College Counseling and Advocacy
The Hill College Advantage
As is always the case in life, choosing one path leads to another, so it is not surprising that choosing a high school greatly affects a high school student’s chances of being admitted to a college of each student’s choosing. What follows is a brief overview of what distinguishes St. Joseph Hill Academy from others, to ensure successful college admissions for our students, academic achievement in college – and ultimately, career success for our graduates.
The Hill Class of 2021 have received early acceptances to an array of incredible colleges and universities nationwide so far. As of March 9th, the 141 students have received $51.8 million in academic scholarships and that number will continue to climb.
Our college guidance begins in freshman year, with group orientation sessions with the Director of College Counseling. We collect biographical information from each family and gain early insights into the special circumstances, strengths, and talents of each student.
We offer personalized student and family college guidance in junior year. All students are programmed for College Guidance where they work on career searches/development, college resume writing, essay preparation; they also receive training on Naviance. In addition, the College Counseling team meets with each student (with their parents) to offer advice concerning college selections, visits, interviews, and optimum standardized testing schedules. Special scholarships (ethnic and financial service, athletic, music, theatre and art), enrichment and pre-college programs are identified early for each student. Due to Covid-19, these meetings are currently taking place virtually.
More than 50 colleges visit our campus in the fall and spring to meet with our students individually, not in a college fair setting. They range in competitiveness (e.g., Barnard, NYU, Vassar) and geographical distance (University of Notre Dame (IN), Vanderbilt (TN), University of Miami (FLA), Catholic University, and American University (DC), Boston University and Northeastern University (MA), and numerous colleges from the tri-state area. Most of the visitors are the decision-makers for these colleges (the representatives who will read our applications) and they often remark how poised and well-prepared our students are during these sessions—typically Hill. Though in-person meetings will not be possible this fall, we are committed to ensuring Hill students continue to receive individualized attention from renowned colleges and universities virtually.
The College Counseling team personally advises each student based upon her individual profile and no preferential treatment is given to a student on the basis of GPA. The team advocates for each Hill senior equally throughout the process. In senior year, all students are also programmed for College Guidance to aid them with individual questions during the college application process.
We host a financial aid seminar for all senior students and the College Counseling team distributes detailed scholarship information to the senior students throughout the year. Advocacy in pursuing scholarships for our students yields great results for our students. In the past three years, every senior received academic merit scholarship, and the total figures for each class were: (Class of 2018—96 graduates—$35.6 million dollars), (Class of 2019—121 graduates—$42.5 million dollars), and (Class of 2020—119 graduates—$42.3 million dollars).
Kerry S. Sullivan ‘81, Director of College Counseling
College Program Summary