College Counseling

Group photo in college guidance suite

Searching for a college that suits each student’s individual needs requires personal insight as well as thorough preparation and research.

Two girls in Barnard t-shirts

Our dedicated college counseling experts connect them to essential resources and help each student navigate what can seem like a daunting, complex process. Using a collaborative approach that involves students, parents, and school staff, we help each graduating senior to find colleges that are the best fit for them academically and personally.

During this process, our students learn about themselves, their interests, and their goals through self-discovery, open-mindedness, and perspective. Our job is to empower and facilitate that self-examination and to help our students identify and apply to a range of colleges and universities that are appropriate.



of students are admitted their top college choice



of students are recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation



Average SAT score

Pen writing on paper


Average ACT score

Our Year-by-Year College Guidance Process

9th Grade

  • During an evening program in the fall, we introduce students and families to the overall college process. Parents of 9th and 10th graders are encouraged to attend.
  • We encourage students to identify their strengths, passions, challenges, and desires as they investigate and pursue varied academic, extracurricular, and personal interests. As they commit time and energy to this exploration, our students simultaneously build a record of involvement and achievement that colleges find compelling.
  • Students taking a class with a relevant SAT Subject Test may choose to sit for the test in the spring.

10th Grade

  • The introductory evening program is open to families of 10th graders who didn’t attend the previous year, as well as those wanting a refresher now that their children have acclimated to campus life and academics.
  • All 10th graders take the PSAT in October. Students taking classes with a relevant SAT Subject Test may choose to take those in the spring as well.
  • We give our 10th graders an opportunity to take a test (held on school grounds on a Sunday morning in January) that helps them determine whether they’ll be best served by choosing the ACT or the SAT.

11th Grade

  • We hold an evening program, “Introduction to the College Process,” in December for junior-year students and parents.
  • Each family has a one-on-one meeting with the Director of College Counseling to plan a roadmap for their individualized college exploration and application process. The meeting covers advice and consultation about standardized testing, visiting college campuses, and refining the student’s college interest list.
  • The counseling process continues with a series of spring-term classes about how to research and choose colleges, write application essays, and maintain an organized, thoughtful approach to the process.
  • We administer and oversee such standardized tests as the PSAT and ACT on campus. Typically, juniors take the SAT or ACT in the spring.
  • One evening in the spring is devoted to a “Mock Admission Committee” exercise for juniors and parents. Admission officers from a range of colleges visit to facilitate small-group discussion and walk families through the decision-making process—bringing to light factors families may not have considered and simplifying an often complex process.

12th Grade

  • Just before the start of senior year, we offer essay-writing clinics for our 12th graders and encourage them to come for help wherever they are in the process—from brainstorming ideas to putting the final polish on their revised draft.
  • We conduct evening programs on the college application process, including an introduction to Naviance (the technology we use to streamline the application process) and advice on financial aid.