College process should start earlier

With the May 1 deadline rapidly approaching for seniors’ final decision on which school to attend next year, many are still waiting to hear from top choices or deciding between multiple schools. Most would not be in this position had they started the college process sooner.

STAFF EDITORIAL

  With the May 1 deadline rapidly approaching for seniors’ final decision on which school to attend next year, many are still waiting to hear from top choices or deciding between multiple schools. Most would not be in this position had they started the college process sooner.

  According to guidance counselor Sharon Maguire, freshmen and sophomores are introduced to their Naviance account and provided with personality and interest surveys to see what types of careers they would be compatible with. Some students choose to begin to discuss secondary planning, such as college.

“While we do introduce the topic of college, we are aware that we don’t want to present this to stress or worry our students. We want them to enjoy their high school time and get involved in activities that they’re interested in,” she said.

  Starting to figure out where one might be interested in applying is an intimidating task for freshmen or sophomores, but the more familiar they are with different schools and what factors students should look for, the easier the process will be during junior and senior year.

  Underclassmen should have at least a few meetings with a guidance counselor to discuss not only types of colleges they are interested in, but also to establish academic goals.

  Students will have a better chance at getting into reach schools if they know what grades they will need for all four years of high school. This will inspire them to work harder and help them choose what level of classes and number of APs they want to take as upperclassmen.  

  Guidance gives great tools to students through Naviance, but the intimidation of the process makes students wait until junior year to start looking at schools.

  Current seniors should be brought in to talk to underclassmen about strategies for searching for colleges. The process is fresh in seniors’ minds, and underclassmen need specific tasks they can do to start figuring out what schools they might be interested in. Merely signing up for Naviance is not enough.

  Some students take initiative and start the process early. Others blow it off until the application deadlines arrive. The ones who need help are those who want to start looking but are not sure how.

Increased guidance interaction during freshman and sophomore year will largely benefit these students and reduce stress later throughout the application process.

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Author: The Independent

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