The College Search Process: 10 Helpful Tips for Students and Parents
The School Counseling Department hosted our Annual College Night on Thursday, February 17th. During the evening presentation, a panel of college representatives answered questions related to the college process. In attendance this year were Adelphi University, Binghamton University, Hofstra University, St. John’s University, SUNY Oswego and Syracuse University.
Here’s a top ten list of the biggest takeaways of the night:
- Connecting with admissions representatives at colleges is a fantastic opportunity to show who you are as a person besides your transcript and/or standardized testing scores. Admissions representatives can be your advocate, if necessary.
- Being involved in extracurricular activities in high school or playing sports or working a part-time job are all important factors for admissions representatives to know. So, start building your resume now. Admissions offices want to admit students who will contribute to all aspects of their campus. However, remember that quality is more important than quantity!
- The rigor of your coursework is very important. Yet, balancing your time is just as important. Do not drown yourself or overwhelm yourself. Leave time for the things that also bring you joy.
- With regard to the essay, be authentically you. The topic can be anything, but the subject is you! Do not write what you think the admissions representatives want to hear. If your essay fell out of your backpack onto the hallway floor and someone picked it up, would they be able to tell it was yours even if your name was not on it?
- Deadlines are extremely important. Make sure you keep track of each college’s specific requirements and deadlines for applying as well as financial aid.
- Rejection can be hard but do not take it personally. Where you go, is not who you will be! There are so many wonderful colleges across the country so do not be afraid to look beyond those same 10 schools you keep hearing about.
- Visit college campuses early. Ask lots of questions. Do a deep dive into the college’s website. As a student, your goal should be to find colleges that are the right ‘fit’ for you.
- As parents, have a financial conversation early and often – know that you’ll likely not pay the sticker price, but be realistic and honest with your student.
- Enjoy the process, and do it all with a purpose. Take time to reflect about each stage. Do not go through the motions for the sake of going through the motions; be intentional.
- As parents, be supportive and remember that your child is the one who is going to college.