College admissions counseling as a path to independence and student empowerment
By Kevin Yaley, Head of Francis Parker School
Now that the New Year is underway, so too is the pre-college application season for high school juniors across the country. Within the next few months, these students will begin the painstaking process of selecting, visiting and applying to colleges and universities – and then settle in for the breathless waiting period before hearing back from admissions officers in the spring. For many high school students, narrowing down a list of preferred colleges is a thrilling and overwhelming experience; and one in which
can play a critical role in helping them rise above popular expectations and take ownership of the process to find a school that meets their individual needs and goals.
Every student approaches the college admission process with different academic, social and financial needs; and over the years, society has come to accept a number of standardized “rules” for determining and meeting those needs while also meeting competitive admissions criteria. Excellent academic records and challenging course loads, extracurriculars and strong test scores are all critical when it comes to passing typical admissions muster, while campus visits and sometimes even interviews are often recommended to help students find schools that will be a good fit.
But between rising tuition costs, changing career prospects and harrowing competition for spots at the nation’s elite institutions, pursuing the status quo – or even admission at a “top” university – is no longer good enough to guarantee students success for the future. Instead, today’s college applicants must figure out where their unique talents and skills will receive the greatest opportunity to grow and develop: and in order to do that, they must first understand themselves, own up to their strengths and weaknesses, and establish their own priorities for higher education. At Francis Parker School, we strive to instill just such an understanding in our students – and to encourage an individualized approach to college counseling that will land young people in the schools and careers where they can truly and authentically thrive.
Celebrating individuality: college counseling at Francis Parker School
From day one, students at
are exposed to a unique academic structure; and in keeping with our educational philosophy, they learn to expand their views beyond the status quo and to embrace broad perspectives along the way. As experienced educators, we reject the notion that there is any one path or method by which students should apply to college – and we instead teach our students to reflect on their time with us and let their own perceptions inform their priorities and goals for the future.
By seizing the chance to approach and define the college search for themselves, Parker students receive a valuable crash course in the challenges of adulthood, and learn key lessons that will serve them well as they go on to pursue careers and ambitions in our changing world. We celebrate their choices with pride, and look forward to seeing them inspire their peers with each passing year. To learn more about our
curriculum or college admissions counseling program, visit us online today: