Upper School

College Counseling

Annie Wright students can go anywhere and do anything after high school. No matter their goal - large research institution, small liberal arts college, international university, visual arts conservatory, service academy - the college counseling team is here to support them every step of the way.
Preparation for the college admission process is embedded in the curriculum starting in Grade 9, allowing students to participate in activities that not only prepare them to be competitive for the process, but also to empower them to be strong students and engaged community members. College Counselors know and care deeply about each student as an individual, and can help them discover colleges where they will thrive.

Year after year, an overwhelming number of recent graduates tell us they are happy with the support for the college process, as well as the outcome.

College Counseling at a Glance

List of 4 items.

  • Grade 9: Laying the groundwork for a successful high school experience

    • Select the most challenging courses appropriate to you.
    • Explore extra-curricular activities such as sports teams, school activities or volunteer opportunities outside campus.
    • With guidance and encouragement from faculty, develop a love for reading and writing.
    • With guidance and encouragement from the 9th Grade Dean, focus on issues of wellness, study skills and time management.
    • With your Academic Coach/ Advisor and the Director of College Guidance, evaluate your interests, activities, and strengths to set ambitious goals for the next school year.
  • Grade 10: Beginning to think seriously about college

    • Continue to focus on appropriately rigorous academics and good study habits.
    • Take the PSAT a year early, for practice.
    • With support and encouragement from faculty, get involved in the life of the school and consider opportunities for leadership.
    • With your parents, attend the sophomore International Baccalaureate & College Counseling night.
    • With guidance from Academic Coach/ Advisor, identify and explore an area of interest and use the Spring Showcase as an opportunity to share it with the rest of the school.
    • If you are interested in playing a sport in college, meet with Annie Wright’s Athletic Director to map out a plan for recruitment.
    • With faculty guidance and support, evaluate your interests, activities, and strengths to set ambitious goals for the next school year and plan for an enriching summer.
  • Grade 11: Entering the heart of Annie Wright's college counseling

    • Excel, with faculty guidance and support, at appropriately rigorous academic coursework. In addition to earning the AWS Diploma, students can pursue the full IB Diploma or IB Course Candidacy.
    • Step into leadership roles in activities where you can make the most impact.
    • Take the PSAT in October (scores will be submitted to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for consideration) and a practice ACT.
    • Work with your college counselor to create a customized plan for standardized testing in the spring and summer of junior year.
    • Visit several college campuses and attend information sessions during several day trips in the spring with the junior class.
    • Meet with college admissions officers that visit campus in the fall. (Some 75 colleges and universities visit the Annie Wright campus to meet with our students.)
    • Start regular meetings with your college counselor to build a strong relationship and get individual advice on how to shape a tentative list of colleges.
    • Together with your parents, meet with your college counselor to create a customized strategy for your college applications that meets your academic, financial and career goals.
    • After a two-week essay-writing workshop in English class, write multiple college essay drafts before leaving for summer break.
    • With the help of your college counselor, identify teachers for letters of recommendation, work through NCAA eligibility questions, shape a tentative list of schools and finalize summer enrichment opportunities.
  • Grade 12: Choosing a college

    • Continue academically rigorous coursework throughout senior year, as your counselor will keep colleges updated on any exemplary performance.
    • Register to take your final SAT and/or ACT exam.
    • Meet with college admissions officers that visit campus in the fall, and when feasible, meet for an interview as part of your application. (Some 75 colleges and universities visit the Annie Wright campus to meet with our students.)
    • Attend College Week, where you will: finalize the application list, review deadlines, workshop your activities list and resume, meet with an assigned essay advisor to fine-tune application essays, and meet with your counselor for a final review of all applications. (The vast majority of seniors are done with their applications after College Week.)
    • Work with your teachers and college counselor to make sure all recommendation letters and applications materials are submitted on time.
    • Make any final trips to visit colleges.
    • Take any IB tests, as the vast majority of Annie Wright students score well enough on IB test to earn credit at colleges and universities.

College Week

Each fall, an entire week is dedicated to working on and submitting college applications. All academic classes are cancelled for seniors, faculty and staff are available to help proofread essays and write letters of recommendation, and students have the opportunity to devote themselves to preparing for their future without the added stress of juggling homework and courses.

Here are some of the things our 2023 Green Ties found the most helpful about College Week:
  • Picking the brains of our super-smart faculty members!
  • The free work time to work on college essays and ticking boxes. I didn't know how much there was to do...
  • The amount of time and support offered. Wow. 
  • Having teachers readily available to review my essay.
  • Being around my classmates that were also working on college essays (being focused together and supporting each other!)
  • Having constant people around to answer our questions/

Class of ’23 Interactive College Map

To contact the Office of College Counseling, please reach out to Scottie Hill, Director of College Counseling, +1 253.284.4339, or Monica Huggins, Associate Director of College Counseling, +

Nadine G. ’23

"My teachers and peers at AWS pushed and supported me to reach personal and academic goals that allowed me to see myself at excellent institutions. I also learned where to blaze my own path."
Read this issue of Strength magazine to learn about the college process, including how to plan, test, choose, pay, talk about it and more.

