Academic Program

College Counseling

College Counseling at Spence is a comprehensive program that builds in extensive individual and family guidance throughout every stage of Upper School.

List of 4 items.

  • Grade 9

    In their first year of Upper School, each student is given time to develop their interests, take intellectual risks, and evolve their thinking. All Spence courses are designed for students planning to attend a rigorous and highly selective college. 

    Although the formal College Counseling process begins in their junior year, college counselors are available to students and families for any questions they may have.
  • Grade 10

    As sophomores continue to develop their academic and extracurricular interests, they are introduced to the SAT and ACT so they are able to choose by the end of the year which test will be best suited to them. In the fall of sophomore year, students and families will be invited to a webinar that introduces them to the College Counseling program at Spence. 

    Grade 10 College Counseling Events
    • Interschool Financial Aid Presentation for College (fall)
      Evening presentation for Grades 10–12 parents/guardians.  
    • Introduction to College Counseling Webinar (fall)
    • College Testing Presentation (winter)
      Evening presentation for Grade 10 students and parents 
    • Financial Aid & College Affordability Webinars (spring)
    • Full Diagnostic ACT and SAT Tests (two Saturdays in the spring)
  • Grade 11

    By the end of her junior year, each student will have accomplished many important goals: identifying interests and strengths, developing a college list, planning college visits, planning for financial aid and scholarships, and drafting the Common Application.
    The formal college search process begins in January of junior year, with individual student meetings throughout the spring and family meetings. 

    Weekly Junior College Seminar classes also begin in January, where students learn to identify their own strengths and what they are looking for in a college, while also learning what colleges seek in successful candidates for admission. Students research colleges, different kinds of curricula, student life, application requirements, and scholarships. They begin work on the Common Application and the personal statement before the summer begins.
    Grade 11 College Counseling Events
    • Interschool Financial Aid for College (fall) 
    Evening presentation for Grades 10–12 parents/guardians
    • SAT and ACT Prep Courses (October–February). In partnership with Compass Education Group, Spence offers a class for standardized test preparation. Courses are taught by experts in the field and Spence financial aid applies to the test prep class.
    • College Counseling Update (fall)
    • Junior College Night: The official kick-off of the college process! (January) 
    • Spence Alumnae Panel (February) 
    • Financial Aid & College Affordability Webinars (Spring)
    • Interschool College Night for Parents/Guardians (April)
      College admissions deans discuss the current college admissions climate and recent changes. 
    • DCST College Fair for students (April)
      More than 100 colleges and universities attend this college fair for students. 
    • College Admissions Case Studies Program (May)
      College admissions officers evaluate sample college applications with students and families and participate in a panel discussion. 
    • Pre-Summer Update for Parents & Guardians (June)
  • Grade 12

    In Grade 12, students accomplish the overall goals of the College Counseling program: to prepare seniors to submit an early application by the end of October, and to have a well-balanced list of colleges ready to submit for the regular decision deadline.
    Every senior has a family meeting in the fall to finalize her early application plan and her list of colleges for regular decision. College Counselors provide extensive feedback on drafts of all college essays and meet individually with each senior as needed. 

    Senior College Seminar takes place from September to January. The weekly meetings allow students to have designated time to work on their application and continue to learn about the nuances in the college process. The collaborative small group setting allows for excellent and enlightening conversations about higher education. In the spring, the Senior Seminar focuses on the transition to college and is led by members of the health department.
    Grade 12 College Counseling Events
    • Application Workshop for Seniors (August)
    • College Counseling Update for Grade 12 Parents (August)
    • Interschool Financial Aid for College (September)
      Evening presentation for Grades 10–12 parents/guardians 
    • College Admissions Rep Visits (fall)
      Seniors have the opportunity to meet with the over 80 college admissions officers who visit Spence. 
    • Senior College Visit Days (fall)
      Spence designates two days when there are no classes for seniors; students visit colleges or work on applications.
    • Financial Aid & College Affordability Webinars (fall & spring)

Top Colleges - Over Five Years

List of 19 items.

  • Harvard University

  • Georgetown University

  • Brown University

  • Cornell University

  • University of Chicago

  • Columbia University

  • Duke University

  • Stanford University

  • Yale University

  • Princeton University

  • Northwestern University

  • Williams College

  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

  • University of Pennsylvania

  • Amherst College

  • Barnard College

  • Hamilton College

  • Rice University

  • University of St. Andrews


List of 1 items.

  • Comprehensive Five-Year Matriculation List

    Classes of 2020 - 2024
    Five-Year Total Matriculation (312 Students)

    American University 1

    American University of Paris 2

    Amherst College 5

    Barnard College 5

    Bates College 2

    Boston College 3

    Bowdoin College 1

    Brown University 15

    Bucknell University 1

    Carnegie Mellon University 2

    Case Western Reserve University 1

    Chapman University 1

    Claremont McKenna College 1

    Colby College 4

    Colgate University 3

    Columbia College Chicago 1

    Columbia University 14

    Connecticut College 1

    Cornell University 15

    Dartmouth College 4

    Davidson College 3   

    Drexel University 1

    Duke University 14

    Emory University 2

    Fashion Institute of Technology 1    

    George Washington University 2

    Georgetown University 16

    Goucher College 1

    Hamilton College 5

    Harvard University 20

    Harvey Mudd College 1

    Haverford College 1

    Johns Hopkins University 4

    Kenyon College 2

    Lehigh University 1

    Loyola Marymount University 1

    Manhattanville University 1

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology 3

    Middlebury College 3

    New York University 2
    Northeastern University 3

    Northwestern University 9

    Oberlin College 1

    Occidental College 1

    Pitzer College 2

    Princeton University 10

    Rice University 5

    Santa Clara University 1

    Skidmore College 4

    Smith College 1

    Southern Methodist University 1

    Stanford University 12

    Syracuse University 4

    Temple University Japan 1

    The New School 1

    Tufts University 3

    Tulane University 3

    Union College 2

    University of California, Berkeley 1

    University of California, Los Angeles 2

    University of Chicago 15

    University of Connecticut 1

    University of Edinburgh 1

    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 6

    University of Pennsylvania 6

    University of Richmond 1

    University of St. Andrews 5

    University of Texas, Austin 2

    University of Toronto 1

    University of Vermont 1

    University of Virginia 2

    Vanderbilt University 4

    Vassar College 3

    Wake Forest University 2

    Washington University in St. Louis 3

    Wellesley College 1

    William & Mary 1

    Williams College 8

    Yale University 11

Contact College Counseling

Dana Boocock Crowell
Director of College Counseling

Beth Pili
Director of College Counseling
Elise Soccoli
Registrar and College Office Assistant
A K-12 independent school in New York city, The Spence School prepares a diverse community of girls and young women for the demands of academic excellence and responsible citizenship.


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