College Counseling

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

Our College Counseling Office provides each student with the robust, methodical, and level-headed guidance they need to make smart decisions as they prepare for the SAT or ACT, build a college list, write effective application essays, decide if and where to apply early, seek financial aid, and navigate the complex landscape of college admissions. To see where Thacher students end up going to college, click here.

Our Approach

Our College Counseling team considers the needs, strengths, and opportunities for growth for every student as they support them and serve as their advocates. They also regularly fine-tune their strategy as national trends in college admissions shift year to year. And while the hope is that students will gain admission to their top choice college, the overarching goal is to help them take this major step with calm and optimism about their own ability to make the most of their options.

Our Process

During their freshman and sophomore years, the emphasis is on academic discovery as students work with advisors and teachers to map out a course of study that will position them to meet their college goals. In the winter of junior year, counselors begin meeting with each student to develop overall strategies and college lists. Preliminary SAT and ACT testing take place in winter and spring. During the fall of senior year, students attend a weekly college class and meet one-on-one with counselors as they finalize and submit their applications. For a more detailed overview of our process, click here.

College Fair and Admissions Representatives

Every year, more than 100 colleges and universities send admission reps to Thacher. During these visits, students get additional information about the schools they’re interested in and an understanding of what each school values in its applicants. The annual College Fair and Case Studies Workshop brings about 40 college and university representatives giving juniors the opportunity to explore the admission process through “mock admission committee” workshops, facilitated by a senior admission officer. These are followed by a College Fair with visiting college representatives.

Naviance Portal

To manage the details, deadlines, communications, and required forms of the process, we use a web system called Naviance. This one-stop-shop keeps students, counselors, teachers, parents, and colleges on the same page.

—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.

  • Maria Morales-Kent 

    Director of College Counseling
  • Courtney Cronin 

    Associate Director of College Counseling
  • Kara Hooper 

    Associate Director of College Counseling (Sabbatical 2018-19)
  • Jill Manfredi 

    Administrative Assistant, College Counseling