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College Counseling

Close up photo of the college bulletin board

The journey through the college application process is a central part of the PDS experience, and the College Counseling Office supports students and families through each important step throughout their time in our Upper School.

The College Counseling team empowers students to take the lead in their college planning while simultaneously providing exceptional support and expertise throughout the entirety of the application process. By teaching students how to put together a college application that reflects their individual strengths and interests, offering advice on building a balanced college list, and providing assistance with planning and navigating all aspects of the process, we strive to make applying to college both straightforward and fun.

Upper school student meeting with a college counselor

We officially assign students to a counselor during the spring of their sophomore year. However, we recognize that questions and misconceptions can surround this process long before then. Students in any grade and their families can always meet with a member of our team to discuss questions and concerns at any time. Our college counselors all have a background in highly selective admissions and spend many weeks traveling to conferences and college campuses each year and maintain their membership in several professional organizations. In addition, they stay on top of the most recent college admissions trends and forge strong connections with admissions representatives and other college counselors throughout the country. 

College Counseling Services

  • Regular individual meetings with a primary college counselor, with whom students are paired in the spring of their sophomore year
  • Guidance from the entire PDS College Counseling team, who collectively have over 50 years experience working in highly selective college admissions and college counseling
  • College seminars during junior year, covering all aspects of the college admissions process
  • A college essay “boot camp” during the summer before senior year
  • College application workshops and individualized support on writing application essays and filling out applications
  • Advice on building and shaping a balanced college list
  • Help planning for and navigating standardized testing
  • Mock interviews to help students feel more prepared to meet with college admissions representatives
  • Monthly newsletters to help keep everyone on the same page
  • Programming for parents throughout the year
  • Support for first generation college students
  • Guidance in the athletic recruiting process
  • Visits to Princeton Day School from college admissions representatives from many different colleges around the country and around the world


"Going into the process with parents who really didn't know much about it themselves, my counselor was SO helpful. I would have had no idea where or how to apply without the College Counseling Office."Neha Kalra '22


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