Upper School

College Counseling

At the heart of Bentley’s college counseling program is the conviction that each student’s path to college is uniquely their own.
For this reason, Bentley offers a flexible program that attends to the specific needs and aspirations of each student. Bentley’s three full-time counselors work to see, know, and understand each of their counselees as individuals and provide them with the advice and resources that they need.

By creating an environment in which each student can explore the essential questions of adolescence – “Who am I? What do I want? What will I make of this opportunity?” –  our process enables students to build from these early answers to college choices that represent the best fit: academically, socially, and culturally.

We want students to identify colleges where they will thrive as students, as citizens, and as people, recognizing all the while that the year-long college application experience can be an exciting journey of self-discovery, growth, and transformation.

Parents & Guardians as Guides and Mentors

Bentley embraces the involvement of families in the college process, appreciating the crucial role they have always played in their student’s lives as guides and mentors, while also acknowledging the seismic shifts that the college process can bring to family dynamics. This is an opportunity for families and adolescents to evolve together. While the focus of Bentley’s college counselors is primarily on the student, they are also readily accessible to families for regular check-ins, questions, and concerns.

We often say, “The best way to be a successful college candidate is to make the most of your high school opportunities - academically, extracurricularly, and socially.” Thus...

List of 4 items.

  • In Grade 9...

    Students begin a year of personal growth by establishing strong academic habits, learning to find balance, and expanding their interests in extra-curricular activities. The primary job they have is to be the best they can be in a new setting.
  • In Grade 10...

    Students return to a program that is now familiar. Lessons learned in the first year are applied thoughtfully, completing the establishment of a two year foundation upon which the second half of their high school years will depend. (In October, 10th Grade students typically sit for the PSAT in October, alongside Eleventh Graders. This is strictly a practice experience.)
  • In Grade 11...

    Students engage in the college counseling process in earnest. The PSAT in October is followed by a December kick-off meeting attended by both parents and students. By January, comprehensive questionnaires are completed, and formal one-on-one meetings with college counselors have begun, followed by standardized testing, online research of colleges, college visits, and an important April case studies/college fair event.

    By June, students will have a clearer picture of their academic profile, a working list of colleges, and be planning a summer that sets up successful engagement with the college application process in the fall. In addition, Bentley hosts over 125 college and university representatives each fall, encouraging juniors and seniors to meet with them. 
  • In Grade 12...

    Students immerse themselves in a three-day Senior College Workshop before fall classes begin. Ideally, students will identify targets for early applications, finalize their college lists, and perhaps plan to sit for one more standardized test, all while polishing applications.

    A majority of students file applications by November 1 (Early Action and Early Decision), and by mid-January, all applications are submitted. During February and March, decisions are released, students make final visits to colleges under consideration during April, and by May 1, each senior will have committed to one institution.

Events & College Visits

College Counseling Staff

List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Archie Douglas

    Archie Douglas 

    Director of College Counseling
    (925) 900-4025
  • Photo of Kelly Mills

    Kelly Mills 

    Associate Director of College Counseling
  • Photo of Yancie Davis

    Yancie Davis 

    Associate Director of College Counseling
    (925) 900-4037
  • Photo of Annie Oxenhandler

    Annie Oxenhandler 

    College Counseling Associate
    (925) 900-4035
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K - 8 Campus

1 Hiller Drive
Oakland, CA 94618
(510) 843-2512

9 - 12 Campus

1000 Upper Happy Valley Rd.
Lafayette, CA 94549
(925) 283-2101