College Counseling Timeline

We know the college process can seem daunting and intimidating. To help you better understand what you should be doing when, we've created this timeline for you to refer back to throughout your Hill career.

Third Form


  • Do your best academic work.
  • Get involved in the extra-curricular life of Hill like athletics, clubs, and volunteerism.
  • With RARE exception, there are no appropriate standardized tests to take. If you have questions about this, please contact the College Counseling Office.

Fourth Form


  • Do your best academic work.
  • Get involved in the extra-curricular life of Hill like athletics, clubs, and volunteerism.
  • Begin to think about potential leadership opportunities.


  • Take the PSAT at Hill; this is good practice for future standardized testing.


  • Fourth-form students are assigned to a college counselor.


  • Prior to course selection for fifth-form year, discuss the most appropriate options with your college counselor.


  • For a small number of students, Subject Testing in Math, Chemistry, or Latin may be appropriate. Please discuss with your college counselor prior to taking any standardized test.


  • Summer is a great time to explore interests, get a job, take a class, and have fun! Remember — don't do anything just because you think it will look good on your application; do it because you're interested in the experience!

Fifth Form


  • Do your best academic work.
  • Involve yourself deeply in activities.
  • Enthusiastically participate in your College Seminar class; this class will provide you with important information relative to the college process.
  • Speak to your college counselor if you are considering any standardized testing in the fall (in addition to the PSAT every student will take in October).


  • Individual meetings begin with college counselors.
    • Meetings will continue through the spring and will cover topics including testing schedule (SAT, ACT, and TOEFL), course selection for sixth-form year, teacher letters of recommendation, and crafting an appropriate, balanced college list for consideration. Mrs. Rooney will schedule an initial meeting between student and counselor; students are welcome to schedule further meetings directly with their counselor.
    • Potential Division I and II athletes and students considering service academies are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment as early as possible.
  • Begin to think about college visits over spring break.
  • Register for standardized testing if appropriate.
  • If planning to take a summer course or participate in a program, be mindful of dates and requirements (transcripts, letters of recommendations, etc.).


  • Plan college visits for spring break.
  • Register for standardized testing if appropriate.
  • Discuss course selection for sixth-form year with your college counselor.


  • If possible, visit colleges over spring break.
  • Register for standardized testing if appropriate.
  • Meet with your college counselor after spring break to discuss visits and finalize teacher letters of recommendation.
  • Discuss course selection for sixth-form year with your college counselor.


  • Register for standardized testing if appropriate.
  • Finalize summer plans, including college visits.
  • Attend a Common Application Workshop offered by College Counseling.
  • Finalize teacher recommendation requests with your college counselor.


  • Teacher Recommendation Request Forms must be completed and given to teachers by May 1. Requests are final.
  • Register for standardized testing if appropriate.
  • Work on essays in English class and with your counselor.
  • Concentrate on finishing well!


  • Write a rough draft of your main college essay over the summer.
  • Work on completing the Common Application.
  • Visit colleges.
  • Counselors are available for in-person and phone conversations throughout the summer; please see Family Meetings below.

Sixth Form


  • Communicate and meet with your college counselor regularly.
  • Work with your college counselor to attend to all the details of the process, including:
    • Completing applications
    • Writing the essay
    • Completing Transcript Request Forms
    • Standardized testing
  • Take advantage of meetings with college admission representatives at Hill, including our College Night programs.


  • All Transcript Request Forms must be in to the College Counseling Office by December 1.
  • Be sure to thank the teachers who have written letters of recommendation on your behalf!

Registering for Standardized Testing: (SAT, Subject Tests) (ACT) (TOEFL)

If you have questions about which test(s) to take, contact your college counselor. If you have questions about the logistics of taking the test (registering, transportation for boarding students, accommodations, etc.), please contact Jade Johnson, assistant director of college counseling and testing coordinator, at 610-705-1037 or

Family Meetings:

To schedule a family meeting, please contact Sue Rooney or your individual counselor.

Independent Counselors:

One of the many benefits of attending The Hill is the close support and attention provided to each student; this includes the college counseling process. Be assured there is no reason to work with independent, for-hire advisers, as every student in the college process at Hill receives highly individualized counseling. Most independent counselors/agents are not intrinsically familiar with Hill's curriculum nor our relationship with colleges and may offer advice that simply does not parallel Hill's, thereby putting a student in a potentially conflicting position. Furthermore, most colleges, particularly the highly selective, will not speak to independent counselors/agents about students. Your Hill counselor is the only one who can represent you/your students to colleges. If you are considering hiring an outside agent or application manager, it is imperative that you discuss this directly with your college counselor.

Application Policy:

The individual counseling provided throughout the college process allows students, families, and counselors to partner in formulating a list of colleges that speaks to the interests, achievements, and possibility of acceptance for each student. On average, a responsible process results in the submissions of 8–10 applications; at most, students may submit 12 applications (permission to exceed this number may be granted by a college counselor if there are extenuating circumstances, and a fee may apply). Applying to colleges indiscriminately does not serve a student well. Counselors will work closely with students to develop an appropriate list comprising 2–3 "Reach," 4–6 "Possible," and 2–3 "Likely" schools with the goal of finding a good fit.

Contact Us:

Ellen Deitrich
Director of College Counseling

Sue Rooney
Assistant to College Counseling

Beth Allain P'18
Assistant Director of College Counseling

Lauren Hoyt
Senior Associate Director of College Counseling

Jade Johnson
Assistant Director of College Counseling and Testing Coordinator

Mike Murphy
Student-Athlete College Counselor