Our Philosophy

School Profile

We believe that the college counseling process is a natural offshoot of the academic and personal journey each boy began at his enrollment at US. Students should arrive at their college decisions as a result of their academic, co-curricular, and extracurricular programs. We structure a comprehensive program that helps students reflect upon their strengths and interests and represent themselves effectively to the colleges of their choice.

Our approach to college counseling is individual. As each boy is his own person, colleges have their own unique "character," and we hope to foster a good student-college match. While we believe that each boy will approach the process in his own way and in his own time, we expect him to take responsibility for it; to not do so would be to short-circuit the developmental growth that is central to the college search.

Throughout their time at US, students are urged to challenge themselves as consistently as possible, and to establish and maintain good relationships with their teachers, coaches and advisors. While many resources are available for students to structure their efforts, these are not intended to replace the personal advising process that is fundamental to the college search. We are here to support and advise the boys in every way we can, and we invite students and parents to contact us with any questions.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

List of 9 frequently asked questions.

  • What is the goal of college counseling at US and when does the process begin?

    The ultimate measure of the effectiveness of college counseling is bringing students, parents, faculty, and counselors together to find an appealing and appropriate match for each student. Like individuals, colleges have a certain "character," and the search for good matches between students and colleges should take advantage of the wide range of choices available all across the country.
    In the first two years of high school, students and families are given information and general guidance, and the counselors are available for more advice. We work with students and families to assure that they enter the junior year well informed and well prepared to undertake the more focused phase of the college search.
  • Do colleges recognize the rigor of our curriculum? Do they “know” us?

    The answer is that most do, and we consider educating colleges about who we are to be a very important part of our job. College counselors attend national and regional conferences, visit colleges, and work hard to establish personal rapport with college representatives in order to augment their understanding of US and to serve as advocates for our students.

    Every year admissions representatives from approximately 100 colleges and universities visit US seeking our students, and we take these opportunities to continue to “educate” them. We also provide a comprehensive school profile that describes our selectivity, the nature of our program and graduation requirements, the grade distributions, and the testing and college matriculation records of our graduates. It is important to note that some public institutions can be less attentive to making the distinction between high school programs.

  • Does US rank its graduating class?

    US does not rank its students; our small class size, the distribution of merit throughout each class, and the range of programs taken by our students make class rank a misleading statistic. Many, perhaps most, independent schools do not rank their graduates, so colleges are accustomed to this practice.
  • Should I take an SAT or ACT prep course?

    Some students may benefit from SAT/ACT prep courses. We feel that students should not take prep courses prior to the junior year PSAT. Statistically, the better a student's initial testing, the less likely there will be significant improvement in subsequent testing--with or without a preparation course. The factor most strongly associated with a good verbal score is the amount of reading a student does--not limited to required homework assignments--for a prolonged period of time. A student will be broadened and strengthened by regular reading; even adding a dose of the daily newspaper is beneficial.
    In making a decision about a prep course, students should consider their time commitments. More time devoted to an academic class is likely to produce both improved grades and better-standardized test results. Thus it may be unwise to take study time for a prep course unless there is reason to believe that such disciplined practice may be helpful to a particular student. Students are likely to benefit, at least psychologically, from being familiar with test formats and timing. The college counseling office and US library have practice books and computer programs available for student use.
  • What is the most important factor in college admissions?

    The most important factor in evaluating applications for admission is the strength of the academic record--the rigor of the courses taken, the quality of the work performed, and the consistency of the record or the pattern of improvement year to year. The transcript speaks loudly.
  • How important are personal references or recommendations?

    Recommendations from the college counselor and from teachers are read carefully at most private institutions. The faculty and counselors take great care in writing these letters to provide meaningful perspectives on the student’s abilities, character, and aptitudes. Be discerning about adding letters of support from people outside of US. If a student has a long-term relationship with an individual such as an employer or a supervisor in community service, that can be helpful. Students should not augment their files with numerous, unsolicited letters of recommendation, as such letters may work to their detriment.
  • How well does the college counselor know the student?

    Our counselors work hard to obtain information about each class and about its individual members. We conduct a thorough review of each student’s file, including grades, teachers’ comments, commendations, and available test scores. In a close-knit community such as ours, counselors are in regular contact with teachers. They visit and/or teach classes, serve as sponsors, and frequently attend student performances and athletic events.

    In addition to meeting with students and parents, the counselors solicit information from the students themselves, their parents, their teachers, and their coaches. In January of the junior year, the counselor has an individual consultation with each student, administers a personality/interest inventory, and discusses interests and goals. In the spring of the junior year, other meetings include discussion of students’ preferences, academic record, and expectations. At this time, the counselor and the student draw up a preliminary college list that is mailed home over the summer so that students may continue their research prior to their senior year.

  • When is the student's college counselor assigned?

    Boys are assigned a college counselor in January of their junior year. Families cannot request a particular college counselor for their son. The expansion of the college counseling team allows for every boy to receive personal and individualized attention. All of the counselors bring their different experiences and knowledge to the process. Because we work together as a team, each boy becomes the beneficiary of our collective wisdom and guidance. Regardless of who his individual counselor is, every student receives the information and guidance that he needs.
  • Is there financial aid that is based on factors other than need?

    Although it is generally a myth that there are thousands of dollars in unused scholarships that go unsought each year, there are numerous merit scholarships available. Corporations, community organizations, professional groups, and various clubs generally offer such scholarships. Many colleges and universities also offer merit scholarship opportunities, and students may qualify simply by submitting a strong high-school transcript and application.

College Counselors

List of 4 members.

  • Mrs. Jennifer Beros 

    Director Of College Counseling
    216-831-2200 x7324
    Bio
  • Dr. Scott Boehnen 

    English, College Counseling
    216-831-2200
    Bio
  • Ms. Charlotte Burkly 

    Associate Director of College Counseling
    Bio
  • Ms. Annie Kafoure 

    Assistant Director of College Counseling
    Bio

Shaker Heights Campus

20701 Brantley Road
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122
GRADES K-8
Phone: 216.321.8260

Hunting Valley Campus

2785 SOM Center Road
Hunting Valley, OH 44022
GRADES 9-12
Phone: 216.831.2200
University School serves 870 boys in grades K-12 on two campuses in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. The School’s mission is to inspire boys of promise to become young men of character who lead and serve. Dedicated faculty, rigorous curriculum, and experiential programs foster intellectual, physical, creative, and moral excellence.