College Counseling

The College Counseling Office staff works as a team to help all Shady Side Academy Senior School students reach their future goals. Our three full-time college counselors are dedicated to helping students to find "best fit" colleges and universities that will nurture their abilities and undiscovered talents, while allowing them to realize their career aspirations. Meet our college counseling team.

The process of one-on-one college advising begins in the winter of a student’s junior year, but the College Counseling Office offers a variety of programming and resources for Senior School students and parents. View a college counseling timeline.

Our graduates go on to pursue their passions at a wide array of colleges and universities around the world. See our four-year college matriculation list.

View our FAQ Videos for quick answers to the most frequently asked questions about the college process.

College Counseling Process

Our students find their "best fit" schools through a process of self-exploration, research and decision making.

Reflection and self-examination help our students identify their academic strengths, career interests and preferences for living and learning environments.

College research is so much more than any college ranking list. Learning about what really makes one college's program better than another's, what makes a small college different from a large university (or even other small colleges) helps students to bring this information into focus with what they know about themselves. This process allows them to create a list of schools that "best fit" them – maximizing the opportunity to find a community that will best meet their needs for the next four years.

Decision making is an important part of the process. Deciding where to apply and where to enroll from among admission offers are decisions the student and parent make together. Decisions based on sound research are easier to make and more meaningful in the long run.

College counselors serve as guides, resources and advocates for students in the college search and application process. Our counselors have a great deal of experience and are a great source of information, help and support. As important as the counselor's role is, it is also vital for each student to actively engage and openly communicate in the research and decision-making processes. Counselors are more effective resources and advocates when they know a student well and are kept informed of her/his decisions along the way.

Current students and parents may find detailed college counseling information and resources by logging in to the portal and visiting the College Counseling Class Pages for each grade.

"The communication from the College Counseling team has been flawless. They are steps ahead of potential questions and worries. Each student having one designated counselor is so helpful. The relationship that has formed between the counselor and my daughter is invaluable. At times when her father nor I could say the right thing to alleviate stress, her counselor was there to offer support and (most importantly) offer a plan to stay on track and remind her to breathe. With that said, the College Counseling office truly works as a team! Each counselor played a part in my daughter’s process at one point or another." – SSA Parent, Class of 2020.