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College Guidance Program

As a school and guidance program, we help students to identify colleges that can meet their academic, personal, financial, and professional needs.  Through classes, presentations, and individual meetings, the student is guided through the application process, including the development of a College Search Plan, the preparation of the college essay, securing letters of recommendation, and the on-line application process.

The PWS College Guidance Handbook outlines the process with useful timelines and resources.

The college application process places most of the responsibility on the individual student and their family, but it is also an important phase in the life of our educational community.  We will do our best to bring students and their families together during this process, including celebrating our students' successes.  

Where to Begin
The college admissions process is an important stage of a student's educational journey.  As College Counselor, I work with students during all four years, but especially in their Junior and Senior years, to develop and implement a college application plan (or an alternative plan, if the student does not plan to attend college).  I can also arrange to meet with individual students and their families.  

Christopher Zinn, PWHS College Counselor

Students from Waldorf schools are increasingly recognized around the country as desirable candidates for college admission because of their exposure to a deep and rigorous curriculum, their practical experience, and their capacity for self-motivation and independent study. A report by the Research Institute for Waldorf Education showed that 94% of Waldorf students attend college after graduation; 47 % major in the humanities, and 42% major in science.   By comparison with the general population, 3 times as many Waldorf graduates study social and behavioral sciences, 3 times as many study the arts and humanities, and about 50% more study science and math.  Half of those who graduate from college go on to pursue advanced degrees.  (For a full report please go to

College Search Resources

Colleges that Change Lives, by Loren Pope, now in its second edition, and its companion volume, Looking Beyond the Ivy League.  Pope focuses on small colleges that serve students particularly well, regardless of their national ratings or reputation.  Both books provide many insights about what makes different colleges good for different kinds of students. 

Best 373 Colleges, 2011 ed., from the Princeton Review, offers lots of reliable and useful information from average SATs and costs to student comments about the institutions it covers, laid out in a clear and accessible manner. 

Useful websites:  U.S. News & World Reports Best Colleges 2011 provides a conventional assessment and ranking of  1,400 schools

Far more interesting and relevant is the Washington Monthly College Guide 2010, which ranks schools on the basis of their contributions to society. site.  Each student interested in attending college should take advantage of the opportunity to register on the site for free.  There is a great deal of information on the site, as well as useful tools and resources, including some for fee services such as the online SAT test preparation course. 

The Choice column in the New York Times, which offers articles regularly on Demystifying College Admissions and Aid