At Choate, we have a College Counseling Office, not a College Placement Office.
Our counselors are advisers, not strategists or odds-makers. They guide our students through exercises in self-reflection and self-expression, starting with stage-appropriate conversations in the third and fourth-form years. When counselors meet individually with fifth-form students, they do not launch into conversations about specific colleges, testing, and application techniques. Instead, their goal is to really get to know our students as dynamic individuals. Each counselor works with a range of students; some come with well-defined interests and aspirations, while others are still in the early stages of exploration and development. There is no “right place” to start. Counselors will challenge students with well-defined goals to think outside their comfort zone, and help less-focused students to hone in on their priorities. The joy in counseling at Choate is meeting the students where they are, and then helping them to stretch, self-reflect, question, expand, and eventually focus. Ours is a highly individualized and time-intensive process, but the reward is in the results: happy students who have found their college “fit.”
“Fit” is not about compromise; schools of varying degrees of admission selectivity share characteristics that appeal to applicants. By focusing on personal “fit” rather than generic college ranking lists, Choate counselors tailor the college process to meet the needs of individual counselees, helping each student to identify realistic choices as well as “reach” schools. By focusing on “fit,” we work to ensure that students are happy with their college choice not just on the day they receive their admission decision, but for the next four years, and beyond.