Spotlight on the College Guidance Office

Spotlight on the College Guidance Office

From left to right: Daniela Arreola Segrove, Annette Kanter, Karey Boals

Surrounded by an assortment of college memorabilia, Chapin’s Director of College Guidance Karey Boals sat down with members of the Communications Office recently to share an overview of the mission and day-to-day activities of this multi-faceted, vital department.

“We offer a highly individualized program,” she noted, recognizing the other members of her team: Daniela Arreola Segrove, Associate Director of College Guidance, and Annette Kanter, Administrative Assistant.

From essay-writing practice, financial aid workshops, and the pros and cons of early decision and early action, Chapin’s expert college counselors provide comprehensive support and a robust roster of opportunities to help our Upper School students (and parents!) successfully navigate a complex, potentially overwhelming process.

When considering which colleges and universities they might want to attend, students are advised to take stock of their strengths, preferences and passions and to cast a wide net, Ms. Boals pointed out. She added that, in general, each twelfth grade class applies to about 150 different schools across the U.S. and abroad, ultimately matriculating at 35-40 institutions, from small liberal arts colleges to large state universities and everything in between. To elevate excitement, Chapin hosts a major college fair each spring with dozens of schools in attendance.

“Our students do a nice job of spreading out,” she said.

To familiarize students with the process, College Guidance at Chapin begins gently in Class 9 and Class 10 with meetings for small groups of students and optional family information sessions called “College Conversations.” In Class 10, the mock SAT and ACT are offered. The team also gives a presentation titled “Navigating College Admission Tests,” open to parents of students in Classes 9-11, during which they share insights about the SAT versus the ACT, test-optional policies, myths about testing and more.

Class 10 is also the year that students connect individually with their college counselor. Ms. Boals and Ms. Arreola Segrove each serve as the official point person for half of the grade, although they work collectively on behalf of all the students, as does Ms. Kanter.

The schedule intensifies in Class 11 with a required “College Guidance” class once a six-day cycle, which continues the following year; a Parents’ College Night; individual family meetings; SAT/ACT prep classes; and a unique “Case Studies” event for families that brings in college admission deans to share their expertise. These professionals engage in a mock admissions experience to leave our students with a deeper understanding of how applicant files are evaluated at various institutions. The College Guidance department also welcomes young alums attending a mix of schools for a special College Alum Panel each year. Our past students impart invaluable advice and wisdom to current juniors and seniors, having just recently gone through the process themselves.

An important part of the college process is the ability to visit campuses in person for tours and interviews, which our students especially enjoy. To ensure that all can take advantage of college visits, Ms. Boals emphasized that Chapin has funds available to assist families in need with related expenses, including the cost of travel and hotels, as well as test preparation.

Students also have the chance to explore a diverse range of colleges and universities from the comfort of 100 East End Avenue by meeting with regional representatives during lively interest sessions. This year alone, Ms. Boals said, more than 80 college officers spent generous time with our students, giving informal presentations, handing out materials and answering questions.

Senior year kicks off with a three-day “boot camp” during which students get a jump start on their applications and essay drafts. The College Guidance team also hosts a six-part “Appy Hour” for student application support as well as a financial aid workshop for parents to help them complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) and College Scholarship Service (CSS) profiles, an application for non-federal scholarships that a number of institutions require.

For students thinking about taking a break between commencement and college, gap year resources are readily available in the College Guidance Office, Ms. Boals added.

Throughout the dizzying application period, when students are cultivating their selections, writing their personal essays, taking standardized tests, asking teachers for letters of recommendation, staying on top of their academics and extracurricular activities, and keeping track of countless deadlines, the College Guidance team is on hand to offer advice, praise and words of encouragement, while helping them remain on task, manage their expectations and recover from setbacks.

As they join millions of young people embarking on this rite of passage, we are certain our Upper School students feel fortunate to have such a caring and knowledgeable group of experts advocating for them each step of the way.

Class of 2022 College Matriculation List

Amherst College: 3

Boston College: 1

Brown University: 2

California Institute of the Arts: 1

Case Western Reserve University: 1

Colgate University: 3

Colorado College: 1

Columbia University: 3

Cornell University: 4

Davidson College: 1

Emory University: 1 

Fairfield University: 1

Hamilton College: 1

Harvard University: 3

Haverford College: 1

Johns Hopkins University: 1

Lafayette College: 1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology: 1

Middlebury College: 1

Northwestern University: 2

Otis College of Art and Design: 1

Pomona College: 2

Princeton University: 3

School of Visual Arts: 1

Stanford University: 1

Tulane University of Louisiana: 1

University of California-Los Angeles: 1

University of Chicago: 1

University of Denver: 1

The Hartt School: University of Hartford: 1

University of Miami: 1

University of St Andrews: 3

Vassar College: 1

Wake Forest University: 2

Washington University in St. Louis: 2

Wesleyan University: 1

Williams College: 1

Yale University: 2