Bragging Rights: Shipley's College Counseling, Proud of Our Process

Melissa Tassoni
The college admissions process remains a hot topic for high school students and parents. Increasing levels of selectivity at colleges and universities across the country have added to the fervor. Frequently, college counselors are on the front line—advising students and parents about academic choices, service interests, and other activities in pursuit of the “best” college admission outcome. But amidst this cluttered and sometimes confusing landscape, Janet Kobosky, Director of College Counseling, has reason for hope.

The college admissions process remains a hot topic for high school students and parents. Increasing levels of selectivity at colleges and universities across the country have added to the fervor. Frequently, college counselors are on the front line—advising students and parents about academic choices, service interests, and other activities in pursuit of the “best” college admission outcome. But amidst this cluttered and sometimes confusing landscape, Janet Kobosky, Director of College Counseling, has reason for hope.

A recent survey conducted by Shipley’s student newspaper, The Beacon, asked students about the things that influence their thinking about coursework and activities and revealed that college is not always the driving force behind their choices. “These findings please me,” said Kobosky, “because they indicate that a small but significant number of Shipley students value the authenticity of their academic and extracurricular choices. With so much pressure to choose courses and activities based on their perceived value in the college admissions process, it is rewarding to hear from students who recognize that good decision-making builds from the ground up and begins with the self and not with a college in mind.”

The self is at the heart of Shipley’s college counseling process, which is the culmination of our Pre-K through twelfth grade Social, Emotional, and Ethical Development (SEED) program. It is student-centered and focused on finding the college that is the “best fit” for each student. In contrast to the angst experienced by many students, our graduates report that the college process enhanced their self-reliance, confidence, and executive functioning skills. Now that’s something to be proud of.

Applying Early:

The early application trend in college admissions continues to grow, at Shipley and across the country.

90% of Shipley’s class of 2016 had submitted one or more college applications by Thanksgiving.

67% who applied Early Decision or Restricted Early Action were accepted.

Class of 2016 early accepts*

Berklee College of Music
Colorado College
Dartmouth
Gettysburg
Harvard
Howard
Johns Hopkins
Lake Forest
Lehigh
University of Miami
Muhlenberg
Northeastern
University of  Pennsylvania
Princeton
University of Richmond
Salisbury
Skidmore
Syracuse
Trinity
Tulane
Yale
*This does not represent the full list of schools where students in the Class of 2016 who applied ED/REA/EA were offered admission.



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List of 20 news stories.

  • What's Your Shipley Story: The Shipley Sisters, School Founders, 1894

    Trina Vaux '63
    It took courage to start a college preparatory school for women in the 1890s. The idea that women were as academically capable as men was controversial. Yet the Shipley sisters, Hannah, Elizabeth, and Katharine took on the challenge.
    Read More
  • Melanie Chia-Yu Sze ’65: Finding Joy in Learning & Adventure

    Leigh Green
    From teacher to librarian, paralegal to artist, Melanie “Mel” Chia-Yu Sze ’65, has lived many lives. As a lifelong learner and ceaseless adventurer, her career exemplifies the power of the excellent, multi-faceted education she received at Shipley. “My dad emphasized to me that everything can be taken away from you except your education,” she says. “Shipley started me on a road to see [education’s] real value.”
    Read More
  • Shipley Innovations: The Constancy of Change

    Melissa Tassoni & Trina Vaux '63
    What does it take for an educational institution to survive and thrive for 125 years? Changing with the times and, in some cases, making unpopular decisions. Here are some major changes in Shipley’s 125-history.
    Read More
  • Whitney Stengel Kellett '89: Four Generations of A Shipley Education

    Leigh Green
    Whitney Stengel Kellett ’89, CIO at Aqua America, is part of a four-generation Shipley family. She values the compassion and broad thinking fostered by a Shipley education, in addition to its rigorous academic preparation – for herself and for her third-grade daughter.
    Read More
  • A Generation of Generations: Connecting Students to the Past

    Melissa Tassoni
    Even though Generations has been an important part of Shipley's seventh grade curriculum since the early 1990s, the multi-disciplinary unit is more relevant than ever in the personal and academic lives of students.
    Read More
  • Margaret Bailey Speer: Headmistress 1944-1965

    Trina Vaux '63
    Margaret Bailey Speer was Shipley’s Headmistress from 1944-1965. With her background in a family of missionaries and her prior experience as a teacher in China, she had a clear-eyed understanding of the human condition and was global before “globalism” was a thing. She pressed Shipley’s Board of Trustees to admit African American students to Shipley, and she inspired a whole generation of Shipley girls to live lives of purpose and service.
    Read More
  • Meeting of the Minds: Positive Education

    Melissa Tassoni
    Shipley is the first school in the country to adopt a school-wide approach to Positive Education, which aims to strengthen academic and personal achievement through wellbeing using evidence-based techniques. What is wellbeing? Can you teach it? How do you incorporate a successful Positive Education practice in schools? Should you? Our panel explores these questions and more.
    Read More
  • Academic Spotlight: English 12 Seminar

    Melissa Tassoni
    By the time Shipley students reach senior year, students are offered choice in which semester-long English electives they’d like to enroll. This offering of choice is meant to inspire learning based on students’ interests and the courses are designed to give students a college-like learning experience, and many of the courses interdisciplinary in nature. Learn more about the English Senior Seminar.
    Read More
  • Elizabeth Ralph ’06: Living a Life of Insatiable Curiosity