For College Admission Professionals

We welcome you to visit our campus and meet our Juniors and Seniors this fall from September 12 to November 15. All sessions are in person after academic hours, but when students are still required and/or encouraged to be on campus. We use SCOIR for scheduling. Please contact the Director of College Counseling, Scottie Hill (scottie_hill@aw.org) with any questions, or requests for virtual meetings. 

List of 1 items.

  • 2019-2023 College Acceptances

    Graduates from 2019-2023 were accepted into the 4-year colleges listed below. They chose to attend those institutions listed in bold. Women’s colleges have an asterisk. HBCUs have two asterisks.

    Adelphi UniversityKnox CollegeThe Ohio State University (Main Campus)
    Agnes Scott CollegeLa Sierra UniversityThe University of Alabama
    Allegheny CollegeLafayette CollegeThe University of Montana
    American UniversityLake Forest CollegeTrinity College
    Amherst CollegeLawrence UniversityTrinity University
    Andrews UniversityLehigh UniversityTufts University
    Arizona State University (Main Campus)Lewis & Clark CollegeTulane University of Louisiana
    Arizona State University (Polytechnic)Lewis-Clark State CollegeUnion College
    Babson CollegeLinfield UniversityUniversity of Alaska Fairbanks
    Bard CollegeLouisiana State UniversityUniversity of Arizona
    Barnard College*Loyola Marymount UniversityUniversity of California (Berkeley)
    Bates CollegeLoyola University ChicagoUniversity of California (Davis)
    Baylor UniversityLoyola University New OrleansUniversity of California (Irvine)
    Beloit CollegeMacalester CollegeUniversity of California (Los Angeles)
    Bennington CollegeManhattan CollegeUniversity of California (Merced)
    Bentley UniversityMarion Military InstituteUniversity of California (Riverside)
    Boise State UniversityMarist CollegeUniversity of California (San Diego)
    Boston CollegeMassachusetts College of Liberal ArtsUniversity of California (Santa Barbara)
    Boston UniversityMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUniversity of California (Santa Cruz)
    Bowdoin CollegeMcDaniel CollegeUniversity of Central Florida
    Brandeis UniversityMcKendree UniversityUniversity of Chicago
    Brown UniversityMedaille CollegeUniversity of Cincinnati (Main Campus)
    Bryn Mawr College*Menlo CollegeUniversity of Colorado Boulder
    Bucknell UniversityMercer UniversityUniversity of Colorado Denver
    California Lutheran UniversityMercyhurst UniversityUniversity of Connecticut
    California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo)Merrimack CollegeUniversity of Connecticut (Stamford)
    California State University (Long Beach)Miami University (Oxford)University of Delaware
    California State University (Northridge)Michigan State UniversityUniversity of Denver
    Carleton CollegeMiddlebury CollegeUniversity of Florida
    Carnegie Mellon UniversityMiles College**University of Georgia
    Carroll CollegeMills College*University of Hartford
    Carthage CollegeMontana State UniversityUniversity of Hawaii at Manoa
    Case Western Reserve UniversityMount Holyoke College*University of Idaho
    Central Michigan UniversityMount Saint Mary’s University*University of Illinois at Chicago
    Central Washington UniversityNew College of FloridaUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Centre CollegeNew York UniversityUniversity of Iowa
    Chaminade University of HonoluluNorth Carolina Central University**University of La Verne
    Chapman UniversityNortheastern UniversityUniversity of Maine
    Claremont McKenna CollegeNorthern Arizona UniversityUniversity of Maryland (Baltimore County)
    Clark Atlanta University**Northwestern UniversityUniversity of Maryland (College Park)
    Clark UniversityOberlin CollegeUniversity of Maryland (Eastern Shore)
    Clarkson UniversityOccidental CollegeUniversity of Massachusetts (Amherst)
    Clemson UniversityOregon Institute of TechnologyUniversity of Massachusetts (Boston)
    Coe CollegeOregon State UniversityUniversity of Massachusetts (Dartmouth)
    Colby CollegePace University (New York City)University of Miami
    Colgate UniversityPacific Lutheran UniversityUniversity of Michigan
    College of CharlestonPacific UniversityUniversity of Minnesota (Twin Cities)
    Colorado CollegePeninsula CollegeUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Colorado School of MinesPenn State University (Behrend)University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    Colorado State University (Fort Collins)Penn State University (University Park)University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    Columbia UniversityPepperdine UniversityUniversity of North Florida
    Concordia University (Irvine)Pitzer CollegeUniversity of Northern Colorado
    Connecticut CollegePomona CollegeUniversity of Notre Dame
    Cornell UniversityPortland State UniversityUniversity of Oregon
    Creighton UniversityPrinceton UniversityUniversity of Pennsylvania
    CUNY John Jay College of Criminal JusticePurdue University (Main Campus)University of Pittsburgh (Main Campus)
    Dartmouth CollegeReed CollegeUniversity of Portland
    Davenport UniversityRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteUniversity of Puget Sound
    DePaul UniversityRhodes CollegeUniversity of Redlands
    Dickinson CollegeRice UniversityUniversity of Richmond
    Dominican University New YorkRochester Institute of TechnologyUniversity of Rochester
    Drew UniversityRoger Williams UniversityUniversity of San Diego
    Drexel UniversityRollins CollegeUniversity of San Francisco
    Duke UniversityRose-Hulman Institute of TechnologyUniversity of South Carolina
    Earlham CollegeRutgers University (Newark)University of South Florida (Main Campus)
    Eastern Washington UniversitySaint Anselm CollegeUniversity of Southern California
    Eckerd CollegeSaint Joseph’s UniversityUniversity of St Thomas
    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach)Saint Martin's UniversityUniversity of the Pacific
    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Prescott)Saint Martin’s UniversityUniversity of the Sciences
    Emerson CollegeSaint Mary's College of CaliforniaUniversity of Utah
    Emory UniversitySaint Mary’s College of CaliforniaUniversity of Vermont
    Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New SchoolSalve Regina UniversityUniversity of Virginia (Main Campus)
    Fisher CollegeSan Diego State UniversityUniversity of Washington (Bothell Campus)
    Flagler CollegeSan Francisco State UniversityUniversity of Washington (Seattle Campus)
    Florida Atlantic UniversitySan Jose State UniversityUniversity of Washington (Tacoma Campus)
    Florida Institute of TechnologySanta Clara UniversityUniversity of Wisconsin (Eau Claire)
    Florida Memorial University**Sarah Lawrence CollegeUniversity of Wisconsin (Madison)
    Florida State UniversityScripps College*University of Wyoming
    Fordham UniversitySeattle Pacific UniversityUtica University
    George Mason UniversitySeattle UniversityVanderbilt University
    George Washington UniversitySeton Hall UniversityVassar College
    Georgetown UniversitySewanee: The University of the SouthVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    Georgia Institute of TechnologySimmons University*Wagner College
    Georgia Institute of Technology (Main Campus)Skidmore CollegeWashington State University
    Georgia State UniversitySmith College*Washington University in St. Louis
    Gettysburg CollegeSouthern Methodist UniversityWellesley College*
    Gonzaga UniversitySouthern New Hampshire UniversityWesleyan College
    Goucher CollegeSouthern University and A&M College**Western Washington University
    Grand Canyon UniversitySt Catherine UniversityWheaton College
    Green Mountain College (CLOSED)St Mary’s College of MarylandWhitman College
    Grinnell CollegeSt. John’s College (Annapolis)Whittier College
    Hamilton CollegeSt. John’s College (Santa Fe)Whitworth University
    Hampshire CollegeSt. John’s University (New York)Wilberforce University**
    Hampton University**St. Lawrence UniversityWillamette University
    Haverford CollegeSt. Olaf CollegeWilliams College
    Hawaii Pacific UniversityStanford UniversityWittenberg University
    High Point UniversityStony Brook UniversityWorcester Polytechnic Institute
    Hobart and William Smith CollegesSuffolk UniversityXavier University
    Hofstra UniversitySUNY College at GeneseoXavier University of Louisiana**
    Hollins UniversitySUNY University at BuffaloYale University
    Howard University**Swarthmore College
    Hult International Business School (Boston)Syracuse University
    Illinois Institute of TechnologyTacoma Community College
    Indiana University (Bloomington)Texas A&M University
    Ithaca CollegeTexas Christian University
    Jackson State University**The College of Idaho
    James Madison UniversityThe College of William and Mary
    Johns Hopkins UniversityThe College of Wooster
    Juniata CollegeThe Evergreen State College
    Kenyon CollegeThe New School
    The Ohio State University

