College Counseling

The process of researching, applying to, and being accepted by colleges can be an exciting time for students and their families.

College Fait at PDSWhile the College Counseling Office begins its official work with students during the fall of their junior year, we recognize that questions, rumors, and misconceptions can surround this process long before then.

Thus, the College Counseling Office at PDS provides many resources to students and parents throughout their four years in our Upper School. We officially assign students to a counselor during the fall of their junior year; however, students and families can meet with a member of our College Counseling team to discuss questions and concerns anytime. Our hope is that this information will help lessen early anxiety and familiarize families with the basics of both how to prepare for the college search and application process on the horizon.

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.


  • A philosophy that focuses on helping students understand themselves, tell their personal story, and find colleges that represent a good fit for them individually
  • Individual meetings with students and families (open to all Upper School families)
  • Personalized guidance in helping students develop college lists, write essays, and grow their decision-making skills. In addition, we help with planning for standardized testing, applying for financial aid, and meeting deadlines
  • A once per cycle college seminar class for juniors, covering all aspects of the college admissions process
  • Small group meetings with sophomores to help them reflect on their academic and personal goals
  • Several parent programs that aim to expose parents to all aspects of the college search and application process (for parents of students in 7th through 12th grade)
  • 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

Meet the Team

Sarah Graham

Director of College Counseling

Cynthia Michalak

Associate Director of College Counseling

Allison Anderson

Associate Director of College Counseling

Darling Cerna

Assistant Director of College Counseling

Ryan Jannos

Associate Director of College Counseling