College Counseling

From here to anywhere. Well, to 21 countries and 36 states.

College Counseling at Shanghai American School is built on our honest, sustained, and expert education and engagement across our community.  With a wide range of programming offered for students and parents, as well as our faculty, our offices offer comprehensive support for preparing for and applying to colleges. Everything we do is informed by the SAS mission, and is based on knowledge of the SAS curriculum and community.

Our goal is to remove mystery and stress from the process, and to guide students in discovery of themselves and the best college matches for who they are and where they want to go. We honor each student and family’s story and distinctive qualities, and through one-on-one conversation, build a personalized plan to help them reach the right next step. We believe applying to college should be fun and formative!

Our collaborative College Office teams focus exclusively on supporting the college application process for our students. The Directors at each campus have worked in selective college admission offices, lending experiences that shape the philosophy of the SAS College Counseling Office. Both Directors and several of the college counselors have worked in US independent college prep schools where professional access to current and former college admission officers are routinely part of the experience. All members of the SAS team travel extensively to visit colleges and universities worldwide, and all are active in representing SAS in the leading professional organizations. Our team members are all invested in the international dialogue around college admission practices that affect our students, as well as best practices and philosophy of college counseling.

Students benefit directly from this expertise. They are assigned a full-time, dedicated, college admission specialist in tenth grade who will get to know them and support their journeys of self-assessment, research, and application. They will begin serious occupation with the college process during their junior year. At that point, students have the perspective and experiences they need to begin to make choices and distinctions that will shape their application list – always with an eye to an honest self-assessment and thoughtful, research-based understanding of potential college “matches.”  Together with their counselor, each student and family enjoy an individualized process full of opportunities for growth and discovery.

SAS and its programs are well-known in college admissions offices internationally, and our students in their great variety and bounty are recognized as valuable contributors to classrooms and communities. They are well prepared for a successful transition, and to make a difference in the classrooms and communities of the colleges they attend. To help give them their best chance, the College Counseling Office keeps a watchful eye on all aspects of curriculum, course registration, activities, and parent and faculty education from the beginning of any students’ SAS experience, stretching into middle school. Our offices annually host more than 140 college admission representatives that visit in the fall to meet with our students—this provides an incredible opportunity for students to learn firsthand and engage directly with the professionals who will read their applications.

Our students report a high rate of satisfaction with the process and with their college decisions, and our school culture celebrates the diversity of those individual choices and the stories they reflect. We also excited by their adventurous spirit; SAS alumni are currently enrolled in over 250 institutions of higher education in 21 countries and 36 US states.

Each high school student is assigned a College Counselor who will guide them through self-assessment, research and discovery, and supporting them through the application process.
Over a hundred college reps visit our campuses each year, answering questions and lighting the way.