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Students Would Benefit From an Additional College Counselor

Graphic by Grace Gilbert '14
Graphic by Grace ’14

We at the UltraViolet believe that it would be beneficial to have an additional college counselor in order to relieve some of the stress on the current college counselors and allow every Marlborough student to form a strong bonds with her college counselor.

Currently, Marlborough is equipped with two college counselors, co-directors of college counseling Monica DePriest and Michael Heeter, who have been working at Marlborough for 9 years and 5 years, respectively. Both DePriest and Heeter are extremely experienced and adept at helping students gain admission to some of the most elite colleges in the nation.  However, the current senior class has expressed that the college counselors might have too much on their plates, since both Heeter and DePriest each counsel 50 seniors.

With such a high student-to-counselor ratio, it must be difficult for DePriest and Heeter to form close relationships with all of the students they work with.  Additionally, we believe that if there were more than just two counselors, it would alleviate some of the stress on the students who are vying for the attention of their college counselors.

Emily ’15 has overheard Marlborough students talking about how they wish they had taken one class instead of another and wished they had someone who could guide them from the beginning of high school until the end.  Perhaps because there are so many students and only two college counselors, Marlborough students may not fully benefit from the School’s counseling services.  If there were another college counselor, students might be able to seek academic guidance as ninth graders or tenth graders, before they are entrenched in the college application process.

According to Ali ’14, even as ninth graders, students hear rumors that certain colleges will not accept a student if she has not taken a full year of physics.  After hearing the rumors herself, Enright emailed several colleges to find out that it was best to do what she is passionate about.  Her choice to take AP Environmental Science, the colleges said, was just fine.  Having a college counselor that students can talk to as ninth graders might help to address some of the rumors that spread around campus about the college process.

The Student Academic Advisory Committee (SAAC), which is made up of student representatives from every grade level, recently proposed the idea to add additional college counselors to Marlborough, but their proposal was ultimately turned down by Educational Council, which is made up of the School’s division heads and department chairs, because the cost to hire and train a new college counselor would be too high.

We at the UltraViolet support SAAC’s original proposal and encourage Educational Council to revisit the idea of adding another college counselor to the School’s staff.