The growth and independence of each Rivers student culminates in the college search, under the guidance of our experienced college counseling staff. Rivers’ long-standing philosophy of matching the right student with the right college is based upon a deep, detailed understanding of each student.
Because the counselors interact with students on many levels throughout their Upper School career, they enter the process with a unique respect for students’ strengths. This knowledge, coupled with feedback from our Family Meetings, becomes the foundation for highly individualized, student-centered advising.
Rivers’ counselors maintain close ties with college admissions officers around the country by frequently visiting campuses and welcoming a lengthy roster of college visitors for students to meet. Additionally, each of our counselors have worked in selective college admission, lending them unique insight into the process. Providing students with the opportunity to learn about colleges and understand how selective college admission works is an important part of the search process.
Workshops and Meetings
The individualized advising of our private family meetings is supplemented by various workshops that address the broader issues concerning the college process. Workshops and meetings include:
In the winter of freshman year, counselors host introductory workshops for families. These meetings are designed to help families look ahead in order to get the most out of their Rivers education and encourage students to cultivate and pursue interests.
The sophomore year program aims to educate families on standardized tests and the testing process. In the spring, students take a mock ACT and SAT. Follow-up workshops help families understand how to interpret these scores, follow appropriate prep and testing timelines, and understand the evolving role tests play in the college process.
Primary Workshop The college process begins in earnest junior year with our primary workshops. These fall programs introduce our office’s philosophy of matching the right student with the right college while dispelling myths about selective college admission. The workshops also outline the process timeline, preview our organizational software, and highlight our individualized Family Meetings.
360° Process Overview Each winter the college counseling office hosts a panel of admissions deans, Rivers seniors, and members of our counseling team to offer families a 360° view of the process. In these casual discussions, junior families bounce questions off the panel to gain honest answers from multiple perspectives. The no-agenda approach puts juniors and their parents in the driver’s seat and ensures they get their questions addressed.
Special Interest Workshops Our counseling team has a great deal of experience working incorporating students' special interests and talents into the admissions process. Specific programs are offered for arts (including conservatory level music) and athletics. Program addresses both how to appropriately consider these talents in the search process and how they can impact a student’s admissibility.
College Essay Workshop As former admissions officers ourselves, Rivers college counselors have strong opinions as to how students can make an effective connection with admissions officers through their college essay. Supplementing our extensive individual instruction on this topic, this late-spring workshop offers overarching tips and guidance on how to prepare a strong essay.
Specific, individualized advising is paramount to a successful college search. At Rivers, the college process is personalized for every student through our private family conferences. After reviewing a plethora of information specific to each student including responses to self-evaluations and comments from teachers, counselors meet with families to discuss educational, professional and personal goals. These meetings are the first of many between students and counselors. Parents are invited to meet again with counselors in the spring and beginning of senior year to make final arrangements for the application process. Additionally, parents are encouraged to reach out to counselors throughout the process with questions. We believe strongly in a student-led process with parents and counselors working in tandem as support.
Senior fall is characterized by ongoing one-on-one meetings between the student and the counselor. Students work individually with counselors in May of junior year to populate that bulk of the Common Application. Senior year begins by putting the finishing touches on the application, reviewing, editing and completing essays and supplements, and developing a plan for final school visits. By October, students—in conjunction with their parents and counselors—will have developed a sound, strategic application plan that aligns with their vision of their future. Typically 100% of seniors will have submitted at least one application by November 15. Ongoing counseling is provided as early decisions return and continue in the spring for students pursuing regular-decision options
As Director of College Counseling, Dave is responsible for all facets of college counseling office, including counseling students and parents in the college search process, course selection for seniors, and working with faculty, staff, administration, and trustees. Dave also serves as the school's liaison to the NCAA eligibility center. He is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and well as to executive groups on topics such as developing strategies for their children’s college process, tackling the common application, and athletic recruiting. As a Rivers graduate, he was inspired by his experience here to pursue a career in education, and is thrilled to be back working with many of those same people. A graduate of Hamilton College, he previously served there as Assistant Dean of Admissions.
Dana Warshauer comes to the College Counseling Office from the University of Miami, in Coral Gables, FL, where she spent six years first as an Assistant and, later, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission, following a brief stint as Director of Parent Relations. Dana chaired and ran Miami’s college counselor conference, where she worked closely with college counselors from the nation’s high schools, has been a presenter at the annual national conference of college admissions officers, and has presented annually to high school panels on case studies in college admissions. Dana was also the liaison in Miami’s admission office to their athletic program. Prior to her work at Miami, Dana worked as a program coordinator for Suffolk University Law School’s Office of Graduate and International Programs, and for the Cohen Foundation as International Coordinator and Counselor for the Israeli Leadership Council. Dana has a BA in international relations from University of Miami.
Associate Director of College Counseling
University of Colorado - BA University of Boulder - MA
Ian Watson joins the College Counseling Office, bringing an outstanding record of counseling in a variety of settings. Most recently he was Director of College Counseling for Campus Bound, leading a team of 30 counselors in New England and California in their work with students and families in the application process. Prior to joining Campus Bound, Ian served as Associate Director of College Counseling at Crystal Springs Uplands School, a highly competitive Bay Area independent school in Hillsborough, CA, and, prior to that, as a college counselor at Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School, in St. Louis, MO. Ian has also served “on the other side of the desk” as a Senior Assistant Director of Admission at Wheaton College, where he also coached the tennis team. Ian is currently a member of the Common Application’s counselor advisory board. He has a MA in English and creative writing from University of Boulder, and a BA in English literature from the University of Colorado.
Six or more students have enrolled at the following colleges and universities:
Boston College Boston University Brown University Colby College Colgate University College of the Holy Cross Dartmouth College Georgetown University New York University Northeastern University Northwestern University Syracuse University Trinity College Tufts University Tulane University of Louisiana University of Miami University of Michigan Villanova University Wake Forest University Washington University in St Louis Williams College
Two - five students have enrolled at the following colleges and universities:
Amherst College Babson College Bates College Bowdoin College Bryant University Bucknell University Clark University Clemson University Colorado College Connecticut College Cornell University Duke University Elon University Endicott College Hamilton College Harvard University Hobart William Smith Colleges Kenyon College Lafayette College Lehigh University Massachusetts Institute of Technology Middlebury College Occidental College Providence College Santa Clara University Skidmore College Stonehill College Swarthmore College The George Washington University Union College University of Chicago University of Colorado University of Massachusetts-Amherst University of Notre Dame University of Richmond University of Southern California University of Vermont University of Virginia University of Wisconsin Vanderbilt University Wesleyan University Yale University
One student has enrolled at the following colleges and universities:
Barnard College Berklee College of Music Boston College Carleton College Case Western Reserve University Chapman University Claremont McKenna College Colorado Mesa University Columbia University in the City of New York Davidson College Dickinson College Emory University Fairfield University Fordham University Franklin and Marshall College Furman University Indiana University-Bloomington Ithaca College Johns Hopkins University Loyola Marymount University Lynn University Macalester College Ohio State University Pace University, BFA Princeton University Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Sacred Heart University Smith College Southern Methodist University Stanford University The College of Wooster University of Arizona University of California-Berkeley University of Maryland-College Park University of Massachusetts-Lowell University of New Hampshire-Main Campus University of Pennsylvania University of Rochester University of St Andrews University of Utah Vassar College Virginia Union University Worcester Polytechnic Institute