By Kate Krauser
The college application process is one of the more stressful times for Upper School students and their families. Some students will work for hours trying to perfect college essays on top of their regular school work. Myronee Simpson, college counselor at the Upper School, works with seniors to ensure success with the college application process. Oak Hall has an average college application and acceptance rate of 100 percent. According to Simpson, the acceptance rate has been kept by students “…demonstrating academic engagement, involvement an impact in school and community, and having the ability to manage their time well and overcome setbacks…”.
To be successful in the college application process, Simpson recommends that students begin in their junior year. Students should start with identifying what they want in a college or university, and search for potential schools online. Simpson also explained that school holidays and summer are great times to schedule college visits, and students can begin college visits in sophomore year. Although visits are helpful, they are not necessary. “There are schools that consider ‘demonstrated interest’ in the admissions process, which a visit to campus would qualify as showing demonstrated interest,” Simpson said. “Otherwise, visiting a college campus does not factor into whether or not an applicant will be admitted,” she continued.
The college application process is different for each student. On the average, students usually apply from six to seven schools, but some students will apply to as little as three or as high as 13. Students list of schools should be balanced. They should have a combination of “likely schools” and “reach schools”. A “likely school” is one where a student’s GPA, rigor of curriculum, and testing, place them above the aforementioned categories of past applications who have been admitted to the school. While “reach schools” are schools where a student’s GPA, rigor of curriculum, and testing, place them below those who have been admitted to the school.
Applying is expensive, but students can apply for a waiver fee if they are eligible. In terms scholarships and financial aid, students who are looking for aid should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, students can also refer to the following websites to find potential scholarships: