A coeducational day school serving students JK-12

College Counseling

At Latin, we have found that students are happiest with their choice of college when they have spent time discovering their interests, exploring a variety of possibilities and taking responsibility for the course of their application process.

College counseling is a four-year process at Latin. With a staff of four, the program is as individualized as the rest of our curriculum. Our counselors work with students to match their interests and strengths with the best-fit schools.

Each student’s college search is an opportunity to learn about one’s own educational and social needs and to develop decision-making tools that will help shape future choices both in and out of the world of academia. Ideally, applying to college is the conclusion of a Latin career that involves engagement in the classroom, an impassioned approach to learning, and a commitment to the life of our school, community and the world beyond Chicago.

The staff of Latin’s College Counseling Office encourages students to be involved, reflective, and accountable for their choices. As the people who know their children best, parents also play an active role. We will work closely with each student and family to find a group of schools that best match (and build upon) the individual strengths, interests and achievements of an ever-evolving Latin student.

Latin students attend some of the most diverse and reputable institutions in the United States and abroad; they seek schools that are both far afield and locally situated, small liberal arts colleges and large universities. Latin students are successful in the college application process and apply to a broad spectrum of schools. Ultimately, their choices reflect diligence, the strength of their academic preparation and self-exploration that are the hallmark and natural culmination of their Latin education.


Freshman & Sophomores

College Counseling at Latin begins formally at the end of the first semester of junior year but is an informal process that builds upon strong academic and personal advising that takes place throughout students’ high school career. In the freshman and sophomore years, students are encouraged to get involved in school activities, athletics and clubs to hone their own academic interests and artistic talents. The best foundation for a successful college process is the same foundation for a successful high school experience. Students are encouraged to enroll in a variety of appropriate courses that expand their minds and challenge their sensibilities and to join organizations that test them as citizens, competitors and leaders.

Students will receive a variety of informal and formal testing advice at appropriate times throughout the first two years at Latin. In the fall of sophomore year, students will take the PSAT in order to familiarize all Latin students with the test format and to help students become aware of potential standardized-testing concerns.


Beginning in the spring semester, all students will meet in group seminar classes with a college counselor, discussing a variety of issues related to the college search process. These classes will continue in the fall of senior year, when the tone will switch from informative and exploratory to one that is more administrative where we collectively tackle the actual business of applying to students’ schools.

Throughout the spring these seminars address a variety of topics that include but are not limited to:

  • Taking a personal inventory of strengths and achievements - personal assessments
  • Researching colleges
  • Test planning and how tests are used by colleges
  • Mock admissions committee exercises
  • Coping with the public nature of the college process
  • Essay writing and interview skills
By the second half of the spring semester, juniors will meet individually with their college counselor in order to develop a relationship that eventually includes their parents in the conversation and planning. Latin’s college process is personal and individual, and counselors get to know each and every student. The staff is then prepared to offer tailored suggestions to students regarding their college choices, and professional and personal advocacy throughout the college application process.


College seminars return again in the fall of senior year, and each student and his or her counselor work closely to shape a list of colleges that is appropriate, competitively diverse and appealing to the student’s interests and needs. These classes take place in the first half of the semester and include such issues as:

  • Completing and disseminating testing profiles
  • Details and deadlines
  • How to submit applications
  • Self-advocacy, preparation and interviews
  • Essay writing
  • Timelines and the decision-making process at college
Latin counselors are the students’ advocates in the college process – they represent their interests to colleges, write lengthy letters of recommendation and ultimately offer wisdom and careful counsel to each member of the junior and senior classes. College counselors are available as advisers, editors, interview coaches and ambassadors to representatives from over one hundred college and universities. Latin’s college office provides information and guidance until each senior has made a decision to enroll in the school of his or her choice. It is our first priority to address the needs of each student, so the primary relationship is forged between each Latin student and the college counselors; however, we are also a resource for parents. Parents and guardians must know that they will be called upon to appropriately shepherd and support their children through the college process and should feel free to seek Latin’s counsel to help navigate the stressful and often confusing transition to college.
Suggested Reading

