Students demystify college admissions during Junior Workshop Part II

Early yesterday morning, students took a break from their studies and delved into the tumultuous realm of college admissions. Students made their way to the auditorium for the Junior Workshop Part II and listened in on panel discussion with the following admissions officers to help demystify the college admissions process.

Paul Bonitto – Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Boston University

Jessica Marinaccio – Dean of Undergraduate Admissions & Financial Aid, Columbia University in the City of New York

Gareth Fowles – Vice President for Enrollment Management, Lynn University

Carmen Perez – Senior Associate Director of Admissions, University of Miami

Hege Ferguson – Director of Admissions, Florida State University

Dacia Bowra – Associate Director for Outreach and Recruitment, University of Florida

“Every since I’ve worked at American Heritage, we’ve held the Junior Workshop. Over the years, it’s taken a different shape. We started inviting colleges to it about 11 years ago,” said guidance counselor Sharon Bikoundou.

Admissions officers discussed a variety of issues, including standardized testing requirements and college essay advice but emphasized that students should prioritize their individual needs over the prestige of an institution.

“I especially liked the representative from the University of Florida. She was funny and made an effort to keep students interested. I liked the Columbia representative as well but felt that a lot of the information she told us was meant to make us feel better,” said junior Jaime Harn.

“My favorite representative was the one from Boston College. He seemed relaxed about college admissions and that vibe seemed to carry over to the students,” said junior Kimberley Haft.

“We get varied feedback from students. Some say it was helpful while other think it’s long and boring. However, we adapt the workshop every year to try and improve. This year, for example, we’ve brought back the student panel,” said Bikoundou.

The senior student panel offered juniors advice and consisted of seniors Zachariah Chou, Ishan Outram, Julien Pinon, Tess Rowland, Rachel Shapiro, Farrah Sklar and Uriel Trepman.  Seniors emphasized the importance of beginning applications early and utilizing the guidance department’s resources, such as application labs.

Although junior students still have a semester full of challenging classes and standardized tests to tackle, guidance is ready to dive head-on into the college admissions process for the class of 2017.

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