College Counseling

College counselor with student at Merion Mercy Academy

More than ready 

At Merion Mercy, we ensure that your daughter receives ongoing support as she searches for and applies to colleges that match her individual interests and abilities.

Our approach takes into account every aspect of the process, from standardized testing through to college fairs. During her junior and senior years, your student meets individually and in groups with her college counselor to plan for her post-MMA education. Our College Seminar course meets twice a month to cover college journey topics. 


A fair assessment

Just as we help your student craft an internal wisdom that equips her for the external world, we believe that selecting a college requires her to assess herself - her individual needs, strengths, preferences and values - as much as assessing the college. Which is to say: the process begins within. 

As Frank Sachs, former president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, said, “College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.” The ideal pairs a student with the school that best fulfills her academic, social and aspirational needs. The best fit is where she will thrive and be happy.

Read "From Admitted to Committed: Preparing to Thrive in College" by college counselors Allison Hoffman and Lauren Plaxa.


Tailored guidance

Here at Merion Mercy Academy, our college counseling procedure encompasses all four years of high school, with tailored guidance for each school year. This thoughtful process ensures there are no surprises along the way, and that your daughter is best prepared for success. We provide an exhaustive breakdown of what to think of when, down to seasonal (fall, winter, spring) advice for Grade 11 students, and in a monthly format for those in Grade 12. This process ensures that no detail is overlooked!

We are proud to state that our students have a 100% acceptance rate into four year colleges, with more than $23 million in college merit scholarships awarded in 2024.


Exceptional Counselors

Allison Hoffmann and Lauren Plaxa bring education and experience to their roles as Merion Mercy Academy's college counselors. Allison is a Franklin & Marshall graduate who holds a master's degree in Higher Education from Temple University. Her counseling experience includes serving with the College Advising Corps. through which she worked with six Archdiocesan high schools. She then worked in college admissions at both University of the Sciences and Ursinus College. 

Lauren attended St. Joseph's University where she majored in English and minored in secondary education. She earned her graduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After a teaching career, she spent 10 years as a college counselor and academic advisor for a charter school.

Read more about Allison and Lauren and their approach to counseling in this interview on our blog, The Journey.

College Counseling Team

Allison Hoffmann

Allison Hoffmann

College Counselor
Lauren Plaxa

Lauren Plaxa

College Counselor
Sally McGovern

Sally McGovern

Assistant to Counseling and Summer Programs
Current parents, caregivers and students can visit the "Resources" tab of MyMMA to access counseling resources.