Highlights of our process

  • Four on-site college counseling staff
  • Grade 11 curriculum focused on school research process
  • Grade-level programming
  • Financial planning meetings
  • Direct advocacy
  • Family counseling meetings
  • Informal coffees and Q&As with the counselors


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college matriculation


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students who have chosen to take a gap year in the past five years


of alumni would recommend latin to others*



Our Team

Elizabeth Pleshette
Director of College Counseling

Jennifer Taylor
Associate Director of College Counseling

Mariana Ramirez
Assistant Director of College Counseling

Veronica Vela
College Counseling Assistant

College Acceptance List


Schools in bold have a Latin student in attendance; a number indicates multiple attendees.

Albion College
Allegheny College
American University 2
American University of Beirut
American University of Paris
American University of Rome
Amherst College 4
Arizona State University
Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
Augustana College
Babson College
Bard College
Barnard College 8
Bates College 4
Bellarmine University
Belmont University
Beloit College
Bennington College
Berklee College of Music 2
Boston College 5
Boston University 9
Bowdoin College
Bradley University 2
Brandeis University
Brown University 10
Bryn Mawr College
Bucknell University 3
Butler University 6
California Institute of Technology
Carleton College 4
Carnegie Mellon University
Carroll University
Carthage College
Catholic University of America
Chapman University 4
Claremont McKenna College 2
Clark University
Cleveland Institute of Music
Coe College
Colburn School
Colby College
Colgate University 7
College of Charleston
College of the Holy Cross
College of William and Mary 2
College of Wooster
Colorado College 6
Colorado State University
Columbia College Chicago
Columbia University 8
Connecticut College
Cornell College
Cornell University 5
Dartmouth College 11
Davidson College
Denison University 5
DePaul University 8
DePauw University 3
Dickinson College
DigiPen Institute of Technology
Drake University
Drew University
Drexel University
Duke University 2
Durham University
Earlham College
Eastman School of Music
Eckerd College
Elon University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Emerson College
Emory University 7
Evergreen State College
Fairfield University
Fashion Institute of Technology
Florida A&M University
Florida State University
Fordham University
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Franklin and Marshall College
Furman University
George Washington University 16
Georgetown University 10
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Southern University
Gettysburg College
Goucher College
Grinnell College 3
Hamilton College
Hampshire College
Harvard University 7
Harvey Mudd College
Haverford College
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Hofstra University
Hollins University
Howard University

Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois State University
Illinois Wesleyan University
Indiana University at Bloomington 9
Institute of Culinary Education
Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya
Iowa State University
Ithaca College
John Cabot University
Johns Hopkins University
Johnson & Wales University
Kalamazoo College
Kenyon College
Knox College 2
Lafayette College 2
Lake Forest College
Lawrence University 6
Lehigh University 3
Lewis & Clark College
Louisiana State University
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola University Chicago 3
Loyola University Maryland
Luther College
Lynn University
Macalester College 2
Marquette University 3
Maryland Institute College of Art
Massachusetts Institute
of Technology

McGill University
Miami University, Oxford 5
Michigan State University
Middlebury College 5
Mills College
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Monmouth College
Morehouse College
Mount Holyoke College 5
Muhlenberg College
New England Conservatory of Music
New York University 17
Northeastern University
Northern Illinois University
Northwestern University 27
Oberlin College 2
Occidental College
Ohio University
Ohio Wesleyan University
Pennsylvania State University
Pitzer College
Pomona College 6
Princeton University 7
Providence College
Purdue University
Queen's University
Quinnipiac University
Reed College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rhodes College
Rice University
Richmond The American International
College in London
Rochester Institute of Technology
Roger Williams University
Rollins College 2
Roosevelt University
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 2
Royal Holloway, University of London
Saint Louis University
Saint Mary's College of California
Saint Xavier University
Santa Clara University
Sarah Lawrence College
Savannah College of Art and Design
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
School of Visual Arts
Scripps College
Seattle Pacific University
Sewanee: The University of the South
Skidmore College 3
Smith College
Southern Methodist University 2
Southwestern University
Spelman College
St. Edward’s University
St. John’s College
St. Lawrence University
St. Olaf College 2
Stanford University 3
Stetson University
Suffolk University

