College Counseling

From the moment they enter the Upper School, future Roycemore graduates and their families begin the very personal process of planning for college with our Coordinator of College Counseling, Stacia Campbell. Ms. Campbell develops a rapport with each student. In consultation with advisors and teachers, Ms. Campbell offers counseling on the best college choices based on each student’s personality, desires, and academic record.

Typically, 100% of Roycemore graduates are accepted to colleges of their choice:

  • 95% of the Class of 2018 received at least one merit-based scholarship
  • Students in the Class of 2018 earned $4,450,000 million in merit-based scholarships
  • Average merit scholarship amount of $202,273 per student

View admissions successes from the past five years.

Test Prep Classes

For interested students, Roycemore hosts a reasonably-priced test prep class once a week after school during the months of February and March, in advance of the April ACT exam. Teaching the class is Steve Byer, a long-time test prep tutor for Roycemore students who is also available for individual tutoring. A second class–in August, leading up to the early September ACT–is also possible if we have enough students preparing for fall exams.

Semester-Long Class: Navigating College Admissions

This coming year, Ms. Campbell will teach a pass/no pass course on all the ins and outs of the college admissions process. All juniors are expected to take the course, which culminates in the student creating a draft list of fit schools. The class will meet once a week during the second semester and cover topics including:

– The philosophies behind finding a “good fit” college
– Interpreting test scores
– Researching and applying for supplemental scholarships
– How to conduct productive and meaningful research on colleges
– Writing personal and supplemental essays
– Field trips to colleges and universities in Illinois and Wisconsin

Individual Meetings

Ms. Campbell meets individually with students and families as soon as they wish to begin their college conversation. All juniors meet with her at least once during the spring semester and again at least once during the first semester of senior year. Ms. Campbell helps students with any support they seek, from essay proofreading to test prep planning, to researching scholarship opportunities.

College Representative Visits

Admissions officers from over 30 colleges and universities visited Roycemore last fall. These visits not only help students learn about colleges that may eventually prove to be great fits for them, they also begin building relationships with those schools. Among the colleges represented last year were Carlton College, College of Wooster, Kalamazoo College, Swarthmore College, Sarah Lawrence College, University of Chicago, University of Vermont, among dozens of others.

Letter of Recommendation

A distinct advantage to attending a smaller high school is the dedication that goes into finding this “fit” and in crafting a student’s letters of recommendation. Each student’s letter is tailored to include:

– Each student’s full portrait – not only who the student is in the classroom but also in the larger Roycemore community
– Specific anecdotes that reveal the student’s college readiness beyond his or her transcript
– Details regarding each year’s January Short Term project, a unique experience that allows colleges insight into an applicant’s interests and initiative

Mock Admissions & Essay Workshops

College Admissions officers from selective schools come to campus with sample applications to their schools. They lead students through their college’s reading of application materials and provide insights as to who is accepted or not and why.

At essay workshops, college admissions officers provide real examples of past essays and offer thoughts on how those essays supported or distracted from undergraduates applications to their schools.

College Counseling Library

Ms. Campbell has many print resources in the College Counseling Office for students researching prospective colleges, including:

– Fiske Guides
– Princeton Review Guides
– Loren Pope’s “Colleges that Change Lives”
– Frank Bruni’s “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be”
– Materials on individual colleges and scholarship opportunities
– Many test prep books and practice tests for the SAT and ACT

Weekly College Blog


This biweekly blog maintained by Ms. Campbell that provides timely and relevant information to college-bound students and families, including:

– Articles on everything from planning productive college visits to navigating financial aid applications.
– Notices about upcoming junior and senior meetings, visits from college representatives, test prep courses, mock admissions workshops, and other college admissions programming.
– Reminders about registration deadlines for the ACT and SAT.

Our personalized college counseling offers Upper School students an invaluable experience; allowing them to focus on what truly matters when they are in school.