them. This is accomplished through a partnership with parents/guardians, faculty, and community members, in the context of 3 keystones and 5 shared values, to enable all students to become successful, productive, contributing community people and lifelong learners in a diverse and changing world. The Keystone college counselors are accredited by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and International Association for College Admission Counseling (International ACAC), and they are also active members in the China Institute of College Admission Counseling (ChinaICAC), the Beijing International School Counselor Network (BISCN) and Beijing Academy of College Counseling (BACC). They are bound by the ethical practices of these organizations.

Destinations of Keystone Classes of 2018 to 2023

  • 8%


  • 76%


  • 10%


  • 2%


  • 3%


  • 1%


Our Teams

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  • Responsibility and expectations
    Student Role
    • Takes central & active responsibility in the process.

    • Checks email daily & responds in timely fashion.

    • Attends college fairs and receptions in Beijing and meets college representative that may visit Keystone.

    • Researches admission criteria of each college.

    • Completes Common Application & Essay or UCAS PS, etc.

    • Completes applications honestly and accurately, carefully noting all the deadlines.

    • Requests letters of recommendation from teachers.  Usually, the same teachers write recommendations for all of college applications.

    • Keeps college counselor up-to-date on all plans, progress and results.  Communicate regularly with counselor.

    • Keeps parents up-to-date on all plans, progress and results.  Communicate regularly with parents.

  • Responsibility and expectations
    Parent Role in the Partnership
    • Encourage your child to take full responsibility for the college search process.

    • Help your child understand this responsibility.

    • Share your own questions and concerns with your child & with the college counselor.

    • Be realistic about your child's chances.

    • Don't compare your student with others (be non-judgmental).

    • Don't dwell on disappointments (such as rejection letters).

    • Celebrate successes! Enjoy partnering with your student

  • Responsibility and expectations
    Role of the College Counselor
    • Discuss college planning with student and the parents & help develop a balanced list that represents good matches.

    • Provide information about chances of admission to particular colleges.

    • Provide resources and opportunities for students and their families to learn about various colleges.

    • Keep students informed about activities such as visits, events, college fairs, receptions, open houses, deadlines, scholarships and testing.

    • Guide students with application forms: Common Application, UC, UCAS, and other application platforms,  scholarship/financial aid, certificate of finances, etc.

    • Prepare and send Keystone school transcripts to colleges (at request of student).

    • Prepare a well-written school statement that portrays the candidate in a positive and honest light with an emphasis on strengths and patterns of growth where appropriate.

    • Send periodic, mid-year, and final grade reports to colleges (at request of student).

    • Serve as an advocate for Keystone students to the colleges.

    • Support and counsel students and parents throughout the college research, application, and selection process.

College Application Timeline

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    Grade 9
    • Focus on academics:

      Develop a strong foundation in core subjects.

    • Get involved:

      Join clubs, sports teams, or other extracurricular activities that interest you.

    • Start exploring:

      Research various career fields and college majors to get a sense of your interests and goals.

    • Build good study habits:

      Develop time management and organizational skills to succeed in high school.

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    Grade 10
    • Continue academic growth:

      Challenge yourself with more advanced courses when appropriate.

    • Deepen extracurricular involvement:

      Take on leadership roles or join new activities that align with your interests.

    • Start preparing for language proficiency tests and standardized tests:

      Familiarize yourself with the PSAT and consider taking practice tests or prep courses at Khan Academy.

    • Research colleges:

      Begin compiling a list of colleges that appeal to you based on factors such as location, size, academic programs, and campus culture.

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    Grade 11
    • Maintain academic excellence:

      Continue taking rigorous courses and keep your GPA high.

    • Refine extracurricular activities:

      Focus on activities that demonstrate your passions and commitment.

    • Take standardized tests:

      Register and prepare for the SAT/ACT.

    • Visit college campuses:

      Attend college fairs, open houses, or schedule campus tours to get a feel for the schools on your list.

    • Narrow down your college list:

      Identify the top schools that best align with your academic goals, interests, and personal preferences.

    • Seek recommendations:

      Begin identifying teachers, counselors, or mentors who can write strong recommendation letters for you.

  • Grade 12
    • Maintain strong academic performance:

      Colleges will review your senior year grades, so keep up the hard work and continue taking rigorous courses.

    • Finalize your college list:

      Refine your list of target, reach, and foundation schools based on your preferences, goals, and admission chances.

    • Complete college applications:

      Pay close attention to deadlines and ensure all application components (essays, transcripts, test scores, and recommendation letters) are submitted on time.

    • Apply for financial aid:

      Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and/or the CSS Profile as required. Research any additional financial aid opportunities provided by the colleges you're applying to.

    • Research and apply for scholarships:

      Look for scholarships offered by various organizations, foundations, or colleges themselves, and submit applications as needed.

    • Prepare for interviews:

      Some colleges may require or offer optional interviews as part of the application process. Practice your interview skills and be ready to discuss your experiences, interests, and future goals.

    • Review admission decisions:

      As decisions come in, evaluate your acceptances and any financial aid packages offered. If waitlisted, follow the college's instructions and consider submitting additional materials if requested.

    • Compare financial aid packages:

      Review and compare financial aid offers from the colleges that have accepted you.

    • Make your decision:

      Choose the college that best suits your academic, financial, and personal needs.

    • Inform your chosen college:

      Confirm your enrollment by submitting your deposit, and notify other colleges that you have decided not to attend.

College Counseling Talks

  • How can I be a supportive parent?

    Parents can play a supportive role throughout the entire application process by helping their children find the most suitable college, offering guidance, listening to their thoughts and opinions, openly discussing financial matters, and communicating with their children as adults.

    Xiaofeng Wan
    Associate Dean of Admission,Coordinator of International Recruitment, Amherst College
  • Take time to focus on what you can control

    College admissions in many ways is a time for self-reflection, discovery, and finding the best fit.

    Michelle Trimpe, Director of International Admissions, University of Chicago

Embrace the Future, Embrace a Better Self

Dedicated to All Students


The Keystone Class of 2024 in Photos

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