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.
College Counseling and Advocacy
Our college guidance begins in freshman, with group orientation sessions with the College Advisor. We collect biographical information from each student 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 Advisor 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.
More than 60 colleges visit our campus in the fall and spring to meet with our students individually, not in a college fair setting. They range in competiveness (e.g., Barnard, Dartmouth, NYU, Vassar) and geographical distance (University of Notre Dame (IN), Vanderbilt (TN), Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern and Holy Cross (MA) and Penn State (PA) 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.
The College Advisor personally advises each student based upon her individual profile and no preferential treatment is given to a student on the basis of GPA. The College Advisor 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.
Access to Special On-Site Admissions Programs
Due to Hill’s outstanding reputation, many colleges have chosen to recruit and admit senior students at Hill, ahead of the rest of Staten Island high schools (and the nation.) This fall, five colleges will visit Hill’s campus (after applications are received and after pre-arranged conference calls with the College Advisor) to admit or interview our students on our campus – Fairleigh Dickinson University, Pace University, Rider University, The University of Scranton and St. John’s University. In some instances, our students will be the first to be admitted to specialized programs (nursing, education, etc.) and accelerated 5, 6 and 7-year programs (in occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician’s assistant and speech pathology) ahead of other students in the nation. In addition, many of the students will be given scholarships at the On-Site days – before Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Scholarship and Financial Aid Assistance
We host a financial aid seminar for all senior students and the College Advisor 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 2014 – 101 graduates –$26.6 million), (Class of 2015—130 graduates-$36.7 million) and (Class of 2016 –116 graduates — $34.4 million).