College Counseling

Starting sophomore year, you will begin work on finding a college that is the right fit for YOU. Our college counselors have a proven track record of success and will help you gain a strong understanding of your strengths, interests and values so that you will find a school that is the right fit for YOU and where YOU will thrive.
It’s natural to start with college matriculation when considering a college preparatory school. And while we’re confident that you’ll like what you find on our list (see below), we challenge you to reflect on what you’re looking for. Are you looking for the names of a couple of top ranked schools and the college that you or someone close to you attended? Then ask what you actually know about any given school and the students who are most successful in that environment. If you come up blank, never fear—most people do.

Enter the FVS college counseling team...

Guided Discovery

With decades of combined experience—both as college counselors AND as college admissions officers, our counselors are experts at helping students and colleges make a match that fits and that lasts so that you can focus on learning and won’t be left asking whether or not you made the right choice. Our counselors know our kids, but just as importantly, they know the colleges and spend countless hours researching and visiting schools, meeting with college reps, and getting to know the culture of schools around the world. Guidance is highly personal and attentive. And as a boarding school where teachers are also coaches and residence hall staff, the connections they make run deep and thus their understanding does too. Their process is student-centered, focused on finding fit, and spans three years. Here’s an overview:

Sophomore Year

Sophomores kick off their college search by taking self-inventory and encouraging you to question your assumptions. Our counselors help you understand yourself better so that you may chart a course and choose classes that will empower you to develop your passions, and support you as you explore new interests. You will be prompted to answer questions like:

“What is the best academic experience you’ve ever had?” This will help you define what kinds of learning environments you might thrive in. 

“Which are the colleges that you feel you know a lot about and what do you actually know about them?” There are more than 3000 schools in the U.S. alone, and this question sets the stage to keep an open mind. For many students, the school they choose is one that they may never have heard of. 

“If you could build it, describe your ideal college.” Indulging a bit of design thinking, you’ll define the characteristics and create a profile. Where is it and what does it look like? Is it like FVS or different and how? 2000 students or 20,000? Is it coed? What programs are strongest and how do the facilities support them? These questions will lead to more, but a clear picture will soon begin to emerge that will serve as a guide when you begin research the following year.

Junior Year

Each year at FVS is defined by a signature experience. Freshmen have Chapter One; sophomores enjoy a Western Immersion, and seniors have their capstone experience. For juniors, it’s the college search. The year is a deep dive into this process and counselors guide students and their parents in navigating the complex landscape of college admissions. They provide valuable insight and moral support, but also facilitate the process and keep things on track and on time. Here’s how the year looks:

  • Juniors attend a college fair in the fall. Nearly 200 colleges and universities are represented and this is a great time to speak with college reps and see if you can find that ideal college that you designed sophomore year. 
  • Workshops take place every other week throughout the spring. You’ll look at the college process timeline and dissect the SAT and ACT to develop a standardized testing plan. Discussions will include how colleges make admission decisions as well as how to research colleges and plan visits. You’ll also start working on the Common Application and begin to brainstorm ideas to answer the question that most vexes students: “What will I write about in my essay…”
  • Then it’s on to building lists. The goal is for each junior to identify a collection of schools for their initial list that fit their needs and represent a calculated range of likelihood and reach.
  • Throughout the school year, representatives from 75-100 colleges and universities visit the Fountain Valley campus. Students are encouraged to meet with representatives, learn about colleges and establish contact with an admission officer who may, one day, be reviewing that student’s application for admission.
  • In April, juniors enjoy an enlightening evening where they review and make admission decisions on mock college applications. Students are divided into small group “admission committees,” which are led by visiting admission officers from colleges and universities from around the country. There is spirited debate about which hypothetical candidate is admitted, giving juniors an idea of the nuanced factors that go into acceptance decisions.
  • During spring break and over the summer, juniors and their parents typically hit the road to see the schools on their list.

Senior Year

Throughout the fall semester of senior year, students meet with college counselors both individually and in small groups to finalize their college list, and to complete and submit their applications. Discussion topics include objective analysis and decision-making, as well as ways to maintain a healthy emotional balance. Counselors are also well-versed in the complexities of financial aid and help families explore different sources and options.

Technology and Test Prep

FVS students and their parents use the SCOIR College Network, which is an online, deep knowledge base that connects students, parents, counselors and colleges for a smooth admissions process. Twice each year, Fountain Valley offers optional six-week SAT and ACT test prep classes to assist students in maximizing their scores.