    Art Center College of DesignAberystwyth UniversityUniversity of Bristol
    Berklee College of MusicBrunel University LondonUniversity of British Columbia
    California College of the ArtsDuke Kunshan UniversityUniversity of Galway
    California Institute of the ArtsFranklin University SwitzerlandUniversity of Glasgow
    California Lutheran UniversityGoldsmiths, University of LondonUniversity of Limerick
    Columbia College (Chicago)International University in GenevaUniversity of Melbourne
    Cornish College of the ArtsLeeds Beckett UniversityUniversity of St Andrews
    DigiPen Institute of TechnologyMaynooth UniversityUniversity of Sussex
    Fashion Institute of TechnologyMcGill UniversityUniversity of Toronto
    Maryland Institute College of ArtMonash UniversityUniversity of Victoria
    Massachusetts College of Art and DesignNagoya UniversityWaseda University
    Otis College of Art and DesignNYU ShanghaiYale-NUS College
    Pacific Northwest College of ArtQuest University
    Parsons School of Design at The New SchoolRMIT University
    Pratt InstituteThe American University of Paris
    Rhode Island School of DesignThe University of Edinburgh
    Savannah College of Art and DesignThe University of Sheffield
    School of the Art Institute of ChicagoUniversity College Dublin
    School of Visual ArtsUniversity of Birmingham