College Counseling

List of 3 items.

  • 75

    college representatives visit our campus each year
  • 110

    Average number of colleges and universities that accept our students each year
  • 33

    average number of colleges each graduating class matriculates to
The college counseling process, in which students and their parents participate collaboratively, supports the continuation of each student’s individual educational journey.
The college counseling process begins in early upper school when students are encouraged to think of themselves as lifelong learners and understand their unique strengths and interests. A successful college search process, as well as a successful high school experience, requires self-exploration, extensive research, maturity, risk-taking, good decision-making, and ultimately self-confidence—tasks and characteristics that are developed and practiced every day at Providence Country Day School. College readiness activities begin in 9th grade and continue in 10th. The formal college search and application process begins in 11th grade and is highly individualized supporting students through research, application and eventual matriculation.

The College Admission Process Handbook

Guide to the College Admission Process
Published by the National Association for College Admission Counseling.

List of 2 items.

About our College Counselor

Ann Infante has more than 30 years of experience as a college counselor and former English teacher in public and independent schools in the US and abroad. She has also read applications at several selective universities, and evaluated TOEFL exams for ETS. Ann believes that the college search and application process provides a powerful opportunity for adolescent growth and development. She has worked with thousands of students and cherishes the privilege of guiding and supporting each student as they discover their "best fit" post secondary options. Ann is an active member in professional college counseling organizations, attends national and regional membership meetings, visits new colleges every year, and maintains a broad network of college counseling/admission professionals. She believes, as a friend and former colleague once said, "College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won."

The College Search Process

The college search process should not be the first time students think in a meaningful way about who they are.
PCD's college search process offers unique grade level experiences to help students prepare for future success—in high school, college, and beyond. Through a series of activities and initiatives starting in grade 9 and concluding in grade 12, the program empowers students to start to visualize the course of their lives through high school, college and into the years of their careers as working adults.

The goal is to equip students with tools for self-discovery in order to identify unique strengths and see the power of their own potential.

List of 4 items.

  • 9th Grade

    This is a year to transition effectively to upper school and start reflecting on the question “Who am I?” Using Naviance, our college search and application platform, students will complete several self-assessments including Personality, Learning Styles, Multiple Intelligences, and Strengths in order to better understand effective strategies for achieving success, set personal and academic goals, and begin to record activities in a resume template. Students will also learn about academic records and planning, transcripts, and GPA’s.

    Key goals for Grade 9 students:
    • A successful transition to high school 
    • Establishing effective study habits 
    • Academic planning for Grades 10, 11 and 12
    • Initiating the development of a permanent upper school academic record 
    • Exploring extra-curricular and summer activities
    • Developing self-advocacy tools 
    • Considering strengths and goals in terms of future planning
  • 10th Grade

    In Grade 10, students will build on what they have learned about themselves, including their academic and personal strengths and challenges to ask themselves “Where do I want to go?”  Thinking about academic subjects/disciplines that they enjoy or find especially engaging, 10th graders will continue using Naviance assessments and tools to explore career pathways and the undergraduate courses of study leading to specific careers. Students are also encouraged to contribute in meaningful ways to the community through involvement in clubs, sports, activities and service work. 

    Key Goals for Grade 10 students: 
    • Explore academic interests in more depth and/or challenge
    • Understand the relationship between academic performance/record and future options
    • Choose an appropriately rigorous academic program for the final two years of high school
    • Establish/deepen commitment to a few engaging extra-curricular activities
    • Consider career and post high study options in terms of academic strengths/interests and personal attributes
    • Explore summer options including job shadowing and internships, enrichment, and/or work
    • Consider the role of testing and test prep via the option of a Pre-ACT test
  • 11th Grade

    In Grade 11, students will build on what they have learned about themselves including their goals for the future, and ask “How will I get there?” The first part of the year is dedicated to a strong academic start, and the option of a practice SAT, the PSAT. Students will understand that their junior year grades are the last ones they will earn before applying to college, and that a strong start will help them achieve their post-secondary goals. Formal college counseling begins after winter break with individual student and family meetings. Students will learn how to conduct thorough and useful research in order to build appropriately aspirational college lists. Whole class workshops on all aspects of the college search and application process ensure that students are well prepared to submit their applications early in the senior year. 

