College speaker meetings help seniors review application process

October 19, 2016 — by Sanjana Melkote and Kitty Huang

Every year in the fall, college representatives from across the country talk to students about defining characteristics and the application process of their school. The meetings occur during tutorials, lunches and sometimes after school and are held at the Library Research Center, staff lounge, an office conference room and sometimes in the McAfee Center.

 

Every year in the fall, college representatives from across the country talk to students about defining characteristics and the application process of their school. The meetings occur during tutorials, lunches and sometimes after school and are held at the Library Research Center, staff lounge, an office conference room and sometimes in the McAfee Center.

Senior Nicole Lin has signed up for five meetings this semester “to clarify steps in the application process and be able to ask questions in person.”

To her, the most helpful element of college speaker meetings is that students understand more about the values and atmosphere of the school, rather than the requirements of admission.

“A lot of information across the colleges is the same for the application process, such as SAT scores, transcripts and letters of recommendations,” said Lin. “But what’s different between them is the personality of the campus and different opportunities that each college has to offer its students.”

Admission representatives highlight the positives of their schools, including the size of the campus, housing, sports and music programs, according to senior Elicia Chiu.

The information sessions can create some hard decisions.

For example, Lin chose to attend the Columbia meeting, but missed seeing sophomore Quad Day, which her sister, sophomore Cameron Lin, participated in. Similarly, college visits have clashed with Club Day and are regularly double booked with club meetings.

The number of students attending each meeting depends on their interest and availability. The turnout at the University of Southern California meeting was especially high, with about 75 seniors in attendance. The meetings for UC Los Angeles and Carnegie Mellon University meetings were also popular, with approximately 50 seniors attending.

An average about 20-50 people attend each meeting but some schools, including Miami University, New York Film Academy and the Olin College of Engineering have only one or two sign ups.

Seniors usually take time to learn about their colleges of interest well before the meetings are held, but attend them anyway because listening to the speakers can only inform and prepare them more.

“Most of us have already written out our college lists and done research on the school, and they reiterate what we already know,” Chiu said. “But it’s nice to have a college speaker come in regardless.”

 
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