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 expert, thoughtful, and caring 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 today's 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 ability to make the most of all their options.

Our Process

In 9th and 10th grade, Thacher’s educational philosophy is grounded in each student's successful and healthy transition to our community. Making the most of this opportunity and establishing their place here is the best foundation for the college search. During these two years, with the guidance of their advisors and teachers, students will map out a course of study that inspires their intellect while meeting college admission requirements. In the winter of 11th grade, 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 their one-on-one meetings with counselors to 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, created a hybrid approach of in-person visits to high schools along with many online opportunities.  This has allowed colleges to literally tap into every corner of the globe to find talented students. During these visits/meetings, students gather information about the schools they’re interested in, as well as an understanding of what each school values in its applicants.

Adding to these robust opportunities, each Spring, Thacher partners with Cate School and several southern California independent schools to sponsor a College Fair and Case Studies Workshop. This program brings about 40 college and university representatives to our campuses and offers students a unique introduction to the intricacies of the college search and selection process.

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.