College Acceptances and Enrollment 2015-19

Adams State University
Adelphi University
Adrian College
Agnes Scott College
Alfred University
Allegheny College
Alma College
American University
Arizona State University
Art Center College of Design
Auburn University
Augsburg University
Austin Community College District
Babson College
Bard College
Bard College Berlin
Barnard College
Bates College
Baylor University
Becker College
Beloit College
Bennington College
Berry College
Bethany College
Biola University
Birmingham Southern College
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Boise State University
Boston College
Boston University
Bowdoin College
Bradley University
Brandeis University
Bryant University
Bryn Mawr College
Bucknell University
Butler University
California College of the Arts
California Institute of the Arts
California Lutheran University
California Poly (San Luis Obispo)
California State Univ (Monterey Bay)
California State Univ (San Bernardino)
Calvin University
Cardiff University
Carleton College
Carnegie Mellon University
Carroll College
Carthage College
Case Western Reserve University
Castleton University
Central Wyoming College
Centre College
Chadron State College
Champlain College
Chapman University
Chatham University
Citadel Military College of S.C.
Clarkson University
Coe College
Colby College
Colby Community College
Colgate University
College for Creative Studies
College of Charleston
College of Saint Benedict
College of William and Mary
Colorado College
Colorado Mesa University
Colorado Mountain College
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado State University (Fort Collins)
Colorado State University (Pueblo)
Columbia College (Chicago)
Columbia College (Hollywood)
Concordia University (Irvine)
Concordia University (Portland)
Concordia University (Wisconsin)
Connecticut College
Cornell College
Creighton University
Culinary Institute of America
Curry College
Daemen College
Dartmouth College
Davidson College
Denison University
DePaul University
Dickinson College
Drew University
Drexel University
Drury University
Duquesne University
Earlham College
Eastern Kentucky University
Eckerd College
Edgewood College
Elon University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ (FL)
Emerson College
Emmanuel College
Fairfield University
Florida Institute of Technology
Fordham University
Fort Lewis College
Frank Phillips College
Franklin & Marshall College
Franklin University Switzerland
Furman University
George Washington University
Georgetown University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia State University
Gettysburg College
Gonzaga University
Goucher College
Grand Canyon University
Grinnell College
Hamilton College
Hamline University
Hampshire College
Harvey Mudd College
Hawaii Pacific University
High Point University
Hobart William Smith Colleges
Hofstra University
Hollins University
Holy Names University
Humboldt State University
Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois Wesleyan University
Indiana University (Bloomington)
Ithaca College
James Madison University
Jefferson (East Falls Campus)
Johns Hopkins University
Johnson & Wales University (Denver)
Juniata College
Kalamazoo College
Kansas State University
Keene State College
Kenyon College
King's College
Knox College
Lafayette College
Lake Forest College
Lake Superior State University
Lawrence University
Lehigh University
Lewis & Clark College
Linfield College
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Maryland
Loyola University New Orleans
Macalester College
Manhattan College
Marian University
Marquette University
Maryland Institute College of Art
Marymount California University
Marymount Manhattan College
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
McDaniel College
Menlo College
Mercer University
Mercyhurst University
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Miami University (Oxford)
Michigan State University
Middlebury College
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Minnesota State University (Mankato)
Mississippi State University
Monmouth College
Montana State University
Montana Tech
Mount Holyoke College
Muhlenberg College
Naropa University
New York University
North Central College
North Park University
Northeastern University
Northern Arizona University
Northern Michigan University
Northwestern University
Norwich University
Occidental College
Oglethorpe University
Ohio Wesleyan University
Oklahoma State University
Oregon State University
Ottawa University
Pace University (New York City)
Pacific Lutheran University
Pacific University
Pennsylvania State University
Pikes Peak Community College
Pitzer College
Pomona College
Portland State University
Pratt Community College
Pratt Institute
Prescott College
Purdue University
Queen's University
Quest University Canada
Quinnipiac University
Reed College
Regis University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rhodes College
Ringling College of Art and Design
Ripon College
Roanoke College
Robert Morris University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Roger Williams University
Rollins College
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Rowan University
Rutgers University (Camden)
Rutgers University (New Brunswick)
Rutgers University (Newark)
Saint Ambrose University
Saint Cloud State University
Saint Edward's University
Saint Johns University
Saint Louis University
Saint Mary's College
Saint Mary's College of California
Saint Michael's College
Salve Regina University
Samford University
San Diego State University
San Francisco Art Institute
Santa Clara University
