College Counseling

In accordance with Stuart Hall’s mission to prepare students for success in college, and for lives of curiosity, creativity, and contribution, the College Counseling program is designed to help students identify and prepare for their next steps after Stuart Hall.

Although the college application process can feel overwhelming for students and families, it is also an opportunity for students to explore who they are and how they can contribute. The College Counseling program aims to guide students and their families through the process so that by the time students are making decisions about where to apply, they feel confident and prepared for every step.

Beginning in the 8th grade with a low-stress exploration of interests, strengths, and career awareness, students are gradually introduced to elements of the college process that also make the most of their Stuart Hall experience. These include engagement with co-curricular, service, and leadership opportunities and a course selection process that allows students to pursue their interests and take on challenges. As students enter the 11th and 12th grades with fuller awareness of what interests and drives them, the College Counseling program begins to focus on helping students identify the specific paths that will help them achieve their goals.  

With years of experience coaching students through the college essay process, our college counselor helps students craft applications that demonstrate their individual, personalities, strengths, and interests beyond grades and test scores. She gets to know every student personally, meeting with them frequently and conferring regularly with their teachers and families to build an application strategy for each student.

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

Technology is an integral part of our college counseling program. We use a college counseling database system called SCOIR to help students and parents navigate the college selection and application process, and to communicate with them during the process.
 

SCOIR allows students and families to:

  • Get involved in the planning and advising process: build a resume, complete online surveys to see how students' unique talents translate to majors and careers.
  • Search for colleges together: based on students' personal and academic interests, build college lists, and explore campus communities to understand what type of environment fits best. Parents can share suggestions with students to review.
  • Understand admissions costs: use online tools to see what the cost of different schools will be based on what your family can contribute to the cost of education.
  • Decide which colleges to apply to and keep all application documents in one place
  • View and register for college visits on campus
     

INSIGHT, INFORMATION, INQUIRY

Additional elements of the College Counseling program include:
 
  • Day college trips (in-person or virtual) provide opportunities for our students to visit a combination of schools - public and private; small, medium, and large. These experiences prepare students to visit colleges on their own, ask questions, and look for the features and opportunities each campus offers.
  • Admissions visits (in-person or virtual) to Stuart Hall's campus provide opportunities for our students to meet with admissions officers from around the country. Visits this year included UVA, VCU, Kenyon, University of Tennessee, SCAD, and University of Alabama.
  • The annual Alumni Panel of recent Stuart Hall graduates allows our students to ask questions about the college experience from the real experts--friends and peers who are living it.
  • In non-pandemic years, 9th-12th grade college fairs introduce students to various schools that may interest them, nationwide. Students are exposed to anywhere from 80-100 of the nation's best colleges and universities, and begin to explore options for the future.

Where STU Graduates Go:

A sampling of where our most recent graduates are continuing their academic careers: