Schechter Westchester High School is committed to finding the right college match for all students by providing individualized and group advisement on the college admission process. Our goal is to work with you to find the right fit of school that will provide you with the living and learning environment that will enable you to thrive.
College admission is the next step in the journey you have undertaken since you began your formal education. Embrace it with the assurance that you will have information, encouragement, and support through all stages of this process. We in the College Counseling office ask you to focus on the word “process,” for that is what will unfold over the next year and a half. We begin with emphasis on the college search: learning how to research schools, beginning to identify factors in a college that appeal to you most, investigating different options. We then proceed to college selection, developing a specific list of schools for you to explore. The next step is narrowing down choices and deciding on the schools to which you will apply.
In senior year, we will work closely together to create applications that will maximize your talents and accomplishments. You will have many decisions to make, both in terms of where to apply and ultimately about where to attend. As the process unfolds, you will be more ready to make these decisions, and be aware that your thoughts as you begin may be different from what you finally decide.
Strategies for Success
Students who fare best in college admission are those who complete each step in a timely manner, who keep an open mind about the many offerings available, who are willing to explore schools that may not be familiar to them, and who can sort through sometimes conflicting and confusing information. Media hype, rankings based on data that does not necessarily reflect educational quality, focus on “brand-name” schools, and an overemphasis on testing all make what should be an exciting and growth-developing stage in your life unnecessarily difficult. There is stress inherent in this process, as there is with any of life’s challenges, but information and careful planning can help minimize the anxiety. Parents can assist enormously by helping students celebrate their successes and allowing them to feel their disappointments. As with most other aspects of parenting, being a good listener and waiting until you are asked for help before supplying it are often effective strategies. Of course, both students and parents are relieved when college does not become the main topic of every conversation.
The Nature of College Admissions
College admission is both objective and subjective. Students can do everything right and still not get the acceptance they seek. A candidate can appeal to one reader at a school, but not appeal to another. Institutional needs, often unknown to the applicant, can sway a decision. Remember also that the number of applicants to a college determines its selectivity, but does not necessarily reflect on the quality of a school. A student’s denial of admission is often reflective of the number of applicants that year and not of the character or caliber of the student. Throughout this process we will remind you to focus on the aspects you can control, and pay no heed to the ones you cannot. We urge you to keep in mind that acceptance or denial at a particular school is not a reflection of a student’s self-worth or of success as a parent.
This is Your Journey
Approach this process with enthusiasm and confidence. This is a wonderful milestone in your life and you have earned the privilege of learning more about yourself and discovering the many opportunities that are ahead for you. You will enjoy exploring schools and roaming campuses. You will share funny stories about tour guides and college dorms. You will become reacquainted with your family in a more mature way through time spent traveling together. You may experience disappointment, but you will also triumph. Follow advice and adhere to deadlines, and you will successfully gain admission to a school you want to attend.