College Placement Resource Center

Oakwood’s first senior class graduated in 2009. Since then our students have proven the strength of our program through their outstanding college placement record.

Michelle Graziosi, College Counselor

After graduating with her masters in clinical psychology at ECU, Michelle taught in the Mental Health program at Lenoir Community College. After her children were born she was a part-time instructor at Pitt Community College and a psychological associate in private practice. She is currently school counselor and college counselor at Oakwood. She also is the advisor of Girl Talk, a club in which Oakwood high school girls mentor younger girls at the school. In addition she teaches a class to juniors and seniors at the Upper School to provide additional guidance in the college search and application process. One exciting part of her job is visiting colleges around the country so that she can build ties with admissions counselors and learn more about the educational opportunities for our students. She has two children, one who graduated from Oakwood in 2015 and one who will graduate in 2020.

To view helpful links and resources, check out the College Counseling Corner Facebook Page.

College Counseling

Oakwood’s college counselor works to help students identify colleges and universities that are best suited for their talents, interests, aspirations, and needs. The counselor is actively involved in many facets of the application process and provides support to both students and parents.

Applying to college can be complicated and confusing—especially for students trying to balance the college application process with schoolwork, extra-curricular activities, community service projects, athletics, and fine arts responsibilities. The College Placement Office at Oakwood seeks to guide students through this process by developing a multi-year plan that fits our students’ unique interests.

The college advising process begins in the freshman year. Student surveys and family conferences identify goals, interests, and strengths. Parents are invited to “Parent College Group” meetings to ask questions of the college counselor and to learn about the college search process from other parents. The ultimate goal is to create an optimal match between student and college.

During a student’s senior year, the process continues with frequent meetings between the student and the college counselor. The counselor and Upper School teachers write letters of recommendation and offer suggestions for application essays. Guidance is extensive and thorough.

Overview of Naviance

Naviance will be your first and most important resource for college planning! Naviance is a web-based research and planning tool for students, parents, and our college counselor. The website manages individual students as they move through the entire college planning, application, and decision process. Through Naviance, students and the college counselor can communicate about upcoming deadlines and important notices. Students will be shown how to register for Naviance during their advisory period at the beginning of the school year. Parents will receive an email from our college counselor, Michelle Graziosi, with login information and instructions.

Click here to connect to Naviance.

If you have any questions contact Michelle Graziosi or call her at 252-931-0760 x2108.

College Acceptances '14-'18

2018 College Acceptances

Co-Valedictorians - Alex Adler and Jeevan Tewari
Class Speaker - Bryson Jacobs
Barbara Brown Founders Award - Briscoe Robinette

College List - *matriculations
Appalachian State University*
Auburn University
Boston University*
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Davis
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles
Campbell University
Case Western Reserve University
College of Charleston
University of Charleston
Clark University
Coastal Carolina University*
Davidson College
Duke University*
East Carolina University*
Elon University
Emory University
Florence-Darlington Technical College
University of Florida
Furman University
The George Washington University*
Georgia Institute of Technology
Grinnell College
Guilford College
Hampden-Sydney College
High Point University*
The University of Iowa
Johns Hopkins University
Kenyon College
Liberty University
Meredith College
Miami University, Oxford
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill*
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
North Carolina Central University
North Carolina State University*
North Carolina Wesleyan College*
Northeastern University
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rhodes College
University of Richmond
Roanoke College
Sewanee: The University of the South
University of South Carolina
St. Olaf College
Stevens Institute of Technology
Sweet Briar College
Trinity University*
Tulane University
University of Vermont
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest University*
Wake Technical Community College*
Washington and Lee University*
College of William and Mary
Wingate University

Scholarship total: $3,159,201

2013-2017 College Scholarships

U. of Alabama


AAMD College and Conservatory of Performing Arts


Barton College


Bennington College


Campbell U.


Catawba College


College of Charleston


Clemson University


East Carolina University


Elon U.


Florida State U.


Florida Southern University


Furman U.


Guilford College


Hampton Sydney College


High Point U.


