Class of 21 College Sweatshirt

College Counseling

So much more than you might expect …
definitely not your parents’ college guidance experience.

Course Catalog

ksthomas-collegeThe hallmarks of NYA college counseling include:

  • knowledge,
  • access,
  • individual attention,
  • comprehensive oversight, and
  • focus on fit

View a list of college representatives scheduled to visit NYA this fall.

About Us
Katherine and Steve Thomas job share the college counseling position here at NYA, bringing a unique perspective to serving students and their families. Katherine has spent her entire career working in college counseling at independent schools. She served as College Counselor at Woodberry Forest School and Director of College Counseling at Foxcroft School (both are single-sex boarding schools in Virginia) before returning to Maine in 2006 where she has served as the NYA Director of College Counseling since. Throughout her career, Katherine has remained active in regional and national college admissions counseling conferences and workshops, and has traveled throughout the country at the invitation of colleges and universities.

Steve has spent over 40 years in the field of education beginning his career as an English teacher and soccer coach at independent schools in Connecticut and California. He transitioned to working in admissions at both the high school level (at Moses Brown) and then the college level at Bates, College of the Atlantic and Colby. Before joining the college counseling staff at NYA, Steve had served as the Director of Admission at Colby for 15 years. For much of his admissions career, Steve has specialized in working with international students – an added benefit to our international students here at NYA. This combination of experience on both sides of the desk provides a wealth of perspective that benefits students and families at every stage of the college search and application process.


  • Of individual students and what they value;
  • Of a wide range of colleges and what they offer;
  • Of what is going on behind the scenes in college admissions that is informing what it means for our kids to be applying to college today.


  • With individual students;
  • With college admissions professionals to ensure that NYA students benefit from current information and strong advocacy throughout the process;
  • With other college counseling professionals for perspective and advice. We travel extensively throughout the year to colleges and universities across the country, both at their invitation and on our own, to maintain and build connections with a wide variety of colleges. The networking that occurs in this context is invaluable, providing access to added layers of resources from which NYA students directly benefit.


  • To the most up-to-date information about programs, opportunities and trends;
  • To the college admissions professionals who represent the state of Maine in their respective admissions offices. About  95 admissions representatives visit NYA each fall to meet with our students who are interested in their colleges. We also meet individually with each of these representatives to build connections with  each college and university.

Individual attention…

We have an open door policy.

We encourage and welcome students to use us as a resource according to their level of interest and need.  Some students will be in and out for quick chats almost daily; others will navigate the process more independently.

Regardless of their individual approach or preference, we maintain contact with students and check in regularly to monitor how each is doing.

Comprehensive oversight ...

Support and encouragement in a framework of thorough organization combined with a caring approach, which depends on the involvement and investment of each student, but meets each student where he/she is at.

Focus on fit ...

It’s what this entire process is about.

We are firm believers that there is no one perfect college for each student, that there are a number of excellent colleges that will ultimately be a good match for each student and meet their goals and needs.

The primary goal of the college counseling process at NYA is to help students identify a balanced range of schools that constitute that good, personal  fit.

We tend to shift the focus away from rankings and onto how individual colleges match up with what students
want most from the next step in their educational journey.  We then assist them as they navigate the complexities and challenges of the application process.

College Acceptances

To see which colleges have accepted NYA students in recent years, click here.