Graduates College Counseling

With the ever-changing landscape of college admissions, the WCDS college advising program helps students and their families find a university that matches their academic and personal wishes and ensure a successful transition from Upper School into the world of post-secondary education and adulthood.

While acceptance outcomes are essential, so is the search and decision process. WCDS offers a wide array of resources for students to explore college and post-graduate options that best suit their unique skills, interests, and needs. Beginning in 9th grade, students regularly meet 1-on-1 with our college counselor to discuss their plans and goals throughout the college admissions process. Students take a proactive role in their college admissions experiences by taking the ACT Inspire and the PSAT, participating in a mock interview and resume workshops, practicing college essay writing styles, and meeting with college admissions representatives who visit our school.


Unbroken 4-year college acceptance
Research, write, present, and defend theses and complete projects
Complete internships in the community.
Earned annually in merit scholarshpis for colleges and universities.
WCDS Teachers 2-46

Jennifer Thede

College Advisor

[email protected]



College Counseling Process

9th Grade

Students begin their formal relationship with the college counselor in their freshman year, although some students and their families may choose to meet with the college counselor earlier informally. Conversations with the college counselor at this stage revolve around upper school preparedness, discussing diploma options and course selections that will set them up for success in the future. Students work on improving their overall organizational skills, test-taking skills, and study habits. They focus on their course work, class projects, and extracurricular interests and develop personal academic and extracurricular plans that will guide them for the remainder of their Upper School experiences. Additionally, students will take the ACT Inspire (a pre-ACT exam) to help them feel their current comfort levels relating to college entrance exams.


10th Grade

Sophomores meet with the college counselor during advisory periods and work to identify their strengths and passions both in and outside the classroom. Students use this knowledge to help prepare them for the college search process and use various summer programming options around the country to enhance their resumés. Students are encouraged to participate in activities that speak to their strengths and convey a consistent applicant picture that students wish to portray themselves. Tenth graders will also sit for the PSAT, which helps benchmark their competitive academic standing in a national context.


11th Grade

Now that students have their Upper School academic goals set, students and their parents attend formal evening sessions with the college counselor and begin their search in earnest. Students build out their resumes and work in conjunction with the English department to start writing drafts of their college essays and crafting the stories that will set them apart in the pool of applicants. Students regularly meet with visiting college admissions representatives from leading universities and explore resources in the college counseling library at the high school. As a class, they visit the University of Virginia and the College of William and Mary for tours and information sessions. During their spring break, students visit colleges further afield and specific schools that speak to their needs. Additionally, students complete in-class preparation for the PSAT and participate in the National Merit Scholarship competition. Students also take the SAT or ACT in the spring, and any Advanced Placement tests required.


12th Grade

Meetings with the college advisor become more frequent as the long list of schools is narrowed down to at least five schools where the student will apply. Students take the appropriate college entrance exams (e.g., SAT, ACT, AP exams, SAT Subject Exams, and TOEFL). Students can carve out a portion of their days to work on college applications and revise their college essays. Students solidify their college essay narratives and their decisions throughout the year, depending on the individual college path. Senior year is an important year for students. They learn the importance of meeting deadlines, asking teachers for recommendations, and submitting merit scholarships and financial aid applications, if needed. As a college-prep school, we make sure to recognize our seniors' hard work by announcing college acceptances and scholarship awards during our weekly assemblies and proudly displaying their achievements in the reception area and the local newspaper.

College Matriculation with Multiple Enrollments: 2016-2020

University of Virginia (12)
Virginia Tech (8)
George Mason University (6)
James Madison University (6)
Indiana University Bloomington (4)

College William and Mary (4)
Hampden Sydney College (3)
Penn State University (3)
Arizona State University (2)
New York University (2)

Recent College Matriculations:

Allegheny College
American University
Appalachian State
Arizona State University
Boston College
Bridgewater College
Christendom College
Christopher Newport University
College of Charleston
College of William and Mary
Colorado State University
University of Connecticut
Cornell University
Davidson College
Emory University
Florida State University
Franklin and Marshall College

Gettysburg College
George Mason University
Guilford College
Green River College
Hampden-Sydney College
Indiana University Bloomington
James Madison University
Juanita College
Longwood University
Manhattan College
Marquette University
Michigan State University
Nova Southeastern University
New York University
Penn State University
Purdue University
Randolph College

Rochester Institute of Technology
Rollins College
Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)
Swarthmore College
Sweet Briar College
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
University of Alabama
University of Arizona
University of California: Davis
University of Chicago
University of Denver
University of Iowa
University of Maine
University of Mary Washington
University of Miami (Florida)
University of Miami (Ohio)
University of Minnesota

University of Newcastle (Australia)
University of Pittsburgh
University of Richmond
University of Southern California
University of Tampa
University of Tennessee
University of Virginia
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin
Vassar College
Virginia Commonwealth University
Villanova University
Virginia Polytechnical Institute
West Virginia University
Wheaton College
Woodbury College
Yale University

More Information of Each Division: