College Counseling

The Providence Country Day School is committed to preparing students for a lifetime of learning and leadership. The college counseling process, in which students and their parents participate collaboratively, supports the continuation of each student’s educational journey.

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Determining what the next step should be requires self-exploration, extensive research, maturity, risk-taking, good decision-making, and ultimately self-confidence. Our College Counseling Office is committed to working with students and their parents through every step of the college search process.

Formal college counseling begins in the junior year, but the journey really starts as soon as a student enrolls in Upper School and makes his/her first course selections. We believe students are best served when they create a strong and appropriately challenging academic program. Beginning in the ninth grade, together with advisors, students build academic and extracurricular programs that reflect the breadth of their interests and the depth of their commitments.

PCD students receive a lot of guidance regarding course selection, standardized testing, and long-range academic planning. As juniors, they meet with the director of college counseling in multiple settings: individual and family meetings, class gatherings, and special programs. During the spring of the junior year and the fall of the senior year, students work closely with the director to fine-tune the list of colleges to which they will apply. They receive assistance in completing applications and developing essay ideas that reflect their talents and achievements. Throughout the last two years of high school, students and parents are invited to attend college fairs, participate in on-campus programs, and meet with the 85 or more college representatives who visit each fall.

In the end, the goal of our college counseling program is to help PCD students and parents find the right college matches. We understand that uncertainty and anxiety can attend this experience, but ultimately our collaborative process will give all our students every chance for success and make the process both satisfying and positive. Let us know how we can help.


Terry Ward
Director of College Counseling

More Information

Test Registration

The PSAT/NMSQT, SAT, and SAT II are administered by the College Board. Contact the College Counseling Office for additional information about registration and testing dates.

The ACT is accepted by most colleges in lieu of the SAT. Contact college counseling for additional information regarding registration and testing dates.

Compare the ACT and SAT

Colleges & universities that don't require standardized test scores

College search and application information

Peterson's is a comprehensive guide to undergraduate schools and online resources about test preparation, admissions essay tips and financial aid information.

The College Board has a free college search tool.

The Chronicle of Higher Education offers a guide with nuts and bolts questions that are not necessarily well addressed by other search engines. The Chronicle of Higher Education is a weekly journal that reports on higher education in the United States and, to some extent, around the world.  It is THE leading source of this kind of information.

U-Can is a free consumer-informed college information web site sponsored by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Naviance, an online, web-based college search tool, is available to all juniors and seniors, as well as to their parents. With their passwords, students can access extensive college information, as well as PCD's history of applicants to many colleges.

Many schools accept the Common Application. This site also includes information about financial aid.