College
Counseling

Williston’s college search process is highly personalized. Beginning early in your junior year, you’ll meet frequently with your counselor to talk about your goals, values, ideals, and interests. Classroom sessions and workshops provide you and your family with key information at the appropriate time. As we teach you about college admissions, we also foster self-awareness and independent thinking so that you can effectively determine which colleges are uniquely suited to you.

Contact Us

If you have further questions about our College Counseling program, please contact the College Counseling Office at (413) 529-3224 or by email.

SCOIR

Log into SCOIR here.

415
Number of offers of admission to students last year
41
Number of students accepted to Ivy League schools in the last five years
180
Number of early-decision or early action offers to students last year
232
Number of students accepted at NESCAC schools in the last five years

ONLY AT WILLISTON

College Fairs

In the fall we host several mini-college fairs. Sophomores through seniors (as well as parents) are encouraged to visit with admission officers from the roughly 75 colleges who visit. The fairs are held during dinner and between classes and sports practices so students can drop in when it suits their schedules.

Expert Panels

During Family Weekend, panelists from acclaimed colleges and universities are available to discuss everything from how to stand out in the admission process to what to expect of college athletics.

Mock Interviews

During two day-long sessions each spring, students have the opportunity to partake in mock interviews with visiting college deans of admission. They work on everything from body language and wardrobe choices to techniques for staying calm and ways to frame winning answers.

Advice on Athletics

Athletics officials from nearby colleges such as Mount Holyoke, Amherst, and Williams, are on hand during Family Weekend to field questions about playing sports at the college level.

Young Alumni Wisdom

Every year, Wildcats hear from returning young alumni who tell their former classmates what life is really like in college. The stories from the trenches help current students envision what their future might look like and become invested in shaping that future.

College Counseling Classes

In January of their junior year, students take a three-part class on the online platform Naviance, which manages the college search process, from researching colleges to hosting application documents. The class also covers the Common Application and standardized testing.

College Spotlight

“I was able to get into my first-choice college because of the structure and guidance Williston gave me.”

—Devon, University of Pennsylvania

Condensed College Matriculation List 2017-2021

Williston’s college search process is highly personalized and collaborative. Here is a sampling of where Williston students have matriculated in the last five years.

2018-2020 College Matriculation List

2021 Matriculation List

2021-22 School Profile

Bates College (3)

Bentley University (6)

Boston College (2)

Boston University (10)

Brown University

Columbia University (3)

Drexel University (6)

Elon University (4)

Emerson College (5)

Endicott College (5)

Fairfield University (4)

Furman University

George Washington University (3)

Hamilton College, NY (4)

Hobart and William Smith Colleges (2)

Kenyon College (4)

Lasell University

Lehigh University (3)

Michigan State University

Middlebury College (4)

New York University (6)

Northeastern University (10)

Pennsylvania State University

Pepperdine University (2)

Princeton University (2)

Providence College (4)

Skidmore College (7)

St. Lawrence University (5)

Stanford University (2)

Syracuse University (7)

Trinity College (5)

Tufts University (4)

Tulane University (4)

University of California, Los Angeles

University of Chicago

University of Connecticut

University of Massachusetts, Amherst (12)

University of Pennsylvania (3)

University of Texas, Austin

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (2)

Yale University (2)


Meet the College Counseling Team

View All
Emily McDowell

Acting Director of College Counseling

Dianne King

College Counseling Coordinator for Student Services


College Counseling Resources

  • Summer Opportunities

    College Counseling receives word about numerous summer opportunities for students of various grade levels. Williston is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any of these programs.

    Babson Summer Study
    Intensive online pre-college summer program, cultivate the entrepreneurial mindset needed to create opportunities where others see obstacles.

    Badger Precollege Summer Programs
    Programs at the University of Wisconsin, Madison for grades nine through 12 who want to pursue academic passions and meet new friends this summer. Courses include Forensic Science, Music, Art & Technology; Huma Language & Identity; Satellite Science & Programming for Meteorology.

    Barnard Pre-College
    Free application and a variety of program options, including leadership and STEM.

