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 2022 College News

 

Class of 2022

Pictured: Hill Class of 2022 in their college shirts with Mrs. Kerry Sullivan (far right second row from the last) at their Senior Farewell on June 1, 2022

 

The Hill Class of 2022, comprised of 99 students, accrued $37.4 million in scholarships from colleges and universities this year!
 
As Mrs. Kerry Sullivan, Director of College Counseling, reflected in the 2022 Commencement Exercise, this year marked the most competitive – and unpredictable -- year for college admissions in the past 20 years. The pandemic caused a surge in applications due to the test optional environment. Early decision acceptance rates increased to over 60% 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 99 Hill students were accepted into 187 universities and colleges throughout the United States, and abroad (see graphic below). And despite the pandemic, they are venturing off to colleges in Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., upstate New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, and much further away to Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Rome, Italy.
 
Two Hill Seniors, Katherine Vogt and Josie Wong, received full tuition Posse Scholarships to Smith College valued at $200,000 per student. Four additional students received full-tuition scholarships to the Macaulay Honors College.
 
It bears particular note that thirteen members of this class have made commitments to accelerated master’s and doctorate programs in various fields of study, including Cybersecurity, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, Social Work, and Speech Pathology. Fifteen members of this class will also be participating in Honors, Research and Scholars programs. And three students in this class were also offered NCAA Division I, or III athletic awards in track and field and tennis:
 
 

college acceptances

 

 

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.  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. 

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.  We have continued this school year with a mix of in-person and virtual meetings with Hill students and college representatives. We remain committed to ensuring Hill students continue to receive individualized attention from renowned colleges and universities whether in-person or remotely. 

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
 

Kerry S. Sullivan ‘81, Director of College Counseling

Director of College Counseling