College Counseling

As a top Michigan college preparatory school, the goal of Detroit Country Day School's College Counseling Program is to help all students enroll at colleges where they will prosper, and emerge prepared to lead a productive and satisfying life. With a noted history of 100 percent four-year college placement, our admission rates to the most selective colleges, including the Ivy League, are significantly above the state and national averages. Our pride is in the successful matching of each student to colleges that meet his or her unique goals, needs and criteria.

College counseling begins as soon as students enter Detroit Country Day Upper School as we assist students in identifying their academic, extracurricular and personal strengths.  We believe early high school success is the foundation for an overall positive school experience while setting the foundation for a smooth college transition.

All of our counselors hold master's degrees and have worked in both collegiate and high school settings, bringing the valuable perspectives and experiences of both sides of the college admissions process to our students. Active in state, regional and national professional associations, including the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), College Board and American College Testing in addition to serving on a number of university advisory boards, our counselors stay on top of the latest college information, technology and trends.


Sample Program Activites & Services

Freshman & Sophomore Activities & Services

  • Freshman College Night - overview of programs and services available to freshman and an outline of our four-year college-counseling plan.
  • PLAN Test - a practice ACT geared for early high school students to gain practice and comfort in taking standardized tests. (Freshman only)
  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator - a voluntary assessment that, based on student responses, indicates personality preferences and values that may assist students in understanding their learning and work styles and how they interact with others.
  • Campbell Interest and Skill Survey - a voluntary assessment that may assist a student in learning how his/her skills and interests relate to collegiate studies and careers.
  • Workshops - our counselors and guest speakers will present workshops of special interest to our freshman and sophomore feared to enhance their academic and overall school experience, including time management, study skills, test taking strategies and more.
  • Quarterly Newsletters - newsletters that address topics, activities and opportunities that would be of interest to our freshman, sophomores and their parents.
  • Summer Programs and Opportunities - assist students in identifying various educational, artistic, athletic and service programs to enhance their educational and personal lives.
  • PSAT - a practice SAT exam that, like the PLAN test, provides students experience in taking standardized tests similar to college entrance exams.  Counselors review the results with each student, upon request, and assist the student in understanding his/her scores and, where appropriate, build a plan to shore up any weak areas. (Sophomores and Juniors only)
  • ACT and SAT Practice Tests - given twice a year on Saturday mornings, students can elect to take either the ACT or SAT.  This activity is given with assistance of The Princeton Review who administer, score and provide test taking strategies of these important college entrance exams.

Junior Year Activities & Services

  • Junior College Night - College preparation and planning takes on a more significant role in the lives of our junior students.  Guest speakers from nationally recognized colleges and universities are invited to share information about the college selection, application and admission process.  A useful Junior College Counseling Handbook, developed specifically for our students, will be provided at this program.
  • Junior Appointments - Students and their parents work closely with their college counselor on developing appropriate criteria for selecting colleges.  This ongoing interaction will cover college selection, college entrance testing, college visits, special interests such as performing arts, fine arts and athletic pursuits, application process, essay writing, financial information and scholarships.
  • Workshops - topics that will be of special interest to juniors include: how to plan a successful college visit, DCDS college alumni panels - the real perspective on college life, the admissions committee case studies of college applications and admission decisions, summer programs, college essay writing and college athletic eligibility.
  • PSAT- repeated in the junior year, the October PSAT is an excellent tool for preparing for college entrance exams, the SAT and/or ACT, in the second half of the junior year.  This test may also qualify top scoring students for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
  • Quarterly Newsletters - these newsletters will address topics of importance to juniors.
  • Summer Programs and Opportunities - during the summer of the junior year, many of our students use this special time to explore opportunities offered at many colleges across the country as well as other programs internationally.

Senior Year Activities & Services

  • Senior College Night -This important programs reviews a wide range of information regarding the college application process.  The tactical, practical and personal aspects of applying to college will be reviewed.  The Senior College Counseling Handbook, developed for our students,
  • Senior Appointments- Continued one-on-one and family college counseling continues throughout the year, directed by the needs of the student.
  • Visiting College Representatives - over one hundred college representatives visit during the fall semester to share information and answer student questions.
  • Quarterly Newsletters - address topics of importance for seniors.
  • Financial Aid and Scholarship Research and Assistance - assistance on locating and determining eligibility.
  • Workshops - include workshops on essay writing, college interview skills, financial aid, senior transition and college life, among other important topics.
  • Personalized Letter of Recommendation - prepared by each student's college counselor highlights the student's unique accomplishments, special talents and other important information to assist colleges in knowing the strengths and unique characteristics of the student.

College Acceptances

Every Detroit Country Day School graduate earns acceptance at the finest four-year colleges and universities around the world, including but not limited to:

  • Boston University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Clemson University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Duke University
  • Emory University
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Loyola University
  • MIT
  • New York University
  • University of Miami
  • University of Michigan
  • Michigan State University
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Princeton University
  • Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg
  • University of Saint Andrews-Scotland
  • University of Southern California
  • Stanford University
  • UCLA
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Yale University



Counseling Team

Anne Sandoval
Director of College Counseling

Stacy Penkala
Assistant Director of College Counseling


Joshua Greenwald
Assistant Director of College Counseling

Cheryl Sullivan
Coordinator, Early High School Success

Dawna Aleo
Administrative Assistant


Detroit Country Day School is a private, independent, co-educational, non-denominational, college preparatory school focused on academics, arts, athletics and superior character development. With campuses in Beverly Hills, Michigan and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Detroit Country Day School educates students from grades pre-k, starting at age 3, through 12, providing a well-rounded liberal arts education where the scholar-athlete-artist can thrive.

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