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.

Hill Class of 2023 College News (as of June 2023)

The HILL CLASS OF 2023's 103 students were accepted to 216 colleges & universities with $39.7 million in scholarships this year! 

Class of 2023 Acceptances

  • Emma Dinolfo '23 and Kristen Farhat '23 (pictured below), were named Posse Scholars by The Posse Foundation this January 2023. Posse Scholars receive full-tuition four-year leadership scholarships worth approximately $245,000 for each student. 
  • Anika Thakkar ‘23, (pictured below) received the National Merit Finalist full-tuition scholarship at Fordham University worth approximately $240,000.
  • Kelly Bruen '23 signed a National Letter of Intent with Loyola University Maryland's NCAA Division I Swim Team
  • Natalie Bala '23 signed a National Letter of Intent with Stony Brook University's NCAA Division I Soccer Team.
  • Victoria Terranova '23 signed a National Letter of Intent with New Jersey Institute of Technology's NCAA Division I Soccer Team.
  • Ava Pizirusso '23 signed a National Letter of Intent to with Catholic University's NCAA Division III Track & Field Team.
  • Diana Cavalieri ‘23 committed to compete with the Stevens Institute of Technology Division III Soccer Team.
  • Juliana Castellano ‘23 committed to compete with St. Bonaventure University’s Division I Soccer Team.
  • Elizabeth Bennett ‘23 committed to compete with The University of Scranton’s Division III Basketball Team.
  • Madison Crocco ‘23 committed to compete with Misericordia University’s Division III Basketball Team.
  • Alice Adamo ‘23 committed to compete with SUNY New Paltz’s Division III Track and Field Team.
  • Paige Jerrahian ‘23 committed to compete with Alvernia University’s Division III Track and Field Team.
posse and national merit
As Mrs. Kerry Sullivan, Director of College Counseling, reflected in the 2023 Commencement Exercise, this year marked the most competitive – and unpredictable -- year for college admissions in the past 21 years. The pandemic caused a surge in applications due to the test optional environment. Early decision acceptance rates increased to over 70% at many institutions, and the acceptance rates for some of the most competitive private colleges in the nation dipped as low as 3%. 

As a result of the Class of 2022's hard work and diligence, the 103 Hill students were accepted into 216 universities and colleges throughout the United States. And despite the pandemic, they are venturing off to colleges in Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, New Hampshire, upstate New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, and much further away to Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

It bears particular note that fourteen members of this class have made commitments to accelerated master’s and doctorate programs in various fields of study, including Cybersecurity, Diplomacy and International Relations, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant, and Speech Pathology. Twenty-one members of this class will also be participating in Honors and Scholars programs.
This year was a banner year for NCAA athletic commitments at Hill. Three students in this class accepted NCAA Division I scholarships in Swimming and Soccer, and six other students made commitments to participate in Division III collegiate athletics in basketball, soccer, and track and field.
The Class of 2023 in their college shirts.
Pictured: Hill Class of 2023 in their college shirts with Mrs. Molluzzo, Mrs. Kerry Sullivan, and Mrs. Figuly at the Senior Farewell on May 31, 2023.

College Counseling and Advocacy

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 and other college admissions platforms.  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, 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 to meet with our students individually, not in a college fair setting.  They range in competitiveness and geographical distance (University of Notre Dame (IN), University of Miami and University of Tampa (FLA), High Point University (NC), American University (DC), University of Maryland (College Park), Boston University (MA), Providence College (RI), and numerous colleges from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.  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 Jesuit Academic Excellence Tour visits Hill every spring and provides a college fair to our students.   

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.

Scholarship and Financial Aid Assistance

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 four years, every senior received academic merit scholarship, and the total figures for each class were:

  • Class of 2019—121 graduates—$42.5 million dollars,
  • Class of 2020—119 graduates—$42.3 million dollars,
  • Class of 2021—141 graduates—$59.2 million dollars,
  • Class of 2022—99 graduates—$34.7 million dollars,
  • Class of 2023—103 graduates—$39.7 million dollars

Kerry S. Sullivan ‘81, Director of College Counseling

Director of College Counseling
Michelle Nastacio Figuly
Junior College Advisor