EDISON — On January 24, representatives from NYU, Dickinson College and Rutgers University came to The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison for College Night to discuss the college application process and answer questions from a room filled with high school students and their parents.
In her opening remarks, Susan R. Swenson, Director of College Counseling, stated that, “The College Counseling office provides support at this pivotal point in our students’ lives, when they are asserting their independence, defining their dreams for the future and preparing for the transition to college.”
Following introductions, Greg Moyer from Dickinson presented a game that required parent and student volunteers to rate the importance of factors that are considered in the admission process. Each college then reordered these elements based on what was important during each of their application reviews. They all agreed the best indicator of success at the college level was the transcript, including rigor of courses and grades. Colleges want to see students challenge themselves during high school.
Mrs. Swenson asked the representatives some questions that were of general interest before turning to the audience for a Q&A. The panel agreed that the college visit was essential for a student to determine if that school is a good fit. It was suggested students take a tour, go to an information session and attend a class if possible.
The panel was asked about the importance of the essay. Each of the colleges responded that they want students to be authentic and use their own voice to reveal something additional about who they are, and to read beyond the question and ask themselves what the college is really looking for.
Students and parents came away with a clearer understanding of what is important in completing the best possible application.
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