College Counseling

Above all else, University Lake School is a college preparatory school. Our college placement program is personalized for every student and their family.

Recent College Acceptances & Selections:
100% college acceptance rate
255 hours spent with a ULS college counselor on average.
$3.9 million in academic scholarships awarded in 2018
$157,880 average scholarship award to each student

Our college counseling program works to find a balance between student aspirations and the “best fit” so that the final outcome is the student being accepted at their No. 1 or No. 2 school of choice. The ULS college guidance counselor works diligently to help each student find a school where they will feel comfortable, engaged and able to succeed. That could be a highly selective, top-tier school; an outstanding liberal arts college; or a well-respected state university.

male student reading in the library

One-On-One College Counseling

College counseling activities and self-reflection begin in the 5th grade and continue throughout Middle School. In the Upper School, students spend an average of 255 contact hours with our college guidance counselor to find their unique path, get through the application process and make sure they are prepared for college life. This extensive process includes:

  • Self-examination exercises
  • Career exploration
  • Program and college research
  • Campus visits
  • Essay writing
  • Application completion
  • Mental health and wellness while in college
  • Finance management

A Personalized Plan

The national student-to-counselor ratio is 482 to 1.* At ULS, the student-to-counselor ratio is 100 to 1. ULS College Counselor Joseph Niemczyk creates a personalized plan for every ULS student and their family to navigate the college search and selection process. Mr. Niemczyk has personally visited more than 300 colleges and universities across the continental United States. He holds a B.A. in English and Secondary Education from Marquette University, and a Master’s Degree in Education from Carroll University. *According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA)

Milestones For Placement

ULS believes the key to success in college placement lies in strategic preparation. Our college placement program is personalized for every student and their family. A student’s college selection is an individualized choice, and ULS strives to find the optimal school for each of our students based on a variety of student-centered factors. Here’s how we maximize your child’s college preparation at ULS.

  • Introduction to high school transcript and resume
  • Write a letter of advice to yourself as a college freshman

  • Critically review 9th grade academic record
  • Preview and goal set for 10th grade year
  • Review Covey’s key concepts of The Highly Effective Teen
  • Speak to college admissions counselors onsite at ULS
  • Participate in October ACT practice test
  • Attend ULS college breakfast with parents in February
  • Analyze performance of first half of high school career and establish benchmarks and goals for second half

  • Attend local college fairs and speak with college admissions counselors
  • Practice test prep strategies and take the PSAT in October
  • Attend the ULS college breakfast with parents in February
  • Complete a college planning self-audit
  • Investigate the inner workings of several college admissions offices
  • Generate a college comparison spreadsheet
  • Gather and organize resume items
  • Contract for faculty college recommendations
  • Establish short- and long-range plans for summer college search
  • Attend college application essay-writing workshop in June

  • Attend local college fairs and speak with the many college admissions counselors who frequently visit ULS
  • Establish a timeline for the college application process
  • Generate a college short-list
  • Create a resume
  • Draft final copies of college application and scholarship essays
  • Examine financial aid opportunities and procedures
  • Discuss the final college choice process
  • Identify and review college transition and survival skills