Local Colleges Speak to Easthampton High School Students

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Local Colleges Speak to Easthampton High School Students

Miles Ellsworth, Journalist

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Recently a panel of local colleges and universities came and spoke to students and families of EHS. The institutions represented included Western New England University, Holyoke Community College, Westfield State College, and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. The panel discussed an array of different topics ranging from applying to colleges to the college interview. The representatives from the different colleges gave advice for both students and the families of students. The purpose of the event was to help aid students and families who may feel overwhelmed or confused navigating the college application process. At the end, colleges answered students’ and families’ specific questions in a question and answer session.

One of the major topics discussed was applying to college. One piece of advice that was given was to apply to multiple places, and to group where you apply into three different categories. The first group was safety schools. Safety schools are places where one feels confident that they can get in. The next level is target schools. The final level is reach schools. Reach schools may include Ivy League schools or other very hard or selective schools to get into.

The panel also talked about extracurriculars and what activities colleges are looking for when a student applies. Colleges look for some sort of theme and consistency in the activities students participate outside of school. Students should not get involved in too many clubs, but should instead get deeply involved in a few different clubs. As far as sports go, a student will not get into college solely based on being an athlete. Student athletes still need to meet all the other requirements of the college.

Two other pieces of the college application process talked about were the college essay and the college interview. For the essay, the general advice given was that students should talk about themselves but try to stay away from talking about scoring the winning touchdown or talking about other people. Parents should avoid writing students’ essays for them, as colleges can detect when a parent has written the essay. For the interview, it was recommended to students that they take advantage of the opportunity to interview, as it can be a chance to mention things that could not come out in the essay, and usually the interview only helps students. It is a chance for students to get to know the college better, and vice versa.

The panel also covered what students should do in the case that they get accepted into multiple colleges. One big piece of advice they gave was to take another tour of the different campuses. Things students may consider could include class size and school size. Ask student tour guides what they like the most, like the least, and one piece of information they which they had known ahead of time. Once students do eliminate schools, they should let schools know as soon as possible.

    Other topics that the panel touched on included the SAT, early acceptance, and many other aspects in the college application process.

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Local Colleges Speak to Easthampton High School Students