"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, Spring 2012, Binghamton University class of 2016

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.


Watch: Heller High and College Readiness Webinar


URJ Heller High staff and faculty are available to assist you in the various aspects of the college application process.

Standardized Tests

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. We also offer prep courses for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT tests. 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.


Students will receive two copies of their final transcript at the end of the semester – one for them and one for their home high school. Instructions regarding these transcripts will be sent to families toward the end of the semester.

We are happy to provide students with additional copies of their Heller High transcript for their college applications. Please be aware that for every additional transcript there is a $5.00 processing fee.

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:

College Essays

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

Admissions Interviews

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, Spring 2016, 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
Alfred University
American Jewish University
American University
Amherst College
Arcadia University
Arizona State University
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
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
Rutgers University
Rollins College
Rowan University
Rutgers University
San Diego State University
San Francisco State University
School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts
Scripps College
Seattle University
Sonoma College
Stanford University
SUNY Buffalo
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF)
SUNY New Paltz
Syracuse University
Tel Aviv University
Temple University
Texas A&M University
The Ohio State University
Tufts University
Tulane University
Union College
United States Military Academy
University of Arizona
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Davis
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Riverside
University of California, San Diego
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Central Florida
University of Chicago
University of Colorado
University of Connecticut
University of Delaware
University of Denver
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Haifa
University of Hartford
University of Illinois
University of Kansas
University of Maine
University of Maryland
University of Massachusetts
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
University of Nevada, Reno
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Asheville
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Puget Sound
University of Rhode Island
University of Rochester
University of San Francisco
University of Southern California
University of Texas, Austin
University of Toronto
University of Vermont
University of Virginia
University of Washington
University of Western Ontario
University of Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Vassar College
Washington University
Washington University in St. Louis
Wellesley College
Wells College
Wesleyan University
Whitman College
Wilfrid Laurier University
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Yeshiva University
York University

Heller High offers students the opportunity to earn college credit while studying with us in Israel. Our Jewish History and Hebrew courses are approved for college credit from Gratz College in Melrose Park, PA. Gratz College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is recognized by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the State of Israel.

This concurrent enrollment program is available to high school students who are academically prepared for college level work. Between the Israel Core and Hebrew classes,  participants are eligible to earn up to 15 college credits.

For more information, see the resource below:

Gratz College/Heller High - Opportunity to Earn College Credit