Skip to main content

Meet an Admissions Counselor: Sam Freccia

expert collage with school names
Sam Freccia College Coach

Written by Sam Frecciaon March 15th, 2024

I started my career with a fellowship in the admissions office of my alma mater, Colgate University, following my graduation. After completing the fellowship, I moved to Maine to work at Colby College as Assistant Director of Admissions, where I managed the selection process for their Presidential Scholars program, hired and trained their senior admissions interns, and coordinated recruitment and application review for prospective students from the Pacific Northwest as well as the Northeast. After my time at Colby, I switched “sides of the desk” and began working as a high school college counselor first at Lakeside School in Seattle, WA and most recently at Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY, as Associate Director of College Counseling. As a college counselor, I worked individually with students in grades 10-12 on every aspect of their college process, starting with annual course selection and ending with their final college decision at the end of senior year. With such a diverse group of students on my annual caseload, I have helped students apply to nearly every type of program imaginable, including but not limited to premier STEM programs, audition and portfolio based performing/visual arts programs, small liberal arts colleges, large public universities, pre-medicine tracks, military academies, and architecture programs. I have also helped dozens of student-athletes navigate the recruitment process for various D1 and D3 programs, especially within the NESCAC and Ivy League conferences. In addition to my college counseling work, I served as a personal and academic advisor to a small group of students at Lakeside and was a member of Hackley’s Academic Committee (a group of administrators who made school-wide decisions about academic affairs).
Learn More About Sam
We’re bringing back our popular series, Meet an Admissions Counselor, where we introduce students and families to a different member of the College Coach admissions team. Drop in to see what we’re reading, where we went to school, and our strategies for beginning the college essay. As you work with us to find a college admissions consultant who best fits your needs or the needs of your child, we will help you consider the personality and working styles that will bring out the best in you or your student. Today we introduce Sam Freccia. Where are you from, where have you lived, and where do you live now? I was born and raised in Connecticut. Since leaving home for college, I have lived in New York, Maine, Washington, and Hawai‘i. Recently, my family and I relocated to southern Maine. What are you reading, watching, and/or listening to lately? My forever favorite is Survivor, of which I have been a die-hard fan for over twenty years. Luckily, we get two new seasons annually, which cover about half of the weeks in a year. When not “in-season,” I enjoy rewatching old seasons. Additionally, I have been feeling very nostalgic lately, so I have been rewatching old episodes of Boy Meets World in conjunction with listening to the recaps and analyses of the episodes on the podcast, Pod Meets World. What do you do for fun or to relax? I love the outdoors: hiking, trail walks with my dog and family, camping, stargazing, kayaking, snowshoeing, etc. I also LOVE live music and try to go to as many concerts as possible. Additionally, I love to golf with my friends. What are some of your interests—things that fascinate you or send you down internet rabbit holes, or things you love to learn more about? I am far from artistic, however, I really enjoy woodworking. I am especially proud of a couple of my projects, an Adirondack chair and a pair of large coffee tables. I am looking forward to expanding my workshop in our new home and taking on new projects. I also love “nerding out” about all things geology: volcanoes, fossils, plate tectonics, minerals, glaciers, and more. Do you do any volunteer work? If so, what, and are there certain causes that are close to your heart? In college, I was a volunteer firefighter, first responder, and EMT. I really loved my involvement with the fire department and would love to do it again. I recently moved to a town with a volunteer department, so I am hoping to get involved there soon! -- Where did you go to college and what did you study? I completed my undergraduate degree at Colgate University, where I majored in Geology. I later went on to earn a Master of Education degree at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. What was your favorite thing about college? Was anything very different from what you expected? I have SO MANY favorite things about my time in college. I loved the personal connections I made with classmates, faculty members, administrators, and local townspeople. I loved the opportunities I had to recognize and develop my strengths, to push myself outside of my comfort zone, and to prepare for life after college. It is amazing to reflect on how much I grew during those four years of my life and how the experience set me on such a great path moving forward. What would you say to your high school self if you could coach them through the research and application process? What would you have done differently? Be honest with yourself. You know yourself better than anyone. Trust your gut and follow your heart. You don’t have to have your whole life figured out. I spent too much time stressing out about the college process when I was in high school. I thought that I needed to figure out the one successful path forward in my life. In reality, there are countless possible paths, and so many which can lead to success. I wish I had spent more time enjoying senior year and the time with my high school friends and less thinking ahead to college. I also wish I started writing my essays earlier. -- Where did you work in admissions? I got my start in admissions at Colgate, where I worked during the summer after my college graduation. Then, I worked for Colby College as an Assistant Director of Admissions, before moving to the high school setting, where I served as Associate Director of College Counseling at Lakeside School in Seattle and Hackley School in New York. What aspect of the college admissions process do you most enjoy working on? I love speaking and connecting with students, helping them to realize how exciting and life-changing the college experience can be. I love to help students recognize their strengths, goals, and values, and how those things can inform their college search. What in your mind makes a good college essay? I love essays that authentically show who a student is while engaging the reader in a narrative that accurately reflects a student’s voice. My favorite essays are ones that enable me to feel like I know the personality, values, and/or goals of the student after reading it. How do you guide and nurture students through the college list process, from initial research to narrowing the final list? It is important to recognize that there are thousands of colleges to choose from, and impossible (and inadvisable) to research all of them. Students first need to learn about the variety of offerings available to them, in order to determine their preferences on those options. I love guiding students through the research process and talking to them about what they are discovering, both about colleges and themselves. It is really exciting when students narrow their list down to a group of colleges where they are truly confident that they will thrive. How would you describe your counseling style? My counseling style is very calming, positive, and encouraging. I love forming strong relationships with students in order to earn their trust and best support their individual needs. To learn more about Sam, visit his bio.

Find out where our team of admissions decision-makers came from and why they joined College Coach.


Interested in learning more about how our college admissions counseling services can help your student succeed?

Call 877-402-6224 or complete the form for information on getting your student started with one of our experts.

Inclusion Matters Here Pride Flag