Housed in the 3,000 square foot Hoffman College Counseling Center, Suffield’s innovative college counseling program is a model for independent schools across the United States. The latest distinctive forward-looking initiative by Suffield, the four-year college counseling program is afforded generous staffing, modern space, significant financial resources, and dedicated time in the school day. The school provides comprehensive and effective college counseling marked by individual attention and extensive services.
The goals of the college counseling office are threefold:
To provide highly professional, proactive, hands-on counseling and guidance throughout the college search;
To represent each student fairly and responsibly, identifying with his or her uniqueness and potential;
To enable each student to find a match—fitting his or her ambitions and talents with a college’s programs, resources, and style.

Suffield Academy’s mission includes readying students for success at the next level and beyond. As part of this effort, the school’s unique college counseling program includes material designed to appropriately challenge students of each grade.


“Directing college counseling at Suffield is an intellectually engaging and enjoyable challenge. Our range of student interests is reflected in the colleges our graduates attend, and this diversity is a great part of Suffield’s appeal. We are proud of the individual attention each student receives.”  Ann Selvitelli, Director of College Counseling

College Counseling By Grade

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • + 9th Grade Program

    The ninth grade curriculum concentrates on providing students with college basics. Through the Leadership curriculum and sessions led by college counselors, freshmen learn relevant information like:
    • what a transcript looks like and how a GPA is calculated
    • how to maximize your Suffield experience and think to the future
    • four-year course planning
    The year culminates with a field trip to visit a college campus.
  • + 10th Grade Program

    The tenth grade curriculum builds on work done the year before, while adding a significant amount of new information. A crucial component of the program is the introduction of standardized tests for college admission including taking both the PSAT and PLAN.
    Through small sessions with college counselors, sophomores will also explore:
    • the differences between the SAT and ACT
    • basic college vocabulary
    • summer opportunities and developing a student résumé
    • how to use the online database, Naviance, for test prep and college research
    • personality types and possible career fields
  • + 11th Grade Program

    The eleventh grade curriculum, ‘College 101,’ is taught in regular weekly Leadership classes during the winter and spring terms. Making use of the text, College Match, the ‘College 101’ course covers topics such as:
    • self-reflection and discovery on what will be the right college “fit”
    • the importance of self-advocacy throughout the college search
    • instruction on researching colleges and building a balanced college list
    • tips on how to get the most out of a college fair and campus visit
    Juniors begin individual work in January with their assigned college counselor and all will have a working college list by March break. Juniors are encouraged to visit colleges during the spring and summer vacations. Juniors typically take their first SAT in January and ACT in February or April, and all juniors are advised to take both tests at least once. At the end of ‘College 101’ juniors have the opportunity to visit as a class either a large or small college campus. They will also attend an annual college fair hosted by a Hartford area independent school. By the end of junior year, using cumulative GPA and test scores college counselors are able to help families get a sense of expected admission outcomes.
  • + 12th Grade program

    Before classes begin, seniors participate in a special “Senior Day” program that focuses on college counseling and leadership for the upcoming year. In preparation for the day, seniors are encouraged to have two essays written and the Common Application completed. A portion of the program is scheduled for English department faculty and college counselors to review essays with seniors to help proof, edit and revise as they work toward a final draft.
    Seniors work closely with their college counselors in the fall to narrow their college list and complete college applications. Seniors also have an opportunity to meet with college representatives that visit Suffield from September through December—Suffield welcomes over 100 colleges each year. Standardized testing continues in the fall and the majority of college applications will be submitted before December break. Admissions decisions follow depending on the type of application and the college’s response time. Counselors help seniors sort through their admission and financial aid offers to make a decision about their final college destination.
  • + Parent Program

    Our college counseling office offers several programs for parents to learn more about the college admission landscape and process. Programs are scheduled for Parents’ Weekend in the fall and spring and as part of the Parent Discussion Series. Additionally, a Junior Parent College Program is held every January for parents to learn the nuts and bolts of the college application process, gather information on financing a college education, and discover how to best support their child throughout this exciting and yet stressful time in their life. Guest speakers are a regular part of our parent programs.
Suffield Academy   185 North Main Street   Suffield, Connecticut 06078   Phone 860.386.4400  |  Fax 860.386.4411