    Leigh Green
    When Elizabeth Ralph ’06, was invited to join Politico Magazine in 2013, the Yale graduate leapt at the chance. As Deputy Editor, she oversees web publishing, monitors the article pipeline, and does “a ton of editing and assigning.” Shipley nurtured her drive towards discovery. “Shipley encouraged challenging conventional wisdom. My teachers were always willing to let me explore.”
    Read More
  • June Baldwin ’68: Using the Medium For Meaningful Messages

    Leigh Green
    June Baldwin ’68 has enjoyed a remarkable career in broadcast television. She’s held a driving, steadfast focus on social impact. “Television’s a powerful medium for transforming consciousness, for giving a voice to those who don’t have one,” she says. And Shipley’s motto, Courage for the Deed; Grace for the Doing has been at the heart of her work.
    Read More
  • Meeting of the Minds: Vision 2026, Shipley’s Strategic Plan

    Melissa Tassoni
    Shipley’s Strategic Plan provides a strong vision to help guide the School into the next decade and beyond. Deeply rooted in Shipley’s mission and traditional ideals, the plan provides a framework for its continued commitment to excellence in education. How does Shipley’s Strategic Plan maintain the essential character of the School while boldly moving it forward? Members of Shipley’s Board of Trustees share their thoughts.
    Read More
  • The Vale Family Shipley Story: Prepared to Succeed

    Kathy Smith
    Elizabeth Vale ’72, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and significant member of the Obama White House, credits Shipley with teaching her everything she needed to know. She valued her Shipley education so much, she sent her daughter Ann ’03 to Shipley, where she, too, received an education that prepared her for a successful future.
    Read More
  • Why I Give: The Chapin Family

    Leigh Green
    I’m an introvert, and he’s an extrovert,” says Emily Chapin Vollkommer ’05, of herself and her brother Colin Chapin ’08. At Shipley, they both thrived. “We could be our own people,” Colin says. Read more about the Chapins and why they give back to Shipley.
    Read More
  • Why I Teach: Adam Goren, Upper School Science

    Kathy Smith
    For Adam Goren, Upper School Physics and Chemistry teacher, teaching is an important and delicate business. “It’s a process,” he says. “of challenging the kids appropriately so they’re prepared to find the magic along the way.”
    Read More
  • For well over a decade, Susan Reilly and her fellow third grade teachers have inspired their students to find joy in learning and to build confidence as public speakers through their annual Bagels ’n Bios unit.

    3rd Grade Bagels ’n Bios: Building Confidence, Igniting Joy in Learning

    Melissa Tassoni
    For well over a decade, Susan Reilly and her fellow third grade teachers have inspired their students to find joy in learning and to build confidence as public speakers through their annual Bagels ’n Bios unit.
    Read More
  • Katie Balun ’17 discovered her passion for filmmaking in Shipley’s Middle School, thanks to the influence of a couple of her teachers. Now, she’s ready to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Learn more about Katie and the role Shipley has played in her life.

    Class of 2017 Senior Profile: Katie Balun

    Melissa Tassoni
    Katie Balun ’17 discovered her passion for filmmaking in Shipley’s Middle School, thanks to the influence of a couple of her teachers. Now, she’s ready to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Learn more about Katie and the role Shipley has played in her life.
    Read More
  • The Nkala Family Shipley Story: More than Just a Color

    Kathy Smith
    Shipley Coach and PE teacher Bruce Nkala and his wife were initially drawn to Shipley because of the baby clue color worn by the School’s sports teams – the color of their home country Botswana’s flag. But the Shipley community, small class sizes, and individual approach to each student have solidified their affinity for the School. Read the Nkala family’s Shipley story.
    Read More
  • Why I Give: Jennifer Flint Panetta '88

    Leigh Green
    Each year, Shipley parent and alumna Jennifer Flint Panetta ’88 and her son, Chris ’24, visit Shipley’s Development Office, where Chris makes a contribution to the Annual Fund. “It’s important that students understand, starting right away, that it’s more than just tuition that makes their experience possible,” says Panetta. Learn more about why Jennifer and Chris Panetta give back to Shipley.
    Read More
  • Edie Harding ’71 has spent her career ensuring a quality education for others. As Senior Program Officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she focuses primarily on early childhood development, particularly for low-income students and students of color, and is a strong supporter for integrated social-emotional curricula such as Shipley’s own SEED program.

    Edie Harding ’71: Making a Difference through Education

    Leigh Green
    Edie Harding ’71 has spent her career ensuring a quality education for others. As Senior Program Officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she focuses primarily on early childhood development, particularly for low-income students and students of color, and is a strong supporter for integrated social-emotional curricula such as Shipley’s own SEED program.
    Read More
  • “I teach because I love the children, the families, and the teachers,” says Kindergarten teacher Claire Grillo. “At Shipley, I love the warmth of the community. While we have a solid curriculum, teachers have latitude, so we can explore learning with the kids.” Learn more about Claire and why she loves teaching.

    Why I Teach: Claire Grillo, Kindergarten Teacher

    Kathy Smith
    “I teach because I love the children, the families, and the teachers,” says Kindergarten teacher Claire Grillo. “At Shipley, I love the warmth of the community. While we have a solid curriculum, teachers have latitude, so we can explore learning with the kids.” Learn more about Claire and why she loves teaching.
    Read More
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The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.