In St. Luke's College Counseling office, we spend our days talking to students about their dreams and ambitions. Our goal is to know each student in and out of the classroom. This makes the college counseling process more comfortable for our students, and more likely to produce a great fit. We work one-on-one with our students and their families, making your priorities our priorities.

Confident & Ready

College preparation begins the day students take their first classes. Our exceptional academics and faculty provide students with the skills they need for college—and life. Individualized to suit every student's and family’s needs, St. Luke's college counseling program has two key strengths: (1) we know our students well, and (2) we know colleges well. The entire college counseling program is aimed at ensuring students are comfortable, confident, and ready to make decisions about the future.

Year-to-Year: Every Student Prepared

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  • 9th Grade

    This is a time to focus on the transition to Upper School while keeping in mind that transcripts do begin in 9th grade.

    While formal college counseling has not yet begun, all parents are welcome to attend "getting ready for college" presentations where college and university representatives explain the selective admissions process. These presentations help families figure out which school characteristics best suit their children. Conversations are frank and informative. Parents get to ask an admission officer all the questions on their minds. Past speakers include representatives from Bates College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Richmond.
  • 10th Grade

    The official start of the college counseling process begins the spring of the 10th grade year. Parents attend a workshop introducing standardized testing and the differences between the ACT and the SAT. Students are encouraged to take practice SAT and ACT tests offered at St. Luke's to determine which test works best for them. Tenth graders have one-on-one meetings with college counselors to discuss the upcoming fall college trip for the 11th grade class.
  • 11th Grade

    The 11th grade starts the year visiting three colleges with classmates, teachers, and college counselors. This introduces juniors to the college process and gives them a common set of experiences to draw from throughout their college exploration.

    Early in the fall of this year, parents attend a practical "nuts and bolts" college admissions workshop prior to the college orientation in January (for all 11th graders and their parents). Eleventh-grade students meet individually with their college counselor beginning in November and individualized family conferences begin in January. The ongoing conferences help students develop search criteria and create a long list of colleges that match their needs and desires. The counselor helps families decide which colleges to visit during Spring Break.

    Students in 11th grade attend college counseling class one day during each eight-day rotation beginning in the spring semester. The course exposes students to Naviance and other tools for college searches and offers time to work on applications and essays. Students learn to avoid common application mistakes, write an effective essay, and make a positive impression during interviews. Students also begin thinking about their accomplishments, interests, outlooks on life, and personal qualities—thinking that prepares them for decisions and challenges ahead.

    Post 11th Grade Year Summer:
    Families travel to a range of colleges on the long list to gather initial impressions. Summer conferences are easily arranged with the counselors for further conversation about colleges. The College Counseling Office also holds several essay writing workshops during the summer.
  • 12th Grade

    In the first conference of the fall, counselors help students trim their long list to a short list of strong options—largely based on campus visit reactions. We help students create a plan to remain organized and focused during the fall as they move through the application process. Twelfth grade students meet with their counselors whenever they have questions or need advice. After students submit applications, counselors submit school documents, including teacher recommendations, and follow up with phone calls to the admissions office.

Sonia Bell, Director of College Counseling

We want the college counseling process to mark the end of a great journey through St. Luke’s. It is a time for students to reflect on their relationships and experiences—and a time for making a lot of decisions. We hope students focus on what they want rather than what colleges want. These are bold, smart, interesting, creative, joyful, curious, compassionate, talented and kind young people. Any school would be lucky to have them."

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  • Meet Tony Newsom, College Counselor for Athletic Recruitment

    With an ever-increasing number of students from St. Luke’s being recruited to play a sport at the Division I, II, and III levels, the school brought in Tony in 2018 to to help them through the college recruiting process. His vast network of college coaches and athletic directors helps him find the right fit for each student. Tony is not afraid to pick up the phone to call college coaches to find out what they are looking for in their student-athletes, where they ”recruit” their prospective athletes, and how they determine if a student is the right fit for their program.
    Read more about Tony.


College Counseling Events

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St. Luke’s School is a secular (non-religious), private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving over 35 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.