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College Counseling Program

Thayer offers a comprehensive College Counseling Program with personalized attention for each student. Our office is a complete “one-stop shop” for researching and applying to college. We believe students should take ownership of their college search as passionately as they do their studies and activities, but here at Thayer, you will do so with the full support of the College Counseling Staff. We help students identify colleges that best match their interests and ambitions. In fact, our students often seek college environments that reflect what they value in Thayer: close relationships with faculty; supportive, yet challenging academics; and active, friendly communities.


  • College Planning Presentation for All Parents - Offered every November, this is an opportunity to learn about everything related to college planning, including the college search, course selection, applications, standardized testing, etc.
  • Junior Workshops - Juniors attend workshops starting in January and continuing through the semester. Workshops cover the college search, standardized testing, timeline, specifics of an application, and resources. Students also gain access to the College Counseling Handbook and begin using Naviance to support their college process efforts.
  • Individual Meetings - In January of their junior year, students are assigned a college counselor with whom they meet individually to develop a customized college counseling plan.
  • January Presentation for Parents of Juniors - Parents are included in the college counseling process from the beginning. We discuss the objectives and mechanics of the college search in this first meeting.
  • Sophomore Workshops- Second semester sophomore year, college counselors conduct seminars with groups of sophomores to introduce them to Naviance, help them explore academic and career options, and highlight what colleges seek in an applicant. We emphasize the importance of taking advantage of academic and extracurricular opportunities at Thayer as a foundation for college preparation.
  • 9th and 10th Grade Outreach - While the formal college counseling process begins in a student’s junior year, we speak with the ninth and tenth grade classes to address the importance of their early work at Thayer. We are also available to meet individually with parents and students to discuss how a student’s choices (academic, extracurricular, etc.) in the Upper School may impact their college goals.

The College Counseling Handbook
, written by Thayer’s own College Counselors, provides a wealth of information and insights on every aspect of the process.

Contact the Pulsifer College Counseling Center for the password. It includes the following information:

  • Researching colleges
  • College visits
  • Completing applications
  • Standardized testing
  • Student-athletes - What is particular to the needs of student-athletes?
  • Student-artists - What is essential to the needs of student-artists?
  • Financial aid

The College Counseling Guide – A quickstart manual for the college search

NAVIANCE Family Connection • College Search Software
Students are given their own account on this invaluable website that allows you to:

The College Essay & Application Support from Workshops, English teachers and College Counselors

  • Thayer's College Essay Writing Workshop - writing workshops are offered several times each summer to help rising seniors brainstorm essay ideas and provide them with constructive feedback as they develop their essays for applications.
  • English teachers read a draft of each senior’s college essay as one of the first English assignments in the fall.
  • Students submit drafts of their college essay to their counselor the August before senior year and receive ongoing feedback throughout the application process.
  • Counselors are available to help with every other aspect of the college application, including selection of teacher recommendations, reviewing the Common Application, and conducting mock interviews.

SAT and ACT Preparation
Courses conducted by Summit Educational Group are offered to juniors in the second semester with discounted prices for families on financial aid.

Expert Speakers & College Events

The Pulsifer College Counseling Center hosts presentations by experts to discuss:

  • Athletic Recruiting — for students who might want to play sports in college
  • Financial Aid — assist parents of seniors in navigating the requirements of applying for college aid
  • College Admission Officers — Visits to Thayer by college reps are scheduled regularly each fall to discuss topics in admissions and higher education.
  • College fairs offered in the fall and spring at Milton Academy; Thayer students and faculty are invited.
  • Coffee and Conversation - Q&A morning sessions with college admission representatives; a chance for parents to learn more about the admission process by speaking in an informal setting with the experts

Parent Participation in the College Search

  • We welcome parent input and make every effort to keep you in the loop.
  • We contact parents frequently through email blasts and notices in the TNN postings on Friday. We welcome parents to meet with a college counselor for individual meetings.
  • The lines of communication are always open through e-mail and phone to sustain a close partnership between the student, parents, and counselor.
  • You will feel empowered knowing that the Pulsifer College Counseling Center (indeed, the entire Thayer community) is looking out for the best interests of your child.

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