The College Counseling Process – Emery Style


Kayla Frank

For high school students across the country, the college application process is both exciting as well as nerve-racking. With three full-time college counselors, Emery is committed to making the process as seamless as possible. The counselors, Dr. Christopher Teel, Ms. Julie Kerich, and Ms. Diane Hursh, work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure each student’s success. 

College counseling at Emery begins junior year when each student is paired with a college counselor. Juniors and their parents must fill out a lengthy survey that covers student interests, academic goals, and hopes for their college experience. Once they have completed their initial surveys, juniors are able to set up family conferences with their counselor. 

“These initial conferences are extremely important in the college application process as students discuss their transcript, activities, and create a list of eight schools they wish to apply to,” says Kerich. Following the meeting, students are tasked with continuing to build their lists and creating their resumes. 

The bulk of the college application process begins at the start of senior year. Many students choose to work on or submit applications over the summer, but this is not a requirement. Seniors must complete their resumes and Common App essay, fill out the different applications, write all of the supplemental essays, and submit all additional materials before application deadlines. 

“Applications open August 1st, and all students are expected to have turned in their applications by November 1st,” says Kerich. Because the deadlines are well into the school year, first semester seniors can often be found writing supplements or meeting with their college counselor. In this process, college counselors at Emery are vital to seniors’ success in their application process.

Emery’s college counselors provide students with assistance and valuable insights. The counselors read over all essays, answer questions, and provide students with information. 

“The counselor-to-student ratio at Emery is incredibly small compared to any of the high schools I visited during my 15 years working in college admissions. There is a warmth in the college counseling office, and counselors can focus more on individual students,” says Kerich.

Junior Casey Markowitz says he “feels prepared to embark on his college application journey” due to the support of the college counseling department at Emery. The process may not officially begin until later in Junior year, but that does not mean underclassmen are not welcome in the college counseling offices. 

Underclassmen have the rare opportunity of being able to utilize the counselors whenever necessary. Senior Rachel Melman encourages all underclassmen, saying, “Go ask any of the amazing counselors your questions, use them as a resource when planning your schedule, and never be afraid to advocate for yourself!” The college counselors at Emery are experts in their respective fields, and they are never more than an email away.