School First

Jessie Royce Hill, M.S.

College Consultant

I have extensive experience helping students gain admission to a wide range of colleges, whether they are seeking to study the liberal arts, STEM and pre-med, the arts, or are still undecided about their major or goals. I’m also highly experienced in working with recruited athletes and students transferring colleges.

My aim as an independent counselor is to understand what animates each student so that we turn those interests into assets. I serve as both counselor and mentor, helping them embody and present the best version of themselves, inside and outside of the classroom and in their college applications. I value getting to know students on a granular level to learn about their life experiences and identify key themes that inform who they are as people.

Through my direct experience in college admissions, I know the kinds of questions that are asked in committee and how admissions officers seek authenticity in applications. I use that background to help my students build an authentic profile and show it most effectively in their applications.

In my role as a dean at Yale, I provided academic and personal advising to college students and directed the first-year advising program. Prior to assuming the deanship, I spent eight years as associate director of admissions for Yale, where I directed the campus interviewing program and built key resources to increase DEI. I continue to teach creative nonfiction writing in Yale’s English Department. I also present nationally on writing college essays.

My favorite part of working with students is helping them get to know themselves better. The college prep process isn’t just about building a strong profile and college application, but also about guiding students to develop a strong sense of self. A key component to my work is promoting self-awareness and emotional maturity.

As the mother of a college student and high school student, I understand both personally and professionally the dynamics at play for families in navigating these tender transitions. I approach my work with students and parents with transparency and compassion, serving as a trusted guide for everyone involved. And one tactic helps in all cases, along with structure and support: levity and humor!

Prior to academia, I worked as a journalist with National Public Radio and as an arts editor. An avid cycling and fitness enthusiast, I remain actively engaged with Yale Athletics, cheering on the Bulldogs at basketball games, alongside my daughters. Identifying a need for more targeted support for college varsity athletes, I founded a student-athlete mentor program unique among the Ivies. I’m also passionate about theater and music and sing in a church choir.