College Counseling

Everyone at CGPS—teachers, Deans, administrators, coaches, parents and fellow students—plays a role in the college process. Our College Office works with students, individually and in groups, starting in the sophomore year, but purposefully from the middle of junior year onwards.

Counselors keep in close touch with everyone who interacts with a student to ensure that the office develops a comprehensive portrait of each student as they go through the college application process. The office counsels your child and advocates for them. The office works especially hard to preserve students’ self-confidence and self-worth throughout the college process. We want them to be themselves at their best, not to become someone else in order to please a college—and we invite parents to be part of this journey.

The college process is an integral part of a CGPS education. Students explore their strengths and interests; they learn how to best present themselves authentically to a great variety of colleges; and they are guided to make choices that fit their academic and personal potential.

Counseling by Year

CGPS works hard to minimize the stress of the college process, introducing families to the College Counseling office in tenth grade and hosting trips, seminars and other events for juniors. In senior year, students are confident and enthusiastic about their college choices and are engaged in the work of making compelling applications. It helps that more than 100 college reps visit in the fall and that students have two excused days to visit campuses. We are extremely proud that over 80% of our students are accepted by their first or second choice college or university.

Ninth Grade

Year: Welcome to high school! Ninth graders should take their classes seriously, add clubs (ideally ones that are completely new)—and, in the summer, aim for experiences outside their comfort zone. 

Tenth Grade

Spring: PSAT 10 and pre-ACT: This year brings an introduction to testing, along with lots of advice about how to optimize—or even avoid!—standardized tests.
April: The office hosts an introductory evening college meeting with parents and students, and deliver a detailed roadmap for the next two years.
May: The office hosts the CGPS Alumni Panel, a chance to hearColumbia Prep graduates candidly discuss their college choices and the college process.

Eleventh Grade

Year: In consultation with their college counselors, juniors sign up to take the PSAT, ACT and SAT, offered throughout the year. 
September: The College Office leads an overnight class trip for all juniors to visit three colleges to introduce students to the wide variety of higher education options, from large state universities to small liberal arts colleges. A great class bonding moment, juniors are also introduced to their individual college counselor for the first time on the trip.
November/December: The office hosts an in-depth evening college meeting with parents and students, unpacking all the items that make up a college application. In addition, students complete College Counseling surveys.
January: All students begin meeting with their college counselor one-on-one and create a preliminary college list.
Spring Break: This vacation allows for college visits based on the recommendations of college counselors.
April: Students meet post-Spring Break with their college counselor and visit the Manhattan Independent Schools College Fair.
May: Students attend the CGPS College Workshop, where reps from eight colleges do application case studies, and juniors can attend the CGPS Alumni Panel.
Summer:  Counselors, in coordination with deans, continue to guide students on testing, summer plans and senior year courses. Students continue college visits, begin working on the Common Application, write drafts of their main essay, and sign up for interviews at colleges where they expect to apply. 

Twelfth Grade

Year: In consultation with their college counselors, seniors sign up to take the ACT and SAT or Subject Tests that are offered in the fall.
September: The College Office meets with the entire senior class to give an overview of the application process. We encourage students to apply early in some form, binding or non-binding, and most do.
Fall: College reps from colleges and universities across the nation visit CGPS. You can see the list of colleges that usually visit here. In October and November, students are given two excused college visiting days. 
October: Seniors meet with their counselors to finalize their college list, strategize, review essays and other application checklist items. Students who are considering Early Decision or Early Action applications work on applications that are due November 1.
December: Regular Decision applications are due around January 1. Early Decision II applications are due in December for those who have chosen to commit early. Seniors receive Early Decision and Early Action decisions from colleges and universities throughout the month.
March/April: Decisions for regular applications arrive from mid-March to early April.
April: Seniors revisit colleges to make their final decision.
May: Deposit to one college by May 1.

Meet the Team

Nicolette Love

Nicolette Love

Director of College Counseling
Patti Cohen

Patti Cohen

College Counselor
Janet Kraus

Janet Kraus

College Counselor

A Balanced Counseling Experience

Roll over the college banners below to read reflections from our graduates about CGPS's college office.

Whether it was knowing when to take standardized tests, deciding which of my activities best portrayed my passions in the common application, or having someone to talk with about my many essay ideas, there was always significant support from the college office."jonathan kogan '17
“The College Office provided me with the tools I needed to feel comfortable and confident. They understood my story, values and aspirations in order to steer me in the right direction and assist me in creating an application that represented me in the best light." XZANDRE SMITH '19
“I always wanted a spirited school but I knew I worked best in a smaller class size and smaller school. My counselor helped me find a school within Wisconsin that gave me the opportunity to have both. " Rachel schultz '19
"My college counselor helped me see that the different things that I liked about the college experience came together in a perfect way at USC. I am an actor studying theater, cinematic arts and the business of entertainment at the School of Dramatic arts. I'm becoming the young adult I believe I am meant to be."A.j. Roa '17

“My meetings with my counselor were always informative, stress-relieving, and incredibly useful as I navigated my way through this process. She always made sure I was organized, on-time with each deadline, and most importantly, that I remained calm."

Jared kimmel '19

“I am now entering my third year in the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science. Had it not been for the encouragement and support of the College Office, I could have missed out on the opportunity to be a woman in the STEM industry." hannah taubenfeld '17
“My college counselor and I established a great relationship that helped me find the perfect "fit." She continued to help me after I chose a college to ensure that I had a positive transition. Also, throughout the complex process, the office quickly answered all of my mother's questions and concerns." TOrian clarke '18
“Having lived in New York City my entire life, I knew that I wanted a completely different college experience while retaining my favorite aspects of CGPS, including smaller class sizes and close relationships with teachers. The office guided me through the entire admissions process, from my common application to my essay and interview and helped me determine that Colby was a great fit for me." Jonathan stempel '16
“The College Office was a fantastic support system, helping me discover schools and programs that aligned with my interests, while at the same time opening my eyes to options that I would not have considered otherwise. This assistance preserved my confidence and set me on a path where I could reach my full potential." lindsay fuchs '16