With individualized attention in our four-year college counseling program, Morgan Park Academy students are able to find a great school that’s the right fit.
Our Director of College Counseling fosters collaboration with students and parents and a supportive environment that helps students learn to identify their goals and interests and make healthy and confident decisions about higher education and life beyond MPA.
In the past decade, MPA students have been accepted by 38 of the nation’s top 40 colleges and universities, as ranked by US News & World Report, despite a trend that has seen acceptance rates dip into the single digits at the most selective schools.
Em Joseph, Director of College Counseling
MPA students annually earn admission to some of the nation's top colleges and universities, including recent acceptances to Princeton University, Columbia University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, California Institute of Technology, Dartmouth College, Brown University, University of Notre Dame, Vanderbilt University, Cornell University, Rice University, Washington University in St. Louis, University of California at Los Angeles, Emory University, University of Southern California, University of California at Berkeley, Georgetown University, University of Michigan, Carnegie Mellon University, Wake Forest University, University of Virginia, New York University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Timeline of College Preparation
9th & 10th Grades
As freshmen, MPA students develop and pursue their intellectual interests, build strong study habits, and participate in extracurricular and athletic activities. As sophomores, they identify their strengths and career options and research colleges and universities through SCOIR, a web-based tool that provides a wealth of information on more than 3,500 school. The Capstone Project begins to come into focus as students choose a topic based on their individual passions and develop a work plan for the next two years.
Juniors prepare for standardized tests (SAT and ACT) and the college search, application, and selection process. Students learn essential college research strategies, meet with college admission representatives, create their high school resume, write their common application college essay, learn about letters of recommendation, and continue working on their Capstone Project.
Seniors complete the college preparation process with regular individual and group meetings with the college counselor. Students work on supplemental essays, complete the common application and other applications, develop a resume, prepare for interviews, apply for scholarships, and complete their Capstone Project, presenting it to Upper School faculty.
The College Counselor conducts evening workshops to acclimate families to the college search, application, and selection process, offering information and the opportunity to ask questions.
Dozens of colleges and universities visit our campus during Upper School lunch to recruit our students. These visits are in addition to the schools who participate in the Spring College Fair. On May 1, MPA holds a celebration to mark the day students commit to a college of their choice.
Students take several pre-college preparatory exams:
• 8th, 9th, and 10th grade students take the ACT Aspire, which assesses student readiness in English, math, reading, science, and writing. This assessment is specifically geared toward college and career readiness. This exam prepares students for the ACT.
• Sophomore and junior students take the PSAT in preparation for the SAT and for entry in the National Merit Scholarship Competition. These nationally-normed assessments help prepare our students to be successful on college entrance exams, the ACT and SAT.