Dexter Southfield Logo

College Counseling

Our Philosophy: 

Dexter Southfield’s program of college counseling is designed to help each student find a suitable match in higher education to support his or her academic needs, goals, and interests. The College Counseling Office provides individualized counseling, guidance, and support throughout every step of the college search and application process.

We understand that the college search and application process can be both a challenging and exciting journey. We strive to educate students and families to ensure a full understanding of the comprehensive process and provide the adequate tools and resources to help successfully navigate the process. The office works closely with students’ advisors, teachers, and coaches to ensure that colleges and universities receive the fullest image of each student’s achievements and promise.

We assist students with:

• Self-reflection and self-evaluation
• Research and exploration of post-Dexter Southfield options
• Standardized test planning
• Building a college list
• NCAA athletic recruiting
• Application strategy and deadline management
• College visit planning
• Interview preparation
• Essay and supplement writing
• Understanding and applying for financial aid
• Gap year and PG (Post-Graduate) year options
• Making a final enrollment decision


When do we start working with students?

Students are assigned a college counselor in Class 9. The College Counseling Office meets with students in Classes 9 and 10 to discuss early college planning and standardized testing. In Class 11, students begin the process of researching colleges and universities, which constitutes a major milestone in a young person’s development toward adulthood. Therefore, while the office offers extensive communication, aid in organizing information, and direction in the changing environment of today’s higher education admissions, the primary responsibility for choosing a path after Dexter Southfield lies with the student.

We encourage our students to self-advocate throughout the process. The student is the one who after graduation will join a new community of learners and apply what he or she has learned to make positive academic and social contributions. By attending to students’ needs during their time at Dexter Southfield, and by anticipating many of the challenges that lie before them, the College Counseling Office extends the broad and deep foundation laid by the School. From here, Dexter Southfield students continue to do their "Best Today and Better Tomorrow."

College Matriculations

COVID-19 Updates and College Planning Resources

Upcoming Virtual College Events

New England Area Regional Representatives Member Institutions College Fair
Tuesday, July 7 - Wednesday, July 8 
View Participating Colleges and Register for Sessions

Decoding the System: Understanding the College Process 
Panelists: Syracuse University, Ohio Wesleyan University, and the University of Chicago
Wednesday, July 29
6:00-7:00 p.m.

Application 101: How to Shine Through Your Application
Presented by Ohio Wesleyan University
Wednesday, August 12
6:00-7:00 p.m. 

Summer 2020 Online Test Prep Offered by Summit Educational Group

Note: Financial aid is available for the test prep courses below. Please call Summit directly and ask for Lauren Campbell to inquire at 617-581-6249.

SAT Online Prep Course (6 sessions, Runs July 21- August 25) 
Register by Friday, July 10 
Learn more and register 

SAT Online Prep Refresher (3 sessions, Runs August 8, 15, and 22)
Register by Friday, July 31
Learn more and register

ACT Online Prep Course (6 sessions, Runs August 5-September 9)
Register by Friday, July 24
Learn more and register

ACT Online Prep Refresher Course (3 sessions, Runs August 15, 22, and 29)
Register by Friday, August 7 
Learn more and register

Recorded Webinars:
Dexter Southfield College Counseling Town Hall for Class 11 Students and Parents
(May 13, 2020)

Dexter Southfield College Counseling Town Hall for Class 11 Parents (April 7, 2020)

Straight-Talk with College Admission Leaders, Hosted by the Derryfield School
Babson College, Bucknell University, Elon University (April 16, 2020)

University of Notre Dame, Washington University in St. Louis, Swarthmore College (April 23, 2020)

Bowdoin College, Colorado College, University of South Carolina (April 30, 2020)

Tulane University, Hamilton College and University of Oregon (May 7, 2020)

Davidson College, UCLA, and Ohio State University (May 14, 2020)

Williams College, Syracuse University, and Lafayette College (May 21, 2020)

Virtual College Visits:
Virtual College Tours
Campus Reel

Campus Visit Updates:
Coronavirus Impact on Campus Visits

AP Program: Updates for AP Students and Schools Affected by Coronavirus
SAT: Coronavirus Updates
ACT: COVID-19 Updates
Test Optional Colleges
Testing Recommendations (Summit Educational Group)

Free Online Test Prep:
AP Review Sessions 
ACT Academy 
SAT & ACT Practice Tests (Summit Educational Group)
SAT Practice (Khan Academy) 
SAT Subject Test Practice Questions (College Board)

Athletic Recruiting:
NCAA COVID-19 Updates

Responses from Colleges:
Brown University: High School Juniors Applying to Brown
Wesleyan University: Admission Update
Emory University: An Open Letter to Juniors and Sophomores
Northwestern University: Some Reassurance Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic 
Tulane University: Coping in the Time of Corona
Harvard College: Special Message for High School Juniors Applying to Harvard
Georgia Tech: Change is the Only Constant
University of Chicago: A Letter to Prospective Students 

Helpful Literature:
"We Get it!" College Admission Deans Speak Out (Forbes)
"We Get it!" College Admission Deans Speak Out - Part 2 (Forbes)
"We Get it!" College Admission Deans Speak Out - Part 3 (Forbes)
Virtually Possible: Locking Down the College Search in a Global Pandemic (Forbes)
Coronavirus Drives Colleges to Test Optional (Inside Higher Ed)
Class 11 Questionnaires 
Class 11 Student Questionnaire 2019-2020
Class 11 Parent Questionnaire 2019-2020

College Planning Resources
2019-2020 College Counseling Checklist and Timeline (Classes 9-12)
Naviance Overview
Common Application
What Demonstrated Interest Means in College Admissions

Understanding Likely, Possible, and Reach Schools
Building a College List 
Early Decision vs. Early Action
College Navigator 

Planning for College Visits
College Visit Checklist
4 Pro Tips for a Great Campus Visit Experience 
Get the Most Out of a Campus Visit 
College Interviews: Practice Questions and Strategies

Helpful Literature
10 Things to Know About Getting Into Your Dream College
The College Search Process: Advice from a Participant Observer
What Colleges Want in an Applicant (Everything)
Rethinking College Admissions
Don’t Trust Your Friends’ Advice on Getting into College — and Other Tips from Admissions Experts
College-bound? It Pays to Visit First
Taming the Admissions Anxiety

Recommended Reading
Colleges That Change Lives By Loren Pope
Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be By Frank Bruni

For Students
College Essay Final Revision Checklist 
Pro Tips on Writing Your Personal Statement 
2019-2020 Common Application Essay Prompts
Sample Resume
Local Community Service Opportunities

Standardized Testing

Standardized Test Preparation
A testing plan will be discussed with each student during individual college counseling sessions beginning in the fall of Class 11. Students are responsible for registering for standardized testing (with the exception of the PSAT) as well as sending their scores to colleges. The Dexter Southfield School code: 220262.

There are several colleges that no longer require SAT or ACT scores. 
Test Optional Schools 

Prospective College Athletes
Remember to list the NCAA Eligibility Center (code 9999) as a score recipient whenever you register for the SAT or ACT. You can send all of your test scores to the NCAA and they will choose the best scores from each test section to create your sum score.

PSAT (College Board)
Taking the PSAT with Accommodations

SAT (College Board)
SAT Test Dates and Deadlines
SAT Fees
Register for the SAT
Taking the SAT with Accommodations
SAT Test Day Checklist 
View SAT Scores and Send Scores to Colleges
Interpreting SAT Scores 
College Board Parent Email Reminders

College Board: SAT Subject Tests
Students enrolled in Honors or AP courses are strongly encouraged to register for the SAT Subject Test(s) in May or June for that respective subject. Class 9 and 10 students are encouraged to consult with their math and science teachers to determine if they qualify to take the test.
SAT Subject Test Requirements and Recommendations
SAT Subject Test Dates and Deadlines
Register for SAT Subject Test
Taking SAT Subject Test with Accommodations
SAT Subject Test Day Checklist
Get Your SAT Subject Test Scores
Send SAT Subject Scores to Colleges

ACT Test Dates and Deadlines
ACT Fees 
Register for the ACT
Taking the ACT with Accommodations
View Scores and Send Scores to Colleges

AP (Advanced Placement) Exams
AP Exam Dates and Fees
AP Exam Day Checklist
Taking AP Exams with Accommodations

Free Online Standardized Test Prep Resources 
PSAT Practice
SAT Practice Tests
SAT Practice (Khan Academy)
SAT & ACT Practice Tests (Summit Educational Group)
SAT Subject Test Practice Questions
ACT Academy 
AP Exam Practice Questions

Standardized Test Prep 
Although not specifically endorsed by Dexter Southfield, the companies below are known to serve many Boston-area students who are applying to selective colleges and universities.
Academic Approach (Newton)
Inspirica (Wellesley)
Kaplan (Various locations in MA)
Livius (Lexington, Newton, Wellesley, Andover)
The Princeton Review (Various locations in MA)
Quintessential Tutoring (Millis) Dr. Russell Jassie (617) 875-1969
Signet Education (Cambridge)
Summit Educational Group (Newton)

Upcoming Events and Programming

Our 2020-2021 programming and events will be posted in July 2020. 

