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'Jump Start' on the College Process
gwaxberg

A large group of rising seniors was sitting in rapt attention in a classroom on the Friday after Commencement. Why were these 100 students at school?

For the second time, Pingry's College Counseling Office was hosting a free, optional College Jump Start Program to give these students a head start on the college search and application process. College admissions deans, directors, and representatives from six schools traveled to Pingry to make presentations on topics such as how to write an effective college essay and how to prepare for an admissions interview. Students also created accounts for the Common Application.

This was a special opportunity for the Class of 2018 because high schools rarely offer full-day workshops for students to interact with representatives from college admissions.

Describing the origin of the workshop, Director of College Counseling Tim Lear '92, P '25, '27, '30 says, "We asked ourselves, 'How can we best motivate the kids for the summer and prepare them for a critical part of the process?' Summer can be a relaxing time, but the reality is that this is a big block of time to do things—visiting colleges, asking questions, working on applications and essays. For those applying Early Decision, they have to come into the school year having already made progress."

Pingry's College Counseling staff invited representatives from a range of institutions, including liberal arts colleges, universities, and schools located in rural and urban areas. "We wanted to include schools with a genuine interest in partnering with Pingry, so there was less 'marketing' and more 'honest dialogue' from senior staff members," Mr. Lear says.

Asked how the students felt after the workshop, and whether anything surprised them, Mr. Lear used the word "new" three times—new ideas, new schools to consider, and new ideas for essays. "The students found it really helpful. There tends to be a sense that the admission process is formal and bureaucratic, but the students saw that these presenters are approachable, humorous, and down-to-earth, and that's why they're in the profession. More than anything, the students were encouraged to take ownership of the process, be deliberate in their choices, be independent, and be thoughtful."

Pictured: Matthew Hyde (Lafayette), Andrew McMillen (Allegheny), Gregory Moyer (Dickinson), Samantha Goldfarb (Columbia), Ryan Ricciardi (Bowdoin), and Michael Mansuy (Davidson).

Contact:
Greg Waxberg '96, Communications Writer, gwaxberg@pingry.org