Guidance department modifies college application process

Madeline Fagen, Contributing Editor

Over the years there have been many changes to the college application process, and this year is no exception.

The process for the class of 2013 started off with a parent meeting in which counselors presented the basics of college searches, including certain tools and search engines for parents and students, test information, and information regarding teacher recommendations.

Students then received an informational packet and, for the first time, students attended group information sessions that introduced them to Naviance and key information for beginning the application process.

Counselors addressed questions at a second group session.  There were then individual meetings with students, their parents, and their counselors in which they discussed possible college choices and their overall standing in the application process.

On Feb. 13, the guidance department will begin holding junior assemblies for the class of 2014.  The Common Application’s format and questions are changing this year, so the information given to students at the second session must also change.  Counselors will review students’ progress at this next session, and students will discuss the schools in which they are interested.  The guidance counselors may pull up their résumés on Naviance and help them with any questions they have.  Additionally, juniors will receive multiple handouts and informational guides.

There are changes for the sophomore class of 2015 as well.  Last year, sophomores were given time to come into computer labs with counselors to open their Naviance accounts, explore career options, and explore the colleges that would be beneficial for the career they have in mind.

“As a junior getting ready to apply to colleges, I have no idea what the application is going to be like,” said junior Jackson Shain.  “Introducing sophomores to the college application process gives them the chance to see where their strengths lie and where they need to improve.  I wish I was given the opportunity to practice applying earlier so I wouldn’t feel so stressed now.”

Counselors advised sophomores to begin building their résumés as one of the basics of applying to a school.

“In my opinion, getting started earlier on the application process can only be beneficial to students in the long run,” said sophomore Keton Kakkar.

Any student is also now able to sign up to go to room 112 for an informational session in which counselors will help them with any questions they have regarding applications.

Naviance in general is also being updated for the school.  It is accessible to students, parents, administrators, and teachers. Through Naviance, students can look at charts and graphs containing statistics concerning past Schreiber applicants to specific colleges.  Students are able to conduct advanced searches and collect a vast amount of information from Naviance.

The school has continued to expand its use of Naviance.  It started out simply for research, then to determine what schools are good for each student, and now to electronically send information to many colleges at once.  Teachers can also send their recommendations to colleges through Naviance.

“We are not up to the full potential of Naviance,” said guidance director Mr. Hank Hardy.  “Each year we do a little more with it, and I see us expanding it.  Certain suggestions have been made at conferences to continue to develop the site.”

“Preparing for college can be a very stressful process, and the fact that the school is going through great lengths to help students prepare is really appreciated.  It is important for the school to continue to change and adapt its process as time passes,” said senior Kimberly Suzzan.