For seniors, these few months have signified the end of their college application journeys. Most seniors have already received all their college decisions and know where they plan to study for the next 4 years. For juniors, on the other hand, the college application journey has just begun. Starting in early February, juniors have been meeting with their counselors to discuss their post-secondary plans. The counseling department has been working tirelessly to prepare these students for the college application process. In addition to one-on-one meetings, the counseling department also decided to offer juniors the opportunity to communicate with different colleges through a college panel. On March 19th, Bedford extended Advisory B so that the juniors could meet in the Theater for this college panel event. The post-secondary organizations that came to this event were the University of Pittsburgh, New England Institute of Technology, Roger Williams, Rivier, the National Guard, and Manchester Community College.
The meeting consisted of several topics for discussion. Juniors learned about not only application requirements and processes, but also about each individual college. They were then given the opportunity to ask questions. Some of the points that lots of the colleges stressed was the fact that some colleges just won’t be a good fit for some students. One example is the University of Pittsburgh, which is a large college with over 19,000 undergraduates. Some students may not want such a large student body. Therefore, although the University of Pittsburgh is a well-known and highly-respected university, there are still several other factors to take into consideration when deciding whether or not to apply to that college. Another factor is proximity to home. Rivier and Manchester Community College are both extremely close to Bedford, but some of the other colleges are a little farther out. In general, juniors learned that all factors should be considered before applying to a certain college. As college becomes an increasingly popular post-secondary option, application fees are beginning to rise. For some colleges, application fees can reach up to $90, so making sure that a college is truly a good fit for the student is extremely important.
The counseling department also invited the National Guard to talk on the college panel as well, ensuring that other post-secondary options were offered and explained to students. Such programs are often unknown, but the college panel was effective in informing students about them. Overall, the college panel was an eye-opening experience that successfully aided juniors in their research and preparation process for college applications. Hopefully, the counseling department will consider hosting such an event again for next year’s juniors.