College Athletics

What Students Need to Know About College Athletic Recruiting
NCAA Eligibility Center
Students interested in playing sports at an NCAA Division I or II school need to register for a Certification Account by the end of their Class 11 year.

View an updated list of NCAA approved Dexter Southfield courses:
NCAA Core Courses 
NCAA High School Code: 220262

Website Registration Checklist
Initial Eligibility Brochure
Division I Academic Requirements
Division II Academic Requirements  
2019-2020 Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete 
Probability of Going Pro
Additional NCAA Information

Sending Test Scores to the NCAA Eligibility Center
Remember to list the NCAA Eligibility Center (code 9999) as a score recipient whenever you register for the SAT or ACT. You can send all of your test scores to the NCAA and they will choose the best scores from each test section to create your sum score.

Financial Aid Resources & Scholarships

Upcoming College Rep Visits

College rep visits take place from September-November. 

Students can access the college rep schedule on the Dexter Southfield US app (Calendar/College Visits). College rep visits are open to students in Classes 10-12. All college rep visits take place in the College Counseling Office in Sohier 1. 

Class 12 students: 

  • Ask your teacher at least 1 day in advance if you may miss class. If you have a test or quiz that period you may not attend the visit.
  • Sign up for the visit in Naviance at least 1 day in advance.
    (Log into Naviance and find the “What’s New” section on the lower righthand side of the homepage. Click “Show More” to see a list of all of the colleges visiting this fall. Click “More Info” to get to the registration page for a particular college.)

Class 10-11 students:

  • Students can only attend college rep visits during free blocks.  
  • To sign up for a college rep visit, please email Ms. Cunningham at

For College Admissions Representatives

College admissions representatives are encouraged to book fall visits through RepVisits.

Dexter Southfield 2019-2020 School Profile
Dexter Southfield CEEB Code: 220262

School Address:
20 Newton Street, Brookline, Massachusetts, 02445

Locating the College Counseling Office:
Once on campus, when you enter the second right at the main gate, bear right to the Sohier Building where the College Counseling Office is located on the first floor.

We have two parking spaces reserved for college reps in the Sohier Building Parking Lot near the handicap parking area.
Questions can be directed to:
Lindsey Cunningham
College Counseling Office Manager

Preferred Local Hotels: 
Courtyard by Marriott Boston Brookline (Coolidge Corner)
40 Webster Street
Brookline, MA 02446

Homewood Suites by Hilton Boston Brookline-Longwood Medical
111 Boylston Street
Brookline, MA 02445

We look forward to your visit!

Summer Opportunities for Upper School Students

We encourage all Upper School students to plan a summer experience that best aligns with their interests and academic goals. Whether students enroll in a pre-college program or athletic camp, land an internship, explore the arts, volunteer, research, work, or study abroad, we encourage students to do something interesting, productive, and educational. Pre-college programs are an excellent way for high school students to get a taste of college campus life. Students should seek out a new experience that they haven’t had before. 

2020 Summer Opportunities for Upper School Students

Contact Us

Ms. Emily J. Moore
Director of College Counseling
Mr. Brian LaRochelle
Associate Director of College Counseling
Mrs. Allison Ranz
Associate Director of College Counseling

Ms. Lindsey Cunningham
College Counseling Office Manager


For transcript requests, general questions, or to schedule a student or parent meeting with the College Counseling team, please contact Lindsey Cunningham at or 617-751-3670.

Our Location: Sohier Building, First Floor (formerly the Main Office) 

Our Mailing Address:
Dexter Southfield
College Counseling Office
20 Newton Street
Brookline, MA 02445


Dexter Southfield School • 617-522-5544 •

Report an Absence • Admissions: 617-751-3600

20 Newton Street Brookline, Massachusetts 02445 Directions


Careers • Public Telescope Nights • Summer Camps