College Counseling

We believe that the college application process—a major undertaking for students and their families—requires a thoughtful, personal approach.

Thacher’s College Counseling Office provides each student with the robust, methodical, and thoughtful guidance they need to make smart decisions as they build a college list, write effective application essays, decide if and where to apply early, seek financial aid, prepare for the SAT or ACT, consider current test-optional policies, and navigate the complex and highly competitive landscape of college admissions. To see the colleges/universities where Thacher students have enrolled, click here.

Our Approach

Our College Counseling team considers the needs, strengths, and opportunities for the growth of every student as they support them and serve as their advocates. With years of experience and current insights about the ever changing admission landscape, they also help students develop and fine tune an application strategy that will make the most of their credentials. With strong beliefs in the adage, “It is not about where you go but what you do when you get there, our overarching goal is to help our students walk through this milestone with calm and optimism about their own ability to make the most of all their options.

Our Process

During 9th and 10th grade, Thacher’s emphasis is on students’ successful and healthy transition to our community. Again, making the most of this opportunity and establishing their place here is the best foundation for the college search. In these two years, with the guidance of their advisors and teacher, students will map out a course of study that inspires their intellect while meeting college admission requirements. In the winter of junior year, college counselors begin meeting individually with each student to get to know them and help them create a college list that meets their interests and needs. Preliminary SAT and ACT testing takes place in the winter and spring. During the fall of senior year, students attend a weekly college class and continue to meet one-on-one with counselors as they finalize and submit their applications. For a more detailed overview of our process, click here.

Learning About Colleges Worldwide

The Covid pandemic transformed the college recruitment process in myriad ways. Travel restrictions along with the advent of Zoom, has created a hybrid approach of in-person visits to high schools along with online opportunities.  This has allowed colleges to literally tap into every corner of the globe to find talented students. During these visit/meeting, students get information about the schools they’re interested in and an understanding of what each school values in its applicants. Additionally, starting in the Spring of 2021, Thacher was able to return to its partnership with Cate and southern California schools to sponsor a spring College Fair and Case Studies Workshop. This program brings about 40 college and university representatives to our campuses offering our students a unique introduction to the intricacies of the college selection process.

—Gordon and Katy

We are extremely satisfied with the college counseling process at Thacher. Beginning in 10th grade, the schools experts guided us through each critical step, including finalization of the list, test prep, essay writing, completion of applications, and the decision to go early admission (all of which led our son to being accepted at his first choice school).

parents from Portland, Oregon

Meet the Team

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Maria Morales-Kent

    Maria Morales-Kent 

    Director of College Counseling
  • Photo of Jill Manfredi

    Jill Manfredi 

    Administrative Assistant, College Counseling
  • Photo of Czarina Hutchins

    Czarina Hutchins 

    Associate Director of College Counseling
  • Photo of Judy Oberlander

    Judy Oberlander 

    10th Grade Liaison, College Counseling
Notice of nondiscriminatory policy as to students: The Thacher School admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other School-administered programs.