    Boston University Collegiate Experience for High School Students
    Explore Media Production and Unleash your talent! Creative high school students develop their cinematic and journalistic storytelling skills producing films, videos, visual effects, webcasts and more

    Boston University Summer Term
    Pre-college programs for high school students. Five exciting programs providing rigorous and collaborative college life experiences that gives students a strong sense of their personal and academic potential.

    Bucknell Academy Summer Experience
    Two week-long summer programs at Bucknell for rising juniors and seniors, one for Engineering and one about leadership and collaboration. Both offer financial aid.

    Carnegie Mellon
    A wide range of programs such as art, writing, culture, drama, music, and computational biology. Programs are low to no cost for families who qualify for aid.

    Clemson University
    Clemson University, in partnership with Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, has developed a summer research experience for middle and high school students.

    Columbia University Pre-College Summer Program
    Students take one course, choosing from over 70 courses, for an in-depth examination of a specific subject area. Open to students enrolled in grades 8 to 12. The residential option is open to students who will be 16 years of age or older by the start of the program.

    Cooper Union Summer STEM 2022 Program
    Offering in-person and virtual classes. Biomaterials Design; Next Gen Construction Materials, Computer-Aided Drug Design; Race Car Research; Data for New York; Maker XRI; Design and Drawing for Engineering; Robotics Crash Course; and Machine Learning.

    Cornell University Pre-College Studies
    Online and on-campus. Students can earn 3 to 8 credits.

    Duke Pre-College
    Academically motivated students, grades 6 – 11, will discover courses from across the curriculum this June and July. Engineering, humanities, mathematics, science, social sciences and technology.

    Economics Prep Course
    Online, deadline February 21, 2022 (courses in March and April) Considering business, finance, political science, environmental studies or economics as your college major? Robert Reinauer, a Bryant University economics instructor, teaches micro and macroeconomics.

    Franklin University Switzerland
    Summer Programs for graduating high school seniors and rising high school juniors and seniors.

    Gettysburg College
    Opportunities for high school juniors and sophomores to attend academic programs and athletic camps over the summer months.

    Greatbooks Summer Program
    This program offers intellectual discovery, fun, and a great first glimpse of college life on the campuses of Haverford College, Pepperdine University, Amherst College, the University of Oxford, and now in Madrid, on a Tall Ship Adventure off the coast of Maine and online.

    Landmark College
    Summer learning opportunities for students who learn differently (students with dyslexia, ADHD, autism, or executive function challenges). It’s a time to explore new interests, engage in one-of-a-kind experiences and establish lasting friendships.

    Lumiere Research Scholar Program
    Helps high school students work one-on-one with a scholar on an independent research project. At the end of the program, you’ll develop an independent research piece that you could use for college admissions or future studies.

    National Student Leadership Conference
    High school pre-college and middle school summer enrichment programs.

    New York University Pre-College
    Rising Juniors and seniors have the opportunity to spend part of their summer on NYU’s campus for six weeks. Students can take college-level courses for credit, developing their writing skills, and learning how to manage their time, all while experiencing what it’s like to be a student at NYU.

    Northeastern Accelerate Pre-College Programs
    Features exceptional faculty delivering courses that combine innovative content, experiential learning, and a world-class environment-giving talented high school students a true Northeastern experience.

    Putney Student Travel
    Offers high school and middle school programs in over 30 countries around the world, helping young people broaden their perspectives and interact with the world beyond the familiar surroundings of home.

    Reynolds Young Writers Workshop
    High school juniors and seniors to-be are welcomed to Denison University for an eight-day residential program that incorporates small creative writing workshops, group sessions with Denison creative writing faculty and notable visiting writers. Only open to 48 students.

    RISD Pre-Collegiate Programs

    Scholar Launch
    Summer research programs for juniors; financial aid is available.

    Stevens Institute of Technology Pre-College
    Each program gives students the opportunity to explore a college major and test drive the college experience. The goal is to get students thinking strategically about their future.

    TeenLife Summer Programs
    More than 80 summer programs for middle school and high school students.

    Tufts High School Intensives
    Tufts offers one- to three-week programs on a variety of subjects including Climate Change, Entrepreneurship, and International Relations. These are designed for students entering grades 10 to 12.