    Key Goals and Tasks for Grade 11 Students:
    • Do best work academically in appropriately challenging classes
    • Deepen commitment to a few important activities; consider leadership/service opportunities
    • College visits - reps at PCD, breaks and summer
    • Consider PSAT in October. Discuss testing plan with college counselor.
    • Apply for summer programs/opportunities
    • Schedule individual and family meetings with the college counselor
    • Conduct thorough research to build a list of “best fit” colleges
    • Choose appropriately challenging Grade 12 classes
    • DI and DII athletic recruits should register with the NCAA
    • Artists and performers should begin building portfolios/audition pieces
    • Create Common App accounts and write first CA essay draft
    • Learn about supplemental college essays
    • Complete teacher, counselor and parent “brag sheets”
    • Request letters of recommendation*
    • Complete summer “To Do” tasks before Grade 12
  • 12th Grade

    Senior year is an exciting time. Students will make final decisions about where to apply, complete their applications, anticipate the results, and choose where to matriculate. A thoughtful, well-balanced list is crucial to positive outcomes. Although the beginning of senior year is intense, students who have completed all of their summer tasks will find it manageable. It is important for Grade 12 students to continue to do their best academically and as members of the PCD community. The year will go quickly!

    Key Goals and Tasks for Grade 12:
    • Finish strong - no “senior slide”
    • Contribute to your school community as role models 
    • Complete all summer College Counseling “To Do” tasks before school starts
    • Continue attending college rep visits at PCD
    • Meet early and often with college counselor
    • Finalize list and decide on ED/EA applications
    • Retest ACT or SAT if necessary; submit scores if recommended
    • Complete and submit applications and financial aid forms
    • Respond to all post-application college communications and instructions
    • Withdraw any outstanding apps if admitted to your ED school
    • Read housing offers carefully
    • Choose a college and deposit by May 1
    • Graduation!

Information for PCD Families

College Search Tools

Funding a College Education

  • FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the Federal Method for determining aid. FAFSA provides a “student aid index” (SAI) that college financial aid offices use to determine eligibility for federal need based aid (PELL, Work Study, Subsidized Loans). FAFSA also has an estimator tool to calculate an estimate of how much federal aid a student may be eligible to receive. Available Oct 1
  • CSS Profile - Online application managed by The College Board to award non-federal (Institutional) financial aid. Required by many private colleges. Available Oct. 1
  • Net Price Calculator - Federal law requires each IHE to provide a cost calculator -amount student will pay after subtracting grants and scholarships. Focus on Net Price not Sticker Price
  • SMARTTRACK College Funding - PCD is providing access to SMARTTRACK to help you learn how best to pay for college, how to pay less for college, and how to keep your retirement safe in the process.
  • My Intuition - Three-minute calculator that lets you know how much you will pay at many private colleges created by an economist at Wellesley.
  • Big J Educational Consulting - Need and Merit Based Interactive Tools
  • Rhode Island Promise - CCRI All RI residents eligible to attend tuition and fee free
  • Hope Scholarship - RIC - Pay for only two years of a 4 year degree - final two years free.
  • Joint Admission Agreement - Declare intent to transfer from CCRI to RIC or URI before earning 30 credits. Tuition discounts up to 30% available based on GPA
  • RISLA - Rhode Island Student Loan Authority - Free help completing FAFSA and CSS Profile
  • MEFA - Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority. Amazing Resources. Individual ZOOM Meetings by Request
  • MassTransfer - Transfer admission agreement from MA community colleges to UMass Amherst. Tuition discounts available based on CC GPA.
  • New England Board of Higher Education Tuition Break - Allows out of state New England residents to enroll at other public colleges in New England at a discounted rate. 

Testing and Test Prep

  • SAT - College Board’s standardized exam used by colleges to make admission decisions
  • PSAT/NMSQT - Pre SAT test and qualifying exam for National Merit Scholarship - Grade 11
  • ACT - ACT’s standardized exam used by colleges to make admission decisions.
  • PreACT - ACT practice test. Grade 10 
  • - National Center for Open and Fair Testing - Maintains list of testing policies at colleges
  • Compass Test Prep: Download Free Guide to College Admission Testing

College Matriculation

With an emphasis on identifying the right school for each student, PCD graduates find success at highly selective colleges and universities throughout the US and abroad.

Click here for PCD's matriculations for the last five years (*) and additional acceptances.