"There was nothing more readying for college. Four months of living and studying independently among a radically diverse group of people in a country that challenges you... is the ultimate preparation for college."
– Jason, Binghamton University
We know that the college preparation process is a source of much apprehension for high school students today. Our mission is to help students be successful at every stage of their entry to college life: from the application process, all the way to navigating those first years away from home.
URJ Heller High staff and faculty are available to assist you in the various aspects of the college application process.
Taking standardized tests is an important aspect of preparing for college. URJ Heller High is proud to offer students the opportunity to take the PSAT, SAT, and AP Exams right at our home at Kibbutz Tzuba, and we can arrange for students to take the ACT in Jerusalem. Learn more about Standardized Testing on Heller High.
Working on Applications from Israel
Our college Guidance Counselor and English teaching faculty are happy to help students with college admissions essays and are available to proofread them before submission. Our Academic Registrar will be available to advise students on the technical side of the process. In addition, any forms or essays which need to be submitted while a student is at Heller High can be faxed or scanned and emailed from our school office.
URJ Heller High School has partnered with Parchment to order and send your transcript and other credentials securely. This link will open a new browser.
We asked our alumni to share the impact that their semester in Israel had on their college preparation and readiness. Here is what they said:
I wrote about the way Heller High challenged my thinking about Israel: growing up, I had an airbrushed perspective of the country developed by some of my teachers and relatives. On Heller High, I for the first time confronted the complex realities on the ground there, especially related to the Palestinian conflict. I began to understand how skewed some of the narratives I had grown up with were, but also where those who told me them were coming from. Over the course of my semester, I learned how to reconcile my feelings about Israel, and how to both criticize and love it at the same time.
– Juliet, Spring 2015, Harvard University class of 2020
I very distinctly remember writing about my experience with Yom HaZikaron and comparing it to Memorial Day in the states. I reflected on how impactful the experience was, to go from a period of deep mourning as a country to that of immense celebration and gratitude, and how deeply ingrained in the community I felt in that stretch of time.
– Emma, Spring 2012, Brandeis University class of 2017
I wrote about the experience as a whole, and how it helped me become more independent and more cultured. I also wrote about the type of person it takes to be able to leave home for four months while still in high school and move to another country. I talked about the challenges we had to overcome and the lifestyle adjustments we faced together as a group.
– Sarah, Spring 2015, Michigan State University
I was told in multiple interviews that I had with alumni that the fact that I had gone abroad during high school really set me apart.
– Rudy, Spring 2015, UC Berkeley class of 2020
Every interview that I went to, when they saw I studied abroad in Israel, it became the focal point of our conversation; what did you do? How did it impact you? Do you plan on studying abroad in college too? etc etc. They said that having that worldly experience helped me to stand out .
– Shaina, Spring 2017, The George Washington University class of 2022
Being Ready for College
I definitely feel that Heller High helped prepare me for college. From staying in dorm-style rooms to learning how to live independently and manage my own time and money, Heller High almost served as a trial run for college. I felt much more confident and ready for college after my Heller High experience.
– Jacob, Spring 2015, Boston University class of 2020
Heller High made me feel confident in living away from my parents and developing connections to people and places away from home. Since I attended as a sophomore, juniors who were already engaged in the college admissions process set a positive model for me. I was able to ask them for advice while I was applying to college a year after they did.
– Isaac, Princeton University class of 2022
Heller High definitely showed me what it’s like to live away from home with other people who are going through the same changes as you. It made me ready to leave home for college and taught me how to deal with roommate conflict. Heller High also taught me very valuable time management skills when it came to doing school work and also having time to hangout with friends everyday.
– Shelley, Spring 2014, University of Georgia class of 2019
Heller High prepared me for living on my own so much better than any other experience could have. I was comfortable being away from home and living by myself taking care of my personal and academic needs.
– Adina, Spring 2015, Northwestern University class of 2021
Our alumni have gone on to attend the following schools:
- Alfred University
- American Jewish University
- American University
- Amherst College
- Arcadia University
- Arizona State University
- Babson College
- Bard College
- Bard College at Simon's Rock
- Bates College
- Ben Gurion University
- Binghamton University
- Boston College
- Boston University
- Bradley University
- Brandeis University
- Brown University
- Bryn Mawr College
- Buffalo State College
- California Polytechnic State University
- Carleton College
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Clark University
- Cleveland State University
- Colorado College
- Columbia University
- Cornell University
- Culinary Institute of America
- Dalhousie University
- Dartmouth College
- DePaul University
- Dickinson College
- Drake University
- Drexel University
- Eastern Michigan University
- Eckerd College
- Elon University
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Emerson College
- Emory University
- Evergreen State College
- Florida Atlantic University
- Florida State University
- Fordham University
- Franklin & Marshall College
- George Brown College
- George Mason University
- Georgetown University
- George Washington University
- Gonzaga University
- Goucher College
- Hampshire College
- Harvard University
- Haverford College
- Hebrew University
- Hofstra University
- Illinois Central College
- Illinois State University
- Indiana Unversity Bloomington
- Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya
- Ithaca College
- John Marshall Law School
- Johnson and Wales University - North Miami
- Kent State University
- King's College London
- Lafayette College
- Lake Forest College
- Laurentian University
- Lewis and Clark College
- Loyola University of Chicago
- Lynchburg College
- Macalester College
- McGill University
- Michigan State University
- Middlebury College
- Muhlenberg College
- Nazareth College
- New Mexico Tech
- New School
- New York University
- Northeastern University
- Northern Illinois University
- Northwestern University
- Oberlin College
- Oregon State University
- Pace University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Philadelphia University
- Pitzer College
- Ponoma College
- Purdue University
- Princeton University
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Rochester Institute of Technology
Opportunity to Earn College Credit: We are pleased to provide Heller High students with the opportunity to earn Jewish History and Hebrew college credits through Gratz College. Gratz College, in Melrose Park, PA, is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and recognized by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the State of Israel.
There is no extra work involved. All Heller High students earn 3 semesters of credit in Jewish History Honors and 2 semesters of credit in Hebrew Honors. Gratz has reviewed the Heller High curriculum and determined these courses meet college-level criteria. Our Jewish History course has been divided the Jewish History course into 3 separate courses and students may choose to earn college credit in 1, 2, 3, 4, or all 5 of the courses listed below:
-JST 120: The History of Ancient Israel (3 credits)
-JST 140: Jews in Medieval Christendom and the Orbit of Islam (3 credits)
-JST 178: Israel Today - Continuity and Change in a New State (3 credits)
-Hebrew Semester I Only (3 credits)
-Hebrew Semester II Only (3 credits)
-Hebrew Semesters I and II (6 credits)
At the end of the semester, Gratz College will issue a transcript upon completion of the course or courses. This means that 10th and 11th graders who take concurrent enrollment courses for college credit will be able to submit their Gratz College transcripts as part of their college applications
Check out Gratz College/Heller High – Opportunity to Earn College Credit for more information.