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College Advising

US Performance Academy believes that the ideal college advising process is marked by balance, careful planning, and reduced stress—not to mention satisfying results. We encourage all of our students to make a plan for the future and keep their eye on it, while keeping sight of the present and making the most of their high school academic, athletic, and personal lives.

Frank Sachs, former president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), was known to contend that, “College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.” In a competitive culture, it is often difficult to remember that the college admission experience is not simply a game, but rather an opportunity for growth, introspection and to refine skills of self-advocacy, networking, decision making and goal setting while finding a college that will serve students’ aspirations and interests.

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US Performance Academy learning coaches begin working with their students from day one and collaborate with the USPA college counselor to best serve each of our students. Our counselor will work in unison with learning coaches and parents to guide and support student athletes as they consider possibilities beyond USPA. Throughout the program, learning coaches will meet with their students to discuss options and identify strengths, interests, and a strategy to discover which colleges and universities best suits them. US Performance Academy will also utilize its extensive network of coaches, counselors and industry experts so our graduates have access to unique athletic, academic and career perspectives as they evaluate each of their options beyond USPA. Through use of the Naviance college counseling software, students and families have access on day one to a wealth of resources that will compliment their personalized work with our college counselors. We make sure our students are prepared to take on the next challenge they face after graduating from US Performance Academy.

We recognize the selective nature of the college admission process. And as such, we appreciate the role of standardized testing as colleges and universities evaluate applicants. Our curriculum is fully accredited and designed to prepare students for college. We offer SAT/ACT programs for each US Performance Academy student that is integrated into the academic program and enhances the college counseling process.

Focusing On The Future

Beyond coursework, testing, and athletic prowess, we believe that independent school education is unique in the way that it distinguishes students. The experiences that our students have within the program are what set them apart from other college applicants. We want our students to have the ability to perform at the highest levels, on and off the playing field, while still being fully prepared for success in university classrooms and professional careers. Ask any student or parent in a traditional brick and mortar, independent high school about the value of their experience, and you are likely to hear similar themes. Engaged faculty who are invested in students learning, small classes, healthy connections with peers, personal attention, rigorous offerings, close relationships with teachers and one-on-one college counseling to open up opportunities post high school. US Performance Academy is no different.

blue-quote-60-heightI definitely would like to see the Olympics in the future.

– USPA Student USPA-student-quote-11
As competitive athletes know, there is not only one way to train, nor is there often one path to reach one’s ultimate goal. With this realization in mind, the USPA college counseling office tailors each student’s college search to the unique needs and hopes of that individual and family. Our counselors have been in the profession as both college admission officers and high school counselors for many years and regularly visit colleges and universities throughout the country and world to stay current on trends in higher education and to network with their colleagues who are reviewing USPA applicants. Let us help you achieve your goals.

US Performance Academy Graduation Requirements

A total of 20 Credits are required to graduate from USPA. Each year, full-time students must earn a minimum of 5 simultaneous credits in order to earn an USPA diploma (distributed as follows). USPA does not offer credit for PE.

English – 4 Credits
Math – 3 Credits (including Algebra II)
Science – 3 Credits
History – 3 Credits (including US and World History)
World Language – 2 Credits (minimum of two levels of the same language)
Health – 0.5 credit
Electives – 4.5 Credits

Meet our Director of College Counseling

Brennan Barnard

Bio-Head ShotA graduate of Westtown Friends School, Brennan E. Barnard earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from Franklin & Marshall College and a master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from The University of Vermont.  Brennan has worked as teacher, coach, admission officer, and student affairs administrator at a number of independent high schools and colleges, including the Westtown School, the Northfield Mount Hermon School, the Hyde School, Franklin & Marshall College, and the University of Vermont.  In New Hampshire, he has served as a college counselor for the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program and the Royal Thai Scholars program at Brewster Academy and as an independent consultant through Parker Academy/Tutoring & Instructional Service.  He is also a Senior Fellow at the Global Studies Foundation and off-site college counselor for The Monteverde Friends School in Costa Rica.   

Brennan is the author of a column in Concord, New Hampshire’s Sunday Monitor that helps parents and students navigate the sometimes confusing world of applying to college.  In addition, he has been published multiple times in the New York Times and Washington Post.  He not only writes about college admission, but also firefighting, mindfulness, and other topics.  A three-year, elected member of the College Board’s New England Regional Council, Brennan is also a member of The Lakes Region Independent School Counselor Association, The Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools and the National (NACAC) and New England (NEACAC) Associations of College Admission Counselors.  He has presented on College Recommendation Writing, Athletic Recruiting in College Admission, Discipline Reporting in College Admission, and Spirituality in the Admission Process.  Brennan has attended the Harvard Institute on College Admission, the PACAC and NEACAC Summer Counselors Institute as well as multiple other annual professional conferences.  He regularly visits colleges throughout the United States and abroad.  This father of two lives in Hopkinton, New Hampshire where he is also a volunteer firefighter.

College Counselor Contact Information:

Director of College Counseling
Brennan.Barnard@GoUSPA.org