Archive for January, 2010

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

By

Tom Nesbitt, Director of Admissions

Happy New Year!  It is my first Blog entry of 2010 and I am excited about the road that lies ahead.  This is particularly true in the world of Admissions as all parties involved in the college selection process have focused down lists, applications have been submitted, decisions have been/ are starting to be made and families are making their way through the FAFSA while also looking for scholarship opportunities.

The next few months will be filled with colleges and universities trying to connect to accepted students.  More visits will be made, financial aid packages will arrive and the next generation of college students will have to sort through all of the information in order to make a decision as to where they will continue their education.

I want to offer a couple pieces of advice as you wind through this process.  First, don’t feel like you are alone.  Family members, friends, school counselors and teachers are all more than willing to provide assistance as you wrestle with making your final decision.  In addition, the college representatives who have worked with you can also provide valuable feedback.  Sure they would like to have you pick their campus but, in the end, they want you to go where you are going to feel most comfortable.

Second, try to relax and enjoy the prospect of having multiple places tell you that they want you to become a part of their family.  It is nice to be wanted.  That said, sometimes the most stressed I see students is when they have finally made the decision and now have to tell the other campuses.  As stated above, representatives want you to go where you feel most comfortable.  Once that decision is made, the rest should be easy.

Learn from my mistake. Make a decision and then call or e-mail the other schools to let them know.  I remember making my selection and then figuring the others would just stop calling.  One institution kept calling and sending mail and, finally, in mid July, I answered their call and told them I was not going to their school… they simply asked where I was going, wished me well and that was that.  I never heard from them again… that is until I started presenting on their campus on an almost annual basis.  Nice campus, nice people… but I still know I made the right decision.

Third, when confronted with what seems like an impossible choice, meaning you can’t narrow it down because your final two or three campuses are just so close, I highly recommend heading back for a full day visit where you see the campus again, sit in on some classes, have a meal or two, meet with financial aid or coaches or anyone else that may be important to your success in college… do it all!  After doing it for a second or third time, you’ll know!  Trust me.  We see some families so much during the selection process it feels like they are permanent fixtures in the office.  I like to think of it as a built in Student Tour Guide recruitment program.

The best question I have ever been asked when touring a family around campus was if I had to make the decision again, would I have chosen the same school.  You can tell a lot about a campus based on the answer to that question as well as by following up with the second question of Why?  Ask the guide, the counselor, the professor and random students those questions.  You might be surprised by what you hear and it might just make a difference in your final decision.

My last piece of advice for this piece is to try to have fun.  Your final year in high school represents the culmination of hard work and dedication under a structured and supervised environment.  It is a celebration that you are ready to move into the next stage of development, of life.  It is supposed to be a fun and exciting time of transition.  By using all of your resources in the college search process you can not only prove you are ready for the transition but you will also be free to enjoy your senior year.

In Admissions, this is the most wonderful time of the year.  We will be in touch and also stand ready to assist you.  Until next time…