Santa Monica College
Savannah College of Art and Design
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
School of Visual Arts
Scripps College
Seattle University
Seton Hall University
Sewanee: The University of the South
Simmons University
Simon Fraser University
Skidmore College
Smith College
Sonoma State University
South Dakota School of Mines and Tech
Southern Arkansas University
Southern Methodist University
Spelman College
Spring Hill College
Springfield College
St Catherine University
St Lawrence University
St. Norbert College
Stanford University
Stevens Institute of Technology
Stonehill College
Stony Brook University
Suffolk University
SUNY at Binghamton
SUNY College at Plattsburgh
SUNY University at Buffalo
Syracuse University
Temple University
Texas A & M University
Texas Christian University
Texas Tech University
The American University of Paris
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
The College of Wooster
The Evergreen State College
The New School
The Ohio State University
The University of Alabama
The University of Edinburgh
The University of Montana
The University of Nottingham
The University of Tampa
The University of Texas at Austin
Trinidad State Junior College
Trinity College
Trinity University
Trinity Western University
Tufts University
Tulane University of Louisiana
Union College
United States Air Force Academy
United States Military Academy
University of Alberta
University of Arizona
University of Auckland
University of British Columbia
University of California (Berkeley)
University of California (Davis)
University of California (Irvine)
University of California (Los Angeles)
University of California (Merced)
University of California (Riverside)
University of California (San Diego)
University of California (Santa Barbara)
University of California (Santa Cruz)
University of Central Florida
University of Cincinnati (Main Campus)
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Colorado Denver
University of Connecticut
University of Delaware
University of Denver
University of East Anglia
University of Florida
University of Hawaii at Manoa
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
University of Indianapolis
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Kentucky
University of La Verne
University of Limerick
University of Louisville
University of Lynchburg
University of Maine
University of Maine at Presque Isle
University of Mary Hardin (Baylor)
University of Maryland
University of Massachusetts (Amherst)
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota (Twin Cities)
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri (Columbia)
University of Nebraska (Lincoln)
University of New England
University of New Hampshire
University of New Mexico
University of North Carolina Wilmington
University of North Texas
University of Northern Colorado
University of Notre Dame
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Portland
University of Providence
University of Puget Sound
University of Redlands
University of Rochester
University of San Francisco
University of Southern California
University of Southern Maine
University of St. Andrews
University of Sydney
University of the Pacific
University of Utah
University of Vermont
University of Virginia
University of Washington
University of Waterloo
University of Wisconsin (La Crosse)
University of Wisconsin (Madison)
University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
University of Wisconsin (River Falls)
University of Wyoming
Valparaiso University
Vanderbilt University
Vanguard Univ of Southern California
Vassar College
Villanova University
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Wake Forest University
Waseda University
Washington and Lee University
Washington College
Washington State University
Washington University in St Louis
Wellesley College
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Wesleyan University
West Texas A & M University
West Virginia University
Western Colorado University
Western Michigan University
Western Washington University
Westminster College
Westmont College
Wheaton College
Whitman College
Whittier College
Whitworth University
Wichita State University
Willamette University
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Yale University
Yale-NUS College

Meet the College Office

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  • Doug Badger P ’17 - Director of College Counseling

    Before coming to Fountain Valley in 2014, Mr. Badger spent more than 20 years working on college campuses, including 12 years in the Admissions Office at Middlebury College and five years as the Director of Admission at Grinnell College.
  • Lee Nuckolls — Associate Director of College Counseling

    Ms. Nuckolls arrived at FVS in 2016. She served as a college counselor at independent schools in both Atlanta and Salt Lake City for many years, and spent 11 years in the Admission Office at Washington University in St. Louis.
  • Vicki Sandoval P ’06, ’11 – College Office Assistant/Testing Coordinator

    For more than 20 years, Vicki has served the Fountain Valley College Office. In addition to sending and tracking applications, recommendations, and transcripts, Vicki coordinates all SAT, ACT, and AP testing on campus.

List of 1 items.


    We look forward to welcoming you to our stunning campus on 1,100 acres of prairie at the foot of Pikes Peak. 

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FVS is a private, college-preparatory, co-ed, day and boarding school for grades 9-12 in Colorado Springs.
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