Swarthmore College 4
Syracuse University 5
Temple University
Texas Christian University 2
The New School - Parsons
Trinity College
Trinity University 2
Tufts University 9
Tulane University 11
Union College
United States Coast Guard Academy
University of Arizona 2
University of Bristol
University of California, Davis
University of California, Los Angeles 2
University of California, San Diego
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Chicago 12
University of Cincinnati
University of Colorado at Boulder 3
University of Connecticut
University of Dayton
University of Delaware
University of Denver 2
University of Edinburgh
University of Florida
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Springfield
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 18
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Kentucky
University of Maryland
University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
University of Miami 5
University of Michigan 16
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri, Columbia
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
University of North Carolina
School of the Arts
University of Notre Dame
University of Oregon
University of Oxford
University of Pennsylvania 9
University of Pittsburgh
University of Puget Sound
University of Redlands
University of Richmond
University of Rochester
University of San Diego
University of San Francisco
University of South Carolina
University of South Florida
University of Southern California 5
University of St. Andrews 3
University of Tampa
University of Texas, Austin
University of the Arts London
University of the Pacific
University of Toronto
University of Vermont
University of Virginia 3
University of Wisconsin, Madison 15
Valparaiso University
Vanderbilt University 7
Vassar College 3
Villanova University
Virginia Commonwealth University
Wake Forest University 2
Washington and Lee University
Washington University in St. Louis 17
Webster University
Wellesley College 3
Wesleyan University 6
Western University
Wheaton College MA
Whitman College
Whittier College 2
Willamette University
Williams College 2
Wittenberg University
Wofford College
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Xavier University
Yale University 11

Suggested Reading

Academic Explorations

The Early Admissions Game: Joining the Elite by Christopher Avery, Andrew Fairbanks, and Richard Zeckhauser
Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More by Derek Bok
Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities by William G. Bowen, Matthew M. Chingos, and Michael S. McPherson
The Shape of the River by William G. Bowen, Derek Bok, and Glenn C. Loury
How College Works by Daniel Chambliss
College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be by Andrew Delbanco
No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life by Thomas J. Espenshade and Alexandria Walton Radford
The Source of the River: The Social Origins of Freshman at America’s Selective Colleges and Universities by Douglas S. Massey

Just for Fun

100 Semesters by William Chase
The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College by Harlan Cohen
CRAZY U: One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College by Andrew Ferguson
Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz
The College Admissions Mystique by Bill Mayher
I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe

Helpful Philosophical Guides

Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania by Frank Bruni
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges by Loren Pope
Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College that is Right For You by Loren Pope
College Unranked: Ending the College Admissions Frenzy by Lloyd Thacker

Tell Alls

The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead by David Callahan
The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges – and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates by Daniel Golden
The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton by Jerome Karabel
Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds by Richard J. Light
Beer and Circus: How Big-Time College Sports Is Crippling Undergraduate Education by Murray Sperber
The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College by Jacques Steinberg

Self-Help (mostly for parents)

Letting Go (Fifth Edition): A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years by Karen Levin Coburn and Madge Lawrence Treeger
I Just Want My Kids to be Happy: Why You Shouldn’t Say it, Why You Shouldn’t Think it by Aaron Cooper and Eric Keitel
I Am Going To College, Not You!: Surviving the College Search With Your Child by Jennifer Delahunty
A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond by Kenneth Ginsburg
Building Resilience in Children and Teens, Giving Kids Roots and Wings by Kenneth Ginsburg
The Launching Years: Strategies for Parenting by Laura Kastner and Jennifer Wyatt
How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims
The Blessing Of A Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children by Wendy Mogel
The Blessing of a B Minus by Wendy Mogel

Academic Research Websites: Life and Learning on College Campuses
NSSE: National Survey of Student Engagement
CLA: Collegiate Learning Assessment
NCES: National Center for Education Statistics

Blogs and Websites

The Choice (discontinued but still exceptionally valuable)