Oak Hill Blog

The road ahead: Students forge their paths with help of College Lab

As a college preparatory school, Oak Hill Academy continually strives to prepare students for the next step after high school. One of the ways we do this is through our College Lab—a dedicated space in the academic building where our college counselors provide guidance to students.

Mrs. Joy Groves, Director of Counseling, and Mr. Chris Hill, Director of Administrative Affairs, serve as Oak Hill Academy’s college counselors, providing upwards of 60 hours of individual college guidance for each student by the time they graduate.

The motto of the College Lab is “Go Where You Can Grow.” From the early stages of the college advising process and throughout this journey, Mr. Hill and Mrs. Groves bring this motto to life, as they work tirelessly with students to find the best fit for their college and university options.

By the spring of the junior year, the process is in full swing, as detailed below.

Before Spring Break

  • College Lab opens for all juniors.
  • Standardized Testing (SAT/ACT), ASVAB Testing is available.
  • Compose College Essay Draft.

After Spring Break

  • Create Common Application Account.
  • Research using Niche.
  • Compile a college list (5-7 schools).
  • Finish the academic year strong! (Reminder: Junior year grades are the ones colleges will see first)


  • Visit the College Lab for any rising seniors attending summer school.
  • Complete college visits.
  • Continue research.
  • Begin Applications, if possible, on priority schools after August 1st.
  • Finalize college essay(s), if possible.

Senior Year

  • Complete all essays (final drafts).
  • Continue research (Niche).
  • Take or re-take standardized tests (SAT/ACT)
  • Narrow down the college list, examining “safety” schools “match” schools and “reach” schools .
  • Complete college applications, ensuring that all or most applications are submitted by the Early Action Deadline.

We at Oak Hill Academy are proud of the results of our personal approach to college guidance counseling, and our graduating students benefit greatly from their hard work in the College Lab. The 2022 graduating class of 19 students generated over 2.8 million dollars of merit-based aid, due in large part to the strategies implemented throughout the admissions journey. Articulation agreements with regional colleges and universities, many of which include scholarship dollars, are part of this success as well.

A unique benefit of our small-by-design school and dedicated faculty, the College Lab provides opportunities for Oak Hill students to make their potential possible, and we are delighted with our recent college acceptances.

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