Our Program

College Guidance

York’s Philosophy on Guidance: The Student is Our Client

York Prep offers a thorough, student-centered college counseling program that begins with a brief overview of the college process in the student’s 9th-grade year, introduces test planning sophomore year, moves on to the college search in the junior year and culminates in completing college applications senior year.

We begin meeting individually with students in the spring of their sophomore year. As juniors, students enroll in a weekly college seminar that continues, on a semi-weekly basis, into the fall of their senior year.

With a combined 70 years of experience, our College Guidance office offers thorough advice tailored to each student’s particular needs and interests.

While we firmly believe that the student is our client, families are welcome to reach out to our counselors with any questions.
Our College Guidance team works effectively with students.
100% of the York Prep graduates in the class of 2022 got into their first- or second-choice colleges.

College Guidance from 9th to 12th Grades

List of 4 items.

  • 9th Grade

    College Guidance begins in September of the 9th grade at student orientation, where students are strongly encouraged to earn good grades and become involved in the York Prep community. Additionally, students are encouraged to complete 25 hours of local community service, as we believe the most meaningful service is done in one’s own backyard. We make sure that every student takes the time to foster their interests, flourish in areas they excel, and gain more confidence in the areas that challenge them. Students are welcome to stop by the College Guidance office at any time to ask questions.
    College Guidance also hosts a 9th and 10th grade Parent Night in January to inform parents of the above expectations as well as to answer questions regarding standardized testing, when to visit colleges, the challenges of social media, testing accommodations, and suggestions for summer plans.
  • 10th Grade

    College Guidance checks in with the 10th grade at student orientation and re-emphasizes the same suggestions recommended in the ninth grade: good grades, community service and school involvement. In the spring, students meet individually with a counselor to review his/her transcript, introduce and discuss SAT vs. ACT, contemplate strategies to enhance academics and extra-curricular activities, and find productive summer plans.
  • 11th Grade

    In 11th grade, we help students identify their strengths and interests to produce a balanced list of colleges. Beginning in the spring of their junior year, students enroll in a weekly seminar where they work on the Common Application, personal essays, teacher recommendation requests, and pre-college program applications. Additionally, they research schools, set up visits and interviews, and register for standardized testing. In addition to the weekly class, we meet individually with students at least twice in order to customize our guidance and ensure a thorough college application experience.
    In December, we hold our College Night designed solely for parents of juniors to answer questions and alleviate concerns at this critical juncture. We invite a financial aid expert to provide an overview of the financial aid process. While our focus is on the student during this process, we keep parents thoroughly informed of their children's progress.

    Junior College Guidance Events:
    Junior PSATs (October)
    Junior Parent College Night (December)
    Financial Aid Expert (December)
    College Visits (March, April and May): Admissions Representatives visit York Prep to give an overview their schools and answer questions for interested applicants.
  • 12th Grade

    The objective for each senior is to submit any Early Decision and/or Early Action applications. All applications are due to our office before Thanksgiving Break. Prior to sending any applications, students submit them to us for edits and suggestions. In order to complete their applications in a timely manner, the seniors meet twice a week for our college guidance seminar where they have the opportunity to finalize and send their applications and to meet with admissions representatives.
    Throughout the college application process, we teach our students to self-advocate which will serve them well beyond high school and into their college years.
    Senior College Guidance Events:
    College Visits (September, October and November): Admissions Representatives visit York Prep to give an overview of their schools and answer questions for interested applicants.
    Senior Parent College Night (September)
    Financial Aid Presentation (September)
    Senior Farewell Meeting (April)
"We really want to thank you for your kindness and caring for Jimmy during the college application process. Jimmy has always shared with us how helpful, supportive and friendly you both have been and the incredible impact you have had on his being. We are just beyond grateful to the both of you and of course York as well, what a fantastic school!!!"

-Sam and Caroline Sabbagh, Class of 2023 parents

List of 10 items.

  • Brown

  • Carnegie Mellon

  • Columbia

  • Cornell

  • Georgetown

  • Johns Hopkins

  • RISD

  • SCAD

  • UCLA

  • Vassar

Our Approach

The York Prep College Guidance program, designed and directed by Ms. Janet Rooney, assists students in finding and gaining acceptance to a college best suited to their needs, abilities, and preferences. To achieve this goal, the York Prep College Guidance office holds individual meetings with students and group meetings with parents on a regular basis.
One of our key missions is to prepare students for college. College preparation begins as early as sixth grade, when curriculum choices are reviewed to ensure that each student’s educational growth is maximized. For example, students who demonstrate the requisite skills can take honors Math in seventh grade, followed by Pre-Algebra and placement in the more advanced math classes to finally earn a place in honors Calculus in the 12th grade.

Formal college guidance begins during a student’s junior year when students begin College 11, a class designed to help students with the application process. After juniors take the PSATs that fall, individual and group meetings with the college guidance counselors begin. As seniors, the students continue with College 12 and complete the application process by December of their senior year. Students receive recommendations for specific colleges and universities that may best meet their needs. Additionally they are informed that all improvements in grades, summer college courses, and SAT scores will enhance their chances of acceptance and may dramatically change the initial college list. Students are strongly encouraged (when appropriate) to apply Early Decision to their first choice school.

York Prep is proud of and well known for its College Guidance program. The office works with the student to create a realistic list of nine colleges where he/she can successfully perform. York Prep believes that the student is the client—not the parent—and accordingly accepts much of the burden of guiding the student through the anxieties and rigors of college applications. Ms. Rooney have many years of experience as the Director of College Guidance and, because of their reputations, have a high rate of placement success and student satisfaction.

The emphasis is always on giving the student the ultimate responsibility for following clear  guidelines and completing the application process in a timely manner. In this way, students gain a real sense of accomplishment when they finish the program and are prepared for college, where they must take responsibility and advocate for themselves. The great majority of graduating York Prep seniors has always been accepted to their top college choices.

College guidance at York Prep does not end with college acceptance. We encourage our graduates to continue to communicate with us once they arrive at college. Once again, the College Guidance Office will not hesitate to contact a college directly if a York Prep graduate needs assistance during the college years. The College Guidance office is always open and willing to help York Prep students in their goal of getting into their best match college.

For more on York Prep’s College Guidance program, the book How to Get into the College of Your Choice: and How to Finance It (William Morrow & Co.), written by Jayme Stewart, is available as a valuable resource and reference.