Students utilize college visits

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Dahlia Grossman-Heinz, an assistant dean of admissions at Reed College, in Portland, Ore., discussed the school with a group of three.

Benjamin Hannani, print spotlight editor

College preparation has kicked into full gear as admissions officers from various schools visit Beverly. The College Center has been hosting information sessions for various universities, often featuring six presentations daily. During these presentations, the admissions officers usually open with general information about the school before opening to student’s specific questions.

The process of scheduling these information sessions actually begins before the school year starts. The college counselor, currently Susan Chamberlain filling in for Jill Lewis, contacts colleges and universities throughout the summer and fall to schedule their visits. Since the goal is for as many students as possible to learn about various colleges, counselors are constantly scheduling additional information sessions. Although organizing the information sessions can be time-consuming, Chamberlain believes her time booking college visits is well spent.

“Our philosophy is to expose our students to a very wide variety of schools, so we schedule as many as we can possibly manage,” Chamberlain said. “Hosting these college reps does require a great deal of time, but our focus on assisting and inspiring as many students as possible to go on to four-year colleges makes this a high priority. Our students are well-prepared for the rigor of college.”

Seniors, who are currently applying to colleges, have been using the college visits to learn more about prospective schools. Unlike purchasing a college guide book or flying across the country to visit a school, the information sessions are a free resource. At the college visits, students can have personal interaction with admissions officers, who have a firsthand knowledge of their campus.

“The college visits are helpful because they provide a personal, primary source of information that college guidebooks and websites cannot supply,” senior Sharon Attia said.

While the visits have caused some seniors to re-evaluate what they want in a college, Attia says her prospective colleges have not changed. After attending information sessions for the University of Chicago, Northwestern and Boston University, she felt the college visits confirmed her interest in schools she was already applying to.

“[Personally,] the visits have not drastically changed my opinions about the schools I’m applying to,” Attia said. “If anything, several [of the visits] have made me more excited about certain schools.”

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