College Counseling

At Pioneer, as the College Counseling Department, we focus on, pay attention to, and guide each student individually.

College Counseling

Two Pioneer Academy high school students discussing with College Counselor about their college applications

At Pioneer, as the College Counseling Department, we focus on, pay attention to, and guide each student individually.

All of our students receive constant/ongoing counseling through mostly individual and occasionally general sessions.

Pioneer’s college counseling process begins in the junior year and is organized around regular individual conferences with students, with students and their parents, group counseling, and both individual and group meetings with local, regional, and national college admissions officers including campus visits. Working closely with students and their families, Pioneer’s experienced team of college counselors provide support and guidance throughout the entire admissions process lifecycle, from educational assessment to school choice, application preparation, financial aid, through acceptance.

We are a college-preparatory school where students are not only counseled and assisted with college admissions but empowered and encouraged to explore their postsecondary educational and career options with an emphasis on personal growth and individual way-finding.

Murat Yurttaser
Director of College Counseling
Some seniors visit us weekly, even daily, during their application process.
Our college counseling director and staff, beyond facilitators and educators that prepare students to present their candidacies strategically, also advocate and serve as liaisons between students and colleges, helping students better understand and realistically evaluate their credentials as they and their families assess, strategize, and scenario-plan their priorities and options.
A Pioneer Academy senior getting accepted into Johns Hopkins UniversityA Pioneer Academy senior getting accepted into Princeton University

Fundamentally, Pioneer’s college counseling department are trusted advisors and mentors to our students and an indispensable part of our scholastic community who have successfully shepherded Pioneer Academy graduates through the ever evolving college admissions landscape with impressive acceptance results at the very best public and private colleges and universities regionally, nationally, and internationally.

All students and parents should know that when guiding a student during this process, we as counselors will be straightforward and honest in our assessment of the student’s college list and chances for admission. Despite the fact that the student will eventually make the decisions about where to apply, we will honestly share our opinions about their choices.

During the application process, we are all expected to be reasonable and realistic. We should all know that unrealistic high expectations can create all kinds of psychological issues for the students. To us, students can include schools that are less likely, but applying ONLY to the schools that are most demanding or highly ranked is probably the biggest mistake that can result in rejections, disappointments, dramas, and even traumas.

Thus, the BEST FIT must be the goal for all students in deciding which colleges to apply to and what college to attend. Students must understand their abilities, wants, and needs and apply and attend schools that fit them BEST. Our students should listen to their hearts and their heads and be realistic; they should not let the college rankings mislead them.

Meet the College Counseling Team

Profile photo of Director of College Counseling

Murat Yurttaser

Director of College Counseling
Assistant Director of College Counseling Mr. Kim

Minkyu Kim

Assistant Director of College Counseling
David Adams, Senior College Counselor

David Adams

Senior College Counselor
Profile photo of Freshmen College Counselor

Nilgun Atay

College Counselor
Acadia University
Amherst College
Babson College
Baruch College
Bates College
Boston College
Boston University
Bowdoin College
Brandeis University
Brown University
Bucknell University
California Institute of Technology
Carnegie Mellon University
Case Western Reserve University
Centre College
McGill University
Middlebury College
Montana State University
Mount St. Mary's University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
New York University
New York University
Northeastern University
Northwestern University
Oberlin College
Oxford College
Pennsylvania State University
Pitzer College
Pomona College
Princeton University
Trinity College Dublin
Tufts University
Tulane University
United States Military Academy
United States Naval Academy
University College Dublin
University of California Berkeley
University of California Irvine
University of California Los Angeles
University of California San Diego
University of California Santa Cruz
University of Chicago
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Connecticut
University of Denver