Individualized college admission counseling fosters uniqueness and student empowerment
By Kevin Yaley , Head of Francis Parker School
The New Year is upon us, and with it comes the final countdown for high school juniors before college admission season sets in. For some students in the fall and the rest soon thereafter, this year will see the mailing off of painstakingly prepared applications — and subsequently, many months of patient waiting before they finally learn their fate in the spring. But until then, these same students must first determine how to narrow down their options and find the right fit: and while popular checklists and guidebooks abound, it is impossible to underestimate the benefit of college admission counseling – and an approach that prioritizes individuality to help students embrace their differences and make college decisions that suit them academically, socially and financially.
In general, high school juniors receive some fairly standard information when it comes to preparing for college admissions – and most of it is common for a reason. Strong academic transcripts, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities and challenging senior courses are all important factors when it comes to eligibility in the eyes of many admissions officers, while campus visits and individual college search criteria are both essential to the ultimate selection process. However, when it comes to standing out in an increasingly competitive admissions atmosphere, it is vitally important to choose institutions that truly complement a student’s strengths, growth opportunities, and potential contributions. Determining and owning these characteristics – the good and the bad, the brilliant and the unusual – take a rare confidence and self-understanding that all too many high schools fail to foster in their students. But at Francis Parker School, we approach not only college counseling, but also education itself, a little bit differently; and it is within that difference that we see our students reaching out, overturning expectations, and pursuing authentic paths to higher education that we encourage and celebrate with pride.
College counseling at Parker: a customized experience for emerging individuals
At Francis Parker School, we take an individualized approach to college preparatory education; and naturally, it follows that neither our college counselors nor our students follow a formulaic path when it comes to assessing colleges and universities. Instead, our highly individualized counseling process marks an investment in each and every one of our students – one in which we challenge them to reflect on their experiences at Parker, own their triumphs and mistakes, and emerge with a sense of their own personal needs and priorities as they move forward into the next chapter of their lives.
With so many opportunities to grow and specialize over the course of their time at Parker, our Upper School students can hardly be expected to fit any single collegiate mold. As experienced educators, it is our firm belief that every student deserves the same chance to forge his or her own path into the future, and to approach the college admissions process on wholly individualized and empowered terms. To learn more about our San Diego independent school’s unique college prep curriculum and related programs, visit us online today: www.francisparker.org
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