Hollins University


Johnson and Wales Charlotte


Johnson and Wales, Miami


Liberty U


Loyola in New Orleans


Mars Hill University


Meredith College


NC Wesleyan


Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute


Savannah College of Art and Design


Tulane Univeresity


U Colorado, Boulder


U. Mary Washington


UNC Chapel Hill


UNC Greensboro


University of South Carolina


Tulane Univeresity


Virgina Commonwealth University


University of Virginia at Wise


Warren Wilson College


Worchester Polytechnic Institute


Mary D and Hubert H Bryant School


Marine Federal Credit Union School


National Merit


Air Force ROTC


Young Entrepreneur Award


DAR Good Citizen


St. Janes UMC Less


Presbyterian Women's Memorial Scholarship


Fresnesius Medical Care


Total Scholarships offered:
$3,857,387 (2013-2017)

SAT and ACT Testing

Note that the Oakwood School's code is:


The student is responsible for registration!

Recommended Test Dates


Since most colleges and universities combine the highest scores taken from the SAT, up to three testing dates may be recommended. Students usually take the SAT in December or March of junior year and again in May or June. If needed, it can be taken in the fall of senior year.


Some students may fare better on the ACT than the SAT, so we recommend a student take it at least once. Some schools will not super score the ACT. A student who takes the ACT should take it in the winter and spring of junior year. If necessary, it can be taken in the fall of senior year.

SAT II (Subject Tests)

Students need to be aware of whether or not the college or university REQUIRES or RECOMMENDS taking SAT II tests. A college may suggest two SAT IIs, one in math and another in the subject of the student’s choice. More of the highly selective colleges and universities will suggest that students submit SAT II scores as part of their application.

SAT IIs should be taken in spring of the junior year. However, if a student is taking a particular SAT II subject during their sophomore year, they should consider taking that associated SAT II test at the end of that same year.

Yearly Planning Guide

College Resource Books

There are many source books available, and writing them seems to be virtually a cottage industry. There are two sorts of handbooks: general and interpretive. The general guides list such information as enrollments, majors, applications vs. admits, etc. The interpretive books attempt to discuss strengths/weaknesses of each school. Such attempts are necessarily written from a point of view and may be considered subjective. While not gospel, they can give you useful insights from which you may frame questions. You may wish to purchase one or two for your own use. Barnes and Noble is a good place to go browse through college books and then determine which ones work best for you.

Limit the number of books you buy. Specifically, we recommend The College Handbook, published by The College Board (may be purchased when you register for the SAT), and The Fiske Guide to Colleges by Edward Fiske. Web pages on individual colleges are another good source.

General Handbooks

  • The College Handbook, New York: College Entrance Examination Board.
  • Profiles of American Colleges, Barrons.
  • The Fiske Guide to Colleges, Edward B. Fiske, New York Times Books
  • The Best 379 Colleges, Princeton Review

College Major Books

  • Index of Majors and Graduate Degrees, New York: College Entrance Examination Board.
  • Book of Majors, College Board

General Books: A larger view

  • In: College Admissions and Beyond, Lillian Luterman and Jennifer Bloom
  • 8 First Choice Colleges, Joyce Slayton Mitchelle
  • The Insider's Guide to Colleges, The Yale Daily News.
  • Colleges That Change Lives, Loren Pope: Penguin Books
  • Looking Beyond the Ivy League, Loren Pope: Penguin Books

College Essay Books

  • On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition, Steven King, Scribner Press
  • On Writing the College Application Essay, Harry Bauld, Collins Reference
  • Writing from the Heart, Hal Zina Bennett, New World Library

College Majors

  • 10 Best College Majors for Your Personality Type, Laurence Shatkin
  • References for U. S. Financial Aid
  • The A's and B's of Academic Scholarships, Daphne A. Philos, Ed., Virginia: Octameron Press
  • The Scholarship Book, Daniel J. Cassidy, New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Almost all U. S. guidebooks are online via the Internet, as are home pages for many colleges and universities. One or two handbooks may still be more efficient to use than searching a database. Use whatever tool iseasy and comfortable for you.

Website Resources

Continuous change is the hallmark of the Internet, with new sites developing, dying and merging at a great rate. Fortunately, the best sites link into other major sites, and many have cannibalized the best of specialized guidebooks and incorporated them into their web pages. You will find a tremendous amount of duplication. As we have recommended with written materials, it is better to learn how to use one or two sources very effectively than to trawl through multiple sites.

General Information

College Foundation of North Carolina
-Loaded with information and resources to help you and your family; choosing a career, getting ready for college, financial aid and scholarship information.
-This is a useful site for helping you determine your chances of acceptance into colleges that interest you and their is a scholarship finder and a net price calculator to help you estimate financial aid opportunities.
-CollegeWeekLive is a virtual college fair, with hundreds of colleges and universities from around the world exhibiting and tens of thousands of attendees. CollegeWeekLive brings together students, parents, counselors and colleges online to interact, transcending time and distance. CollegeWeekLive is completely free to attendees.

-CollegeWeekLive attendees can watch admissions experts speak on topics such as how to prepare for the SAT, how to write a winning application essay or how to pay for college and have questions answered via live chat. Attendees can also video chat with college students and learn what campus life is really like. The event features scholarships and special promotions available only to those who attend.

College Entrance Exams

College Board
-Information on the SAT, finding the right college, applying to college, and financial aid/scholarship information.

SAT Practice Questions
-Khan Academy has partnered with College Board to provide practice SAT questions and tests.
-Info, preparation and registration for the ACT test
-Free unofficial ACT test questions and information about the ACT.

College Search Engines
-Here you’ll find basic profiles of colleges that include information on a school’s location, cost, enrollment, and admissions dada such as test scores and the percent of students who are accepted.
-Good search engine; also includes all Peterson Guides, including Peterson's Summer Opportunities, the best general guide to summer programs.
-Information on colleges, popular careers, and financial aid resources.
-Another search engine.
-Some videos, maps, college view books.
-Lists of colleges with programs for students with learning disabilities, historically black colleges, women’s colleges, and Christian colleges. Also has a lot of information on financial aid and choosing a college.

Visiting Colleges
-The College Trip Planner is a web tool that connects users to tours, information sessions, and other admissions activities at hundreds of schools. They can download campus maps, get parking directions, and make travel arrangements from the site. Dates and times are saved in itineraries students can take on the road..

Applying to College
-The Common College Application.

Paying for College
-To receive student financial aid, you need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every school year.

-FAFSA on the Web allows you to complete and submit your financial aid application electronically.
-Best general financial aid site; includes scholarship searches, access to financial aid forms; also includes correctives, such as common scholarship scams.
-Great site for broad range of scholarships
-Scholarship search service.
-Scholarship search engine and financial aid information
-Scholarship search engine. You can find scholarships based on your prospective major, the state you live in, and other criteria.

College Majors/Careers
-Useful advice on university majors and college majors that a student with your interests and achievements might do well in.
-What can I do with a major in…

Other Interesting Sites
-The Common College Application.
- Affordable Colleges.

AP Scholar Awards

The AP Program offers several AP Scholar Awards to recognize high school students who have demonstrated college-level achievement through AP courses and exams. Although there is no monetary award, in addition to receiving an award certificate, this achievement is acknowledged on any AP score report that is sent to colleges the following fall.

Awards Levels

AP Scholar

Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams

AP Scholar with Honors

Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams.

AP Scholar with Distinction

Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams.

State AP Scholar

Granted to the one male and one female student in each U.S. state and the District of Columbia with scores of 3 or higher on the greatest number of AP Exams, and then the highest average score (at least 3.5) on all AP Exams taken.

National AP Scholar

Granted to students in the United States who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams

Summer Programs

The college search process can seem foreign and intimidating to students. Choosing a major can be a daunting task. Summer programs are designed to address both of these issues. They provide an opportunity to experience life on a college campus and they allow students to learn more about different fields of study.

The variety of summer programs available to students is almost endless. Check a partial list of college summer opportunities that provide students with unique and valuable learning experiences.

Parent College Discussion Group

The Parent Discussion Group is open to parents with students in grades 9-12. Various topics are explored including, but not limited to college admissions, standardized testing, and financial and scholarship searches.

Dates and times

February 25 - 2:30
February 26 - 6:30
March 11 - 2:30
March 12 - 6:30

April 8 - 2:30
April 9 - 6:30

All meetings are in the Upper School and open to all Upper School parents. The 2:30 meetings will be held in room 2117, and the 6:30 meetings will be held in room 2106.