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Getting a 'Jump Start' on the College Process

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

For the third time, Pingry’s College Counseling Office hosted a free, optional College Jump Start Program with admissions representatives to give these students a head start on the search and application process—a rare opportunity offered by high schools. Representatives from eight schools traveled to Pingry to discuss topics such as interview tips and the purpose of the interview; how the essay can impact the application; and an overview of the application. There was even a session on the Common Application with Pingry’s College Counselors.

“Pingry students are bright and engaging, and come to the discussion with a solid understanding of the admissions process. We hope to add to that knowledge, do a bit of myth-busting, and provide some useful insights,” says Greg Moyer, Director of Admissions Recruitment at Dickinson College.

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 visit colleges, ask questions, and work on applications and essays. For those applying Early Decision, they have to come into the school year having already made progress.”

At least two students learned valuable lessons from the day. “I had the opportunity to learn how college admissions representatives actually pick students,” says Salope Fakorede ’19. “I also liked how, instead of just Googling things about college, I had various resources whom I could just question, and all of them had different insights based on the college. I learned that I should just do what I’m interested in and remember that quality is better than quantity.”

For Jack Baulig ’19, the essay writing workshop was the most beneficial because of “examples and ideas of acceptable and not acceptable essays, and how to make a basic outline. Contrary to what I believed, an essay topic for the Common App does not have to be about your most impressive venture or accomplishment—it can be about something very ordinary that is meaningful to you and conveys what aspects you want the college or university of your choice to know about you. After this session, I had an idea for my essay!”

Thank you
Ms. Kimberly Apadula (Rutgers University)
Ms. Samantha Goldfarb (Columbia University)
Ms. Dieu Ho (Bowdoin College)
Mr. Mike Mansuy (Davidson College)
Mr. Greg Moyer (Dickinson College)
Ms. Jade Saybolt (Lafayette College)
Mr. Victor Thomas (Washington University in St. Louis)
Ms. Danielle Toglia (George Washington University)

Contact: Greg Waxberg ’96, Communications Writer,