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Our college counseling program is designed to support and empower students to calmly, thoughtfully, and competently navigate their plans after graduating from Tampa Prep.

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Helping to Support & Empower Students

Deciding what to do after graduating from Tampa Prep is one of the first significant life decisions students will make and own for themselves. We want our students to consider their values, passions, interests, and needs. From that foundation, they will research colleges, universities, and gap year programs that meet their criteria and evaluate how their credentials will position them for their next adventure.

We welcome freshmen and their families at any time with questions. Each Tampa Prep student will meet individually with their assigned college counselor in the spring of the sophomore year, a meeting in which a relationship will be established, and the counselor will begin to know the student and their family while offering thoughts on academic and broader goals. Our goal is not to launch into conversations about specific colleges, testing, and application techniques. Instead, we want to get to know our students as individuals.

Our Students have been Admitted to the Following Colleges

Taking Ownership

Students learn to take ownership of their process, beginning with their junior year and right through their senior year. The most critical and thoughtful approach is with the student leading the way and the college office and family in support. This yields the best outcome for each student.


In addition to regular individual meetings, class meetings, guest speakers, emails, school newsletters, social media, and internet resources, the college office utilizes web-based technology from SCOIR. SCOIR creates an open and transparent link between the college office, the student, and their family, powered by the most comprehensive and practical database available for college research. Each student will receive a SCOIR account in the spring of the first year.

College Representative Visits

Seniors and juniors also benefit from having over 150 college and university admission representatives visit campus (in person or virtually) each year during the fall application cycle, giving each student yet another opportunity to advocate for themselves. Tampa Prep takes pride in the individual care and attention each student and family member receives from the college office.

Meet the College Office

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Mike Wagstaff

Director of College Counseling

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Kristin Grosso

Assistant Director of College Counseling

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Jody Rodriguez

Assistant Director of College Counseling

Planning Your Future

The college counseling office at Tampa Prep supports students, parents, and family members throughout the four years of Upper School. The college counselors, grade deans, and advisors work to develop their academic and extracurricular interests and pursue them vigorously. Colleges expect to see upper school students fully engage in the programs available. We encourage this engagement by helping students realize their leadership potential and connect with opportunities that match their strengths.

Freshman Year

Our students are introduced to the college counselors at a grade-level meeting in the second half of the school year. We want them to know who we are and to feel comfortable coming to speak to us with any questions they may have. These introductions and discussions will help our new Upper School students consider their future goals and aspirations. We also want to demystify the process through these early talks. Our office also joins in on a ninth-grade parent night for a Q and A session.

Our first-year class takes the Practice Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) 9. Please know these are practice tests and that no one sees the scores except the student, family members, and the school. These PSAT tests are done, so students get used to sitting for the tests, and they are helpful early indicators to see how students do and what can be done to improve their scores if needed. Students will retake the PSAT in their sophomore year and start to learn more about the SAT and ACTs that some colleges require.

We will also register our ninth-grade students in the spring with SCOIR, a web-based program used throughout the college process. SCOIR is an online college search and organizational tool that Tampa Prep utilizes to assist our students in the college search process. SCOIR provides an excellent search engine, allowing students to quickly generate a list of colleges that meet specific criteria, such as geographical location, majors, and enrollment size. SCOIR is also a great place to keep track of a student’s volunteer hours and all extracurricular activities. The college counseling team will use SCOIR to submit application documents to almost all colleges and universities.

Parents and family members are welcome to come in and speak with a counselor at any time.

Sophomore Year

During sophomore year, our students will take the PSAT and better understand what is to come regarding SAT and ACT testing.

Our office will pair students with one of our counselors in the spring semester. These counselors will guide them and their families throughout their college process.  In the initial meeting, a  relationship will be established, and the counselor will begin to know the student and their family while offering thoughts on academic and broader goals. Counselors will then meet with each student individually and discuss their future goals, aspirations, SCOIR, summer plans, class choices for junior year, possible college visits, and testing preparation.

Parents and family members are more than welcome to come in and speak with a counselor at any time.

Junior Year - Fall

In the fall of the junior year, individual counseling sessions with students and their families will occur. These meetings help introduce students and family members to the college process and the variety of resources available. With attention paid to individual student needs, we look at the timeline for researching colleges, visiting colleges, testing, and how to stay organized and focused throughout the process. All juniors will take the PSAT in October, and we will discuss on an individual basis about taking the SAT and ACT in the fall or early winter. The junior class will take an SAT/ACT prep class starting in November during the Tuesday class seminar block. This class will go on until March.

Junior Year - Spring

Juniors start to meet regularly with their college counselor, and family meetings are scheduled at significant times throughout the spring. Students are actively researching colleges and clarifying their priorities during this critical year. Topics discussed include teacher recommendations, the college essay, completing the Common Application, SAT/ACT Testing, creating a resume, financial aid, scholarship information, and using SCOIR to stay organized and communicate with the College Counseling Office.

Summer Before & Senior Year

All seniors applying to college must complete a full draft of their main college essay before the first week of school begins. Seniors will continue to work one-on-one with their counselor to complete the requirements for their college applications. This is a highly individualized process, and great care is taken to ensure that students have produced their best work to present to colleges. Counseling is ongoing through the application period and decision time. Positive, timely and helpful communication with parents is a key component of the college counseling program.

Parents and family members are more than welcome to come in and speak with a counselor at any time.

Learn more ways we assist students as they prepare for their future:

Academic SupportCollege Financial AidStandardized Testing Information

See the College Counseling Calendar

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