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The College Admissions Process . . . A Primer.

The college admissions process is a time of reflection, decision and action. It is a journey to take with insight and clarity. Free Seminar on February 23rd at 4pm in Livingston.

By Dr. Marianna Marchese, College Counselor

Founder & CEO of College Connexxions, February 2013

The competitive environment encompassing the college admissions process has intensified as a result of the increases in the number of seniors applying for college and the applications each of them submit. Constantly changing admissions requirements have introduced significant confusion to that process. Add to this the academic, curricular, aesthetic and social differences between colleges and universities, and you have a process that can become quite onerous and stressful.  

The college admissions process is a time of reflection, decision and action. It is a journey to take with insight and clarity. It is important to take a personal assessment of what is really important to the student and then make the sometimes difficult choices needed to convert these desires into reality.

Because the process of selecting a college is very personal, it begins with self-reflection. You must consider many things about yourself: your goals, strengths, weaknesses, and reasons for going to college. Then, consider the many criteria you will use in choosing which colleges to explore.

During this time of increased competitiveness and selectivity among colleges and universities, it is necessary for parents and students to investigate institutions with a well-planned method of data collection and analysis.

The implications of the decisions required during the college admissions process are myriad. For example, what colleges can you afford to send your child to … where does he or she fit the best academically or socially … will his or her colleges of choice provide the best path to post-graduate study or employment opportunities.

Parents and students need to research the various colleges and universities that they are interested in to find the best fit for the student.  Finding that match is paramount in the process.  Visiting the various schools is a must.  What better way to find the perfect match than by visiting and talking to students, professors, and university staff?

One question that should always be kept in mind - What do I want to do when I grow up?  Do seventeen year olds know?  Sometimes there are students that know what they want to pursue from early childhood.  Others do not know, so a liberal arts education is sometimes the best choice for them.  If the student knows he/she wants to pursue a career in medicine, engineering, architecture, graphics, then colleges or universities that have that major should be on the visitation list.

Some of the things to be considered and acted upon? What high school courses should I take to make my transcript the best it can be … what extracurricular activities should I participate in to make me a more attractive candidate … which colleges should I apply to … how do I complete the college application … should I go Early Decision or Early Action … what topic should I choose for my essay and what should I say … what do I need to do to prepare for college visits and interviews. The list goes on and on.

For parents interested in learning more about College Planning I will be conducting a free seminar in conjunction with TigerTutor on February 23rd in Livingston at 4pm.

In order to attend you must register at www.tigertutor.net under the College Seminar Registration page.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Judith krafchick February 13, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Please have Marianna Marchese contact Judy Krafchick @ musicnana,judy@gmail.com. We are former colleagues and i would like to see her. Thank you
Bonnie Garely February 14, 2013 at 03:53 AM
I knew Marianna Marchese as a former colleague of mine as a school counselor. I see that she has named her business venture "College Connexxions". It is disturbing to me that she names her college counseling agency with a misspelled word. Perhaps this is a play on words, but as a parent and grandparent and professional counselor it saddens me to see that students see this title. In addition, the latest unemployment data for recent college graduates show that students majoring in liberal arts, philosophy and religious studies, information systems and architecture, literally have a negative advantage in the world of employment upon college graduation. In todays, economy and unemployment rate we are obligated to help students and their families make the best use of their hard earned dollars. Again, perhaps not all high school students should be going to a four year college that supposedly meets the status of their community and take a good look at what is out there for them after a college education by working, volunteering and trying out many disciplines before they put themselves and their parents in debt for floundering around in college. In these times it is fiscally advantageous to alternatively attend a two year local community college, attain high grades and then transfer to the college of their dreams with a more realistically focused major in mind. Good luck to Marianna in presenting her seminar in Livingston.

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