Students departed Tabor’s campus for Winter Break this past Friday, and with them dispersed the stress and emotions the college admission process inevitably brings to high school upperclassman each year around the holidays.
The college admission process officially began for juniors on Wednesday, December 14, with the annual “College Kick-Off Day,” a required event for all junior students.
The event, which lasted throughout the morning, outlined the timeline of events the students would face over the coming year, jump-started the thought process on building a “model college” and considering preferred characteristics of a school, and introduced several key resources available to students as they navigate this process. Additionally, students were assigned a college counselor who will work with them throughout each step of the process over the next year.
Within the senior class, there has been a large disparity in sentiments that was clear around campus over the past week. The week of December 12 to 16 was a popular window of time for colleges and universities to release notifications for early decision and early action applications. Decision notifications came in from schools across the globe, from California, to Canada, to New York, to Scotland, and countless places in between.
With the large majority of students having applied to at least one school with an early application, the halls were buzzing with college acceptance news. For some, an acceptance meant a dream come true, four years or more of hard work finally paying off. For others, a rejected or deferred application meant a major disappointment or a notable set back.
With most regular decision applications due during the first few days of the New Year, many seniors are spending their vacation time crafting several, if not dozens, of supplemental essays for the schools to which they are applying. Though most colleges use the Common Application as the shared source of information on applicants, nearly every school requires extra information and essays to gain better insight into a candidate.
Once applications have been submitted around New Year’s Day, the process is put on pause until March. At that time, all the stress and uncertainty felt around Tabor over the past week will resume as colleges across the world release their final “regular” application decisions. Students who have been accepted to schools under early decision admission will no doubt breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that they have avoided reliving the process as so many of their peers have done.
Over Winter Break, many juniors will take advantage of the free time by visiting colleges and universities across the country, taking tours, and attending information sessions. This time is also ideal for students to study and prepare for standardized tests, most commonly the SAT.
The current junior class – Class of 2018 – is the first class to be fully transitioned to the revised version of the SAT test, which has notable structural changes including the transition from the 2400-point scale to a 1600-point scale. The Class of 2017 was allowed the flexibility to take either the old or new versions of the exam.
The College Counseling program operates under the leadership of five counselors who provide individualized advice and aid to students, all while maintaining a high degree of independence for the students. Because of this approach, every Tabor student typically matriculates to a highly competitive college or university.
By Jack Gordon