FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST, 2018
College applications: these two words are enough to elicit visceral emotional responses among seniors struggling to finalize their college lists, manage multiple applications, schedule interviews and write supplemental essays, all while keeping track of a growing (and nearing) list of deadlines.

Luckily, the College and Career Center (CCC) has been a haven for anxious seniors in the complex college application process. Students can schedule personal meetings with a school-assigned college counselor who analyzes college lists — identifying schools as safeties (supposedly easy to get into), targets (good fit schools) or reaches (moonshots) in addition to notifying students of deadlines.

A major current issue plaguing Paly students is the discrepancy between college deadlines and Paly’s deadlines for college information.

The CCC also organizes on-campus college visits, which connect interested students with college admissions officers while they are visiting Paly. These meetings allow students to gauge the atmosphere, programs and rigor of the college, helping them to decide if they want to spend the time applying to the aforementioned college.

However, the CCC is not perfect, and The Campanile would like to offer some suggestions for how the CCC can improve upon its already admirable work.

A major issue currently plaguing Paly students is the discrepancy between college deadlines and Paly’s deadlines for college information. For example, students wishing to apply Early Action/Decision on Nov. 1 were required to turn in their required forms — such as a cover sheet and secondary school report form — on Sept. 26. This deadline was not made clear in an advisory meeting, email or Schoology post, and many students were unaware of the deadline until just a few days earlier.

A simple solution would be to notify seniors during advisory or on Schoology of important deadlines. That way, students will be constantly reminded of approaching deadlines as they check for their regular schoolwork.

Another problem involves the location of the college visits, inconveniently held in the cramped CCC. This space holds about 15 students comfortably, but when popular colleges such as those from the University of California visit, the crowd spills out into the hallway, leaving many unlucky students unable to hear and see the speaker.

While the CCC is appropriate for colleges that receive fewer attendants, it is important to provide enough space to accommodate a larger crowd if necessary. Interest can be tracked with a simple Google form distributed through Schoology. Using this data, visits with perhaps 20 or more students can be relocated to either the Student Center or Haymarket Theatre, while smaller visits can remain in the CCC to maintain a more intimate setting.

With these changes, the CCC can be more effective in helping students monitor deadlines and managing successful college visits. When students tackle college applications next year, the support of the CCC will hopefully further alleviate their stress.

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