    ​UMass Summer Sport Leadership Academy
    ​Taught by top-ranked sport management faculty students learn and get excited about a career in sports while earning college credit. Scholarships are available.

    University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    Writer’s Life Community Wild Invention–Juniper Institute for Young Writers: Provides Pre-college experience for teens who love writing poems and stories, want to meet like-minded peers, and yearn for mentorship from professional writers and teachers.

    University of Miami
    The University of Miami, Florida, offers both credit and noncredit classes to high school students in a number of topics ranging from business and media/communications to atmospheric science and architecture.  Financial aid and scholarships are available.

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Pre-College Programs
    WPI hosts several programs: Frontiers (and Frontiers for credit), for rising juniors and seniors to explore topics in STEM and humanities; and Launch, for rising freshman and sophomore students to explore their fields of interest.

  • Scholarships

    College Counseling receives word about numerous scholarships. Williston is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any of these programs.

    Arms Academy Endowed Scholarship Fund
    These scholarships are available to students who live in the Mohawk Trail Regional School District and who may be attending Williston. The link is to the scholarship information on the Mohawk Trail Regional School District website.

    The Horace Smith Fund
    Available for residents of Hampden County who will graduate high school in 2022. Recipients are selected on a variety of criteria, including financial need, cumulative graduating GPA, extra-curricular activities, and recommendations.  The application requires a personal written account of why the student feels deserving of financial assistance.  All recipients must be residents of Hampden County and be enrolled in college.

    Horatio Alger Scholarship
    A scholarship for high school juniors who are United States citizens with significant financial need and who have exhibited integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity. Apply online December 1 through March 15.

    PB&J Scholarship
    $1,000 for students who have experienced personal challenges that may not have allowed them to perform well academically, but who still have the drive to succeed. With no GPA requirement, students are encouraged to apply as this scholarship is meant to be inclusive.  Must be a current high school senior planning to attend college next school year.

  • School Profile

  • Common Application Information

  • Links

    College Search

    College Board

    Applications

    The Common Application
    Application for more than 300 selective college and universities for admission to their undergraduate programs.

    The University of California Pathways
    The University of California’s online undergraduate admission information and application network.

    Coalition Application

    Financial Aid and Scholarship Information

    FAFSA
    Free application for federal student aid

    Student guide to financial aid

    CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE
    The financial aid application service of the College Board

    FastWeb
    Scholarship search service

    College Essays

    Essays That Worked from Tufts University

    Essays That Worked from Connecticut College

    Essays That Worked from Johns Hopkins University

    College Essay Guy

  • Links for Athletes

Your Go-To List for Test Prep and Timelines

  • The benefits of test preparation & tutoring

    When it comes to standardized tests such as the SAT and the ACT, it is essential to understand the benefit of acquiring test-taking skills and taking practice tests. Being familiar with the nuances of standardized test questions, formats, answer keys, and time constraints are almost as crucial as possessing content knowledge and critical thinking skills. Evaluating one’s most recent test results to focus on skills in areas that need strengthening is a valuable tool in enhancing one’s performance on subsequent tests. Self-help is free and should be a regular part of every student’s repertoire. College Board has partnered with Khan Academy to offer free test prep that can be found here: College Board/Khan Academy. The ACT also offers test prep, including free practice tests, which can be found here: ACT Resources. Both programs are very successful, and they allow students the flexibility to work around their unique schedules.

    Additionally, working with an expert in the field can pay big dividends. To that end, for those interested in working one-on-one with a tutor, we want to make you aware of the two people the College Counseling Office recommends: Andy Hilnbrand and Brian Leaf.

    Andy Hilnbrand is the founder of Quotient Education (quotiented.com). He is a professional tutor specializing in standardized testing preparation and math and science course support (including AP Calc, Stats, Physics, and Chem). A former Director of Mathematics and Sciences and Princeton Review Instructor, Andy also served as a math and science department chair for 13 years and has had his own independent tutoring business for 20 years. In addition to tutoring, Andy is a professor at the University of Massachusetts School of Education. He can be contacted at: andy@quotiented.com or (413) 320-2645.

