College Counseling at Sage Hill is a four-year program that fulfills two purposes. First, we ensure that our students make the most of their time in high school by engaging in academic and co-curricular pursuits that prepare them for college. Second, we offer a highly personalized, student-centered college application process focused on helping each student find the best college fit based on his or her academic profile, aspirations, talents, and interests.
Every year, our students are accepted to some of the most selective colleges in the country, including Stanford, Ivy League universities, USC, and UC Berkeley, as well as top liberal arts colleges like Williams and Amherst. Yet we subscribe to the philosophy that college admission is not a prize to be won but a match to be made. We measure success not just by the number of acceptances but by the appropriateness of each match.
With one counselor for every 39 students, every student receives ample attention. Sage Hill is one of the few high schools offering a four-year program focusing on both college preparation and self-awareness from the very start.
Ninth Grade College counseling begins informally in ninth grade to ensure that students make the most of their time at Sage Hill, in both academics and co-curricular activities. Sage Hill’s Dean of Ninth and Tenth Grade College Counseling offers small group meetings and workshops during ninth grade for students where they begin work on a four year Academic Plan, as well as coffees and presentations for parents to discuss the complexities of the process before they formally embark on the college admissions journey.
Tenth Grade As sophomores, students and their parents meet privately with the Dean of Ninth and Tenth Grade College Counseling to refine the individualized Academic Plan. The plan is designed to nurture students’ strengths and passions and position them well for college admissions. While it provides an initial framework for each student’s classroom experience, it may evolve as students develop their interests and talents. Grade-specific informational meetings for students and families continue to guide the process.
Eleventh Grade Each junior is assigned to a College Counselor for the final two years. The counselors advise students on standardized testing, college visits, summer activities, and other important factors in the process. Each family meets privately with their counselor to begin developing a target list of colleges based on the student’s unique personality, learning style, goals, and other preferences.
Twelfth Grade By senior year, our counselors know each student extremely well. This helps the counselors write meaningful letters of recommendation and also to guide each student through the final stages of the process. During the summer before senior year, students attend optional essay and application workshops led by our counselors. In the fall, admission representatives from more than 150 colleges and universities visit Sage Hill and meet with our students in small sessions. Students learn more about the colleges and have the opportunity to get to know the individual who will likely read their applications, while the admission representatives learn more about what makes Sage Hill unique. When students finalize their application lists, our counselors ensure transcripts, teacher recommendations, and other required elements are submitted to each college in a timely manner. Finally, when admission results are received, our counselors help our students choose the best college fit.