Seniors Offer College Advice

(photo courtesy of pixabay)

(photo courtesy of pixabay)

Marta Gershanok and Jonah King

As spring approaches, more juniors are thinking about college. Studying for the SAT and taking college visits, all while balancing the load of junior year, can be an overwhelming process. 

With that being said, there are many resources available for juniors to access advice on this topic, one of the most reliable being fellow classmates. Having gone through the application and admissions process, the seniors are some of the most valuable voices to seek help with college.

For instance, Senior Yoav Reshef stresses the importance of starting the college application process early. 

“If you (like many people at NVD) have high hopes for college admissions that likely means writing dozens of essays and filling out pages upon pages of forms. Do not leave things to the last minute, have your personal statement near done by the time senior year starts,” Reshef said. 

Another element of pressure for juniors is touring prospective schools, whenever possible. Although they can be helpful, college tours shouldn’t be overdone. Senior Erika Polevoy visited three schools prior to applying to schools. 

  “I do not recommend visiting every college you apply to. You should visit one kind of college, for example, one city school and one that has more than just a campus. After that you should visit schools after you get accepted,” Polevoy said.

Reshef concurred, recommending only a couple of visits to potential colleges. 

“All of the tours are the same and they all talk about the same things. I wouldn’t worry too much about going to visit unless you’re applying ED,” he said.

High scores on the ACT and SAT can help students gain an advantage in the admissions process. However, in a more test-optional admissions climate, students should consider whether their scores distinguish them enough to justify inclusion. 

Reshef says these scores should be reasonably high if an applicant considers including them in their admissions efforts. 

“The general consensus is to only submit standardized testing if you have a near perfect score (34-36 ACT or 1530+ SAT). I wouldn’t stress too much about the testing unless you think that you can genuinely score in the 99th percentile, otherwise you shouldn’t submit it anyway,” Reshef said. 

Fellow senior Elaine Kim maintained that SAT scores generally shouldn’t be a point of excessive focus during junior year. 

“I submitted my score, but I do not believe it is so important. If you have a low GPA, it can help. To balance the load of junior year and studying for the SAT, I had to spend less time on my phone and hanging out with friends,” Kim said. 

In general, seniors agreed that juniors should pursue what they’re passionate about in order to distinguish themselves in the admissions process. Senior Maya Diaz pointed out that officers tend to look for the kind of person an applicant is throughout the process.  

 “Make sure to get your values through in your applications with your activities and supplements that way admissions counselors can really see who you are as a person,” Diaz said.  

Erika Polevoy further indicated that more than a stellar transcript is needed for a complete and attractive application. Portraying unique pursuits and values is necessary as colleges search for potential attendees. 

“Colleges look at much more than just your grades, so you should find something that differentiates you from the rest of the applicants. Additionally, take classes you enjoy and try to establish a theme in your application. It’s more about the quality of what you do than the quantity,” Polevoy said.