    Brian Leaf (brianleaf.com) is the author of six books, including Defining Twilight and the four-book SAT and ACT test-prep series McGraw-Hill’s Top 50 Skills. He is Director of the New Leaf Learning Center in Massachusetts and has provided SAT, ACT, GED, SSAT, and GRE preparation to thousands of students across the country. He can be contacted at (877) 584-0075.

  • Standardized Testing Prep

    As part of the College Counseling process, Williston helps facilitate opportunities for juniors interested in group test-prep sessions for the ACT and SAT. We work with two school-vetted tutors who offer 5-week, 8-week sessions and full-day intensives—fees determined by the tutors.

    Information about 2023 test-prep opportunities will be available later this fall.  The 2023 test prep will be similar to last year’s offerings.

    Test prep dates for Spring 2022:

    Williston has a long relationship with local tutors Andy Hilnbrand and Brian Leaf, both will be offering SAT and ACT test prep courses.  Below you will find information about Andy Hilnbrand and Brian Leaf and the courses they will be offering this spring.

    Test Prep offered by Andy Hilnbrand

    Andy Hilnbrand is the founder of Quotient Education (quotiented.com).  He is a professional tutor specializing in standardized testing preparation and math and science course support (including AP Calc, Stats, Physics, and Chem). A former Director of Mathematics and Sciences and Princeton Review Instructor, Andy also served as a math and science department chair for 13 years and has had his own independent tutoring business for 20 years. In addition to tutoring, Andy is a professor for the University of Massachusetts School of Education.  He can be contacted at: andy@quotiented.com or (413) 320-2645.

    ACT Analysis

    Sunday, January 30th 9:30-11:00

    Sunday, February 13th 9:30-11:00

    Sunday, February 20th 9:30-11:00

    Sunnday, February 27th 9:30-11:00

    Cost: $500

    SAT Analysis

    Sunday, March 27th 9:30-11:00

    Sunday, April 3rd 9:30-11:00

    Sunday, April 10th 9:30-11:00

    Sunday, April 24th 9:30-11:00

    Cost: $500

    Both classes will give students first-hand overviews of all sections of the exams.  There will be a joint focus on test-taking strategies as well as an introduction to those skills most commonly needed for each section.  We approach the exams from the test-writers perspective which can be both eye-opening and empowering.  Homework will be assigned from real SAT/ACT exams.  Students will be invited to complete a full-length practice test before the first class begins.

    By the end of the classes, students will have the skills to continue to prepare on their own.  Individual one-on-one tutoring is also available for students who want to supplement their studies.

    *Private tutoring is also available

    Students, who wish to take these classes, should contact Andy Hilnbrand at  Andy@QuotientEd.com

    Test Prep offered by Brian Leaf

    Brian Leaf (brianleaf.com) is the author of six books, including Defining Twilight and the four-book SAT and ACT test-prep series McGraw-Hill’s Top 50 Skills. He is Director of the New Leaf Learning Center in Massachusetts, and has provided SAT, ACT, GED, SSAT, and GRE preparation to thousands of students from across the country.  He can be contacted at: (877) 584-0075

    One-day ACT Intensive

    Sunday, March 27, 11:30am to 4:30pm
    Cost: $350, all materials included
    REGISTER/PAY ONLINE NOW

    One-day SAT Intensive

    Sunday, April 24, 11:30am to 4:30pm
    Cost: $350, all materials included
    REGISTER/PAY ONLINE NOW

    *Private tutoring is also available

  • Books

    Barron’s

    • Best Buys in College Education
    • Profiles of American Colleges

    College Board

    • College Handbook
    • Scholarship Handbook
    • International Student Handbook
    • Meeting College Costs: What You Need to Know Before Your Child and Your Money Leave Home

    Fiske

    • Guide to Colleges

    Peterson’s

    • College Guide for Performing Arts Majors
    • College Guide for the Visual Arts Majors
    • Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities or ADD

    Princeton Review

    • America’s Best Value Colleges
    • Visiting College Campuses

    Suggested Reading for Parents

    • “College (Un)Bound” by Jeffrey Selingo
    • “There is Life after College” by Jeffrey Selingo
    • “Gap to Great: A Parent’s Guide to Gap Year” by Andrea Wien
    • “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success” by Julie Lythcott-Haims
    • “The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College” by Jacques Steinberg

    Suggested Reading for Students and Parents

    • “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania” by Frank Bruni
    • “This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life” by David Foster Wallace
    • “If This Isn’t Nice, What Is? Advice for the Young” by Kurt Vonnegut
    • “The Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful Advice for Studying, Socializing, and Everything In Between” by Bill McGarvey and Nora Bradbury-Haehl

  • Testing Information

  • Junior Year College Search Timeline

    September

    • Meet college representatives at the fall mini fairs

    October

    • Take the PSAT.
    • Attend panels about college admissions at Fall Family Weekend covering topics such as current admission trends, advice from admissions deans, financial aid, and athletic recruitment.

    November

    • Naviance accounts will be assigned to assist in exploration of colleges
    • Consider visiting a college over long weekend or in the early part of Thanksgiving break.

    January

    • Make an appointment for your first meeting with your college counselor
    • Attend required College Counseling classes

    February

    • Meet with College Counselor
    • Arrange Spring Break campus visits
    • Students and families should work to see a variety of colleges and universities, both in terms of size, program, location, and selectivity

    March

    • Visit colleges over the break (make sure and call ahead or visit school admission websites to confirm tour schedules)
    • Take notes so that you’ll be able to remind yourself of details from the tours and info sessions

    April

    • Take ACT
    • Continue to do online research and schedule visits whenever possible
    • Meet with College Counselor
    • Continue refining your college list and plan your senior year classes

    May

    • Take Advanced Placement (AP) exams, if applicable
    • Work with your advisor and College Counselor to choose senior classes
    • Take SAT Reasoning Test
    • Ask teachers to write recommendations

    Summer

    • Take SAT Subject Tests or SAT Reasoning
    • Visit college campuses, if possible, and interview where available
    • Start working on your college essays
    • Fill out Common Application after August 1 (www.commonapp.org)

  • Senior Year College Search Timeline

    September

    • Attend sessions in the College Counseling Office with visiting college admissions officers
    • Meet college representatives at the fall mini fairs

    October

    • Narrow list of colleges to which to apply with your college counselor
    • Attend sessions in the College Counseling Office with visiting college admissions officer
    • Decide whether to apply Early Decision (ED) or Early Action (EA), if appropriate.
    • Visit colleges on long weekends
    • If applying for financial aid, fill out the CSS PROFILE registration form
    • Begin submitting applications with rolling deadlines (if any)
    • Retake SAT Reasoning Test, ACT, or SAT Subject Tests if necessary

    November

    • Contact colleges which require alumni interviews. These can be arranged on campus with a local alumnus
    • Finalize your college list
    • Remember to check Early Decision (ED)/Early Action (EA) application deadlines
    • Retake SAT Subject Tests or SAT Reasoning Test and/or ACT, if necessary
    • If applying for financial aid, submit the completed CSS PROFILE
    • Finalize application essays and applications, if applying EA/ED
    • Complete your applications, if applying EA/ED

    December

    • Confirm final college list online with your College Counselor for all regular decision applications
    • Retake SAT Reasoning Test or SAT Subject Tests (if necessary)
    • Finalize applications with December 31 and January 1 deadlines

    January

    • DEADLINES: Submit any applications due January 1 or later
    • If applying for financial aid, file FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1
    • DEADLINE: Submit any applications due January 15

    February

    • Continue to focus on your classes
    • Remember: colleges consider final senior grades and, in many cases, matriculation is contingent upon strong academic performance through senior year

    April

    • Visit colleges and universities to which you have been admitted
    • Decide which college to attend
    • Notify all other colleges to which you were admitted that you will be enrolling elsewhere

    May

    • Remember to reply to colleges by Nationwide Candidate Reply Date on May 1
    • If applicable, decide whether or not to remain on any waitlists and communicate your decision to the colleges in question
    • Commencement!

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