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Our Expertise

Cranbrook Schools boasts unequaled student advocacy in a college counseling team with more than a century of combined experience in college placement, college admissions, and financial aid.

Our five full-time college counselors work closely with admissions offices at colleges and universities across the country. One hundred percent of their work day is devoted to advocating for students, helping them find the right match with the right school, and to developing Cranbrook’s relationships with colleges and universities.

More than 120 top universities visit our campus each year, and admission representatives from each college are able to meet face-to-face with our students. In most cases, these are the same people advocating for the Cranbrook student during the admission process.

General Information

Office Hours: M-F, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Phone: (
248) 645-3246

Fax: (
248) 645-3068

Email: collegecounseling@cranbrook.edu

The college counseling offices are located at 520 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48304. Parking is available for visitors in the 520 Lone Pine Road lot.


Cranbrook School Code: 230-355
CK Test Center Code: 23-165

About Our Process

CK College Counseling offers unequaled expertise in guiding students through the uncertainties of the college selection and application process. From preparing students for interviews to holding admissions essay-writing seminars to calling a university admissions officer for an immediate answer to any question, Cranbrook’s counselors are a unique and indispensable resource to our students and families.

That expertise has resulted in a robust program that starts for students and parents in the freshman year, and partners them with academic deans, advisors, and counselors. Below is a brief overview of the major steps in that process:

Process for Students

List of 4 items.

  • Freshman Year

    The first year of college preparation focuses on:
    • Helping students integrate themselves into the Upper School, both academically and socially.
    • Aiding students as they explore their approach to studies and pursuit of extracurricular activities. We do this through our classroom experience and a system of academic advising.
    • Supporting and guiding students as they learn to strike a balance in their lives.
    • Introducing standardized testing through the administration of the PSAT-NMSQT test (a practice test for the ACT) as an academic assessment/counseling tool.
  • Sophomore Year

    In their second year, sophomore students:
    • Develop their writing skills, critical thinking, and test-taking skills – all integral elements in the preparation for college-level work.
    • Take the PSAT-NMSQT test as an introduction to college admission testing.
    • Refine their approach to the standardized tests necessary for successful college placement through teachers’ classroom instruction.
  • Junior Year

    During fall semester, juniors:

    • Meet with the CK College Counseling team to review the Junior Timeline and the standardized testing to be taken during the course of the year.
    • Are advised on and take the PSAT as a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
    • Attend a workshop about the college application process in order to fully understand the process and the key elements of college admission. This workshop includes a mock admissions committee exercise.
    • Complete the College Counseling Autobiographical Questionnaire, which serves as one of the foundation documents for the initial one-on-one meetings with college counselors the following spring.

    During spring semester, juniors:
    • Meet one-on-one with college counselors to develop:
      • A curriculum plan for senior year
      • A testing plan for standardized college admissions testing
      • A working list of colleges to research
      • The skill set necessary to fully and successfully engage the college application process
  • Senior Year

    In collaboration with their college counselors, seniors:
    • Finalize their college list.
    • Complete college applications beginning in early September. During this intense time, seniors draw upon the experiences of the past three years to balance the demands of a strong academic program, extracurricular activities, and preparing college applications.
    • Finish taking any remaining standardized tests.
    Senior students work with the following support team as they navigate this challenging transition year:
    • Academic Advisor
    • College Counselor
    • Teachers
    In April, the culmination of four years of preparation occurs when seniors make their final college choices.

Parent/Student Programs

List of 7 items.

  • College Admissions Deans Panel

    • Sophomore and junior parents and students hear from and interact with senior admissions officers from colleges and universities around the country
    • Panel discussion by the admissions deans
    • Question and answer session with the admissions deans
  • Mornings with College Counseling

    These for-parents-only programs are held monthly and vary in topic and structure. There have been sessions with experts discussing college admission trends, standardized test preparation methods, and even parent-to-parent panels.
  • STEM Panel

    Deans of Admission from a variety of colleges and universities present specific topics in the process of applying to STEM-related programs.
  • Affording College

    Each year, we invite Directors of Financial Aid from a variety of colleges and universities to present an overview of the financial aid process and general strategies on paying for college.
  • NCAA Information Night

    Learn the ins and outs of what it takes to be a college athlete.

    • Recruiting process and coach contact
    • What are the NCAA requirements and processes
    • Information on the NCAA Divisions and how they differ
  • Performing Arts Panel

    Deans of Admission from a variety of colleges and universities present specific topics and provide helpful guidelines for parents and students who are interested in pursuing the performing arts in college. Past sessions have included topics such as:

    • Tips on portfolio submissions and auditions
    • Why do I need a degree in performing arts?
    • How the application process is different
  • Grade-Specific Programming

    Freshman Parent Evening:
    • What goes on in the 9th grade classroom
    • Life outside the classroom
    • Summer opportunities
    • Curriculum planning
    • CK CollegeNet for the freshman family
    Sophomore Parent Evening:
    • About the PSAT
    • Making the most of your student's summer
    • Standardized testing
    • Curriculum planning
    • CK CollegeNet for the sophomore family
    Junior Parent Evening:
    • Where to begin: standardized testing
    • Making your summer work for you
    • How to research colleges
    • Important dates and deadlines
    Senior Parent Evening:
    • Parent and student relationships - about your senior
    • Deadlines and the various application paths available
    • Differences in college application forms
    • Fall standardized testing
    • Colleges that visit CK - how to use the visits well
    • Fall college campus visits and interviews
    • Financial aid forms
    • Teacher recommendations