We empower students to take responsibility for their college admission process, viewing the process of growth and maturation as a component of the school’s curriculum. Frank Sachs put it best: “College admission is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.” In an age of increasingly competitive admission to the nation’s best colleges and universities, this statement rings ever more true.

We impart to our students the confidence to carefully research the rich array of opportunities in higher education, ultimately selecting the institution that best fits and serves their unique characteristics and needs. Similarly, we believe that choosing a college based upon an arbitrary ranking or its popular prestige is misguided and counterproductive.

Our office aids in the process of discovery and self-awareness, encouraging students to take ever greater ownership over this important life transition process, developing the powers of self-reflection needed to make a choice that rings true.

As an institutional member of the National Association of College Admission Counseling, Laguna Blanca subscribes to the NACAC Statement of Principles of Good Practice, a document that makes clear the high ethical standards that ought to accompany the college admissions process.

Taking it Year by Year

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Grade 9 | Freshman Year

    • Pursue the most challenging, sustainable course load appropriate to your interests and strengths—colleges check closely to see what’s offered on Laguna’s profile.

    • Join and learn about extra-curricular actives and all the various electives, sports, and clubs Laguna has to offer. (Many colleges strongly consider applicant’s talent, commitment, and leadership). Remember that a few sustained involvements are better than many shallower ones.
  • Grade 10 | Sophomore Year

    • Take the PSAT (given to all sophomores/juniors in October).
    • Take a full-length practice ACT and SAT to determine which you prefer. Consider a long-term test prep strategy.
    • Meet with the college counseling office to learn about colleges with programs well suited to your interests and learning style.
    • Begin to research and learn more about colleges by attending at least 3 rep visits in the fall.
    • Consider summer coursework at colleges and opportunities to intern.
  • Grade 11 | Junior Year

    • Take the PSAT in October.
    • Research college choices – use the resources in the College Counseling Office and Scoir.
    • Visit college on non-school days.
    • Participate in long-term and sustained test preparation.
    • Register to take the ACT/SAT; have at least one set of official scores by April.
    • Take AP exams in May.
    • Write a well-developed rationale for your college needs in Scoir.
    • During the summer, work on college essays and continue college visits.
  • Grade 12 | Senior Year

    • Revise college list in Scoir; evenly balance between Reach, Level, and Likely schools.
    • Approach teachers EARLY for letters of recommendation and submit requests through Scoir.
    • Visit with college representatives at Laguna during the fall.
    • Register to retake the ACT and/or SAT before January 1.

Meet the Staff

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Colleen Murray

    Colleen Murray 

    Senior Director of College Counseling
  • Photo of Lalitha Otterness

    Lalitha Otterness 

    Associate Director of College Counseling
  • Photo of Livier Gonzalez

    Livier Gonzalez 

    Registrar & College Counseling Coordinator