By KATHLEEN ZHOU ‘21
The sounds of idle shuffling and low murmuring filled the room, the occasional coughs or chuckles resounding through the air. The Edison High auditorium was alive and brimming with energy. Then, a clap from the front settled the room down.
“Welcome to Junior Parent College Night!”
Arranged by the School Counseling Center, Junior Parent College Night is designed to provide parents and junior-class students with information and advice on the college process. For the first part of the night, the attendees were split by students’ school counselors to take part in separate lectures. These mini-sessions took place throughout the school in the music rooms and the auditorium, where counselors presented general information on the application process.
First, students were offered a timeline of college preparations they need, such as the establishment of a testing calendar by February and a list of viable colleges by March. By May, students should start drafting college essays and considering teachers to ask for letters of recommendation. In the summer, students should prepare for the SAT and ACT tests if they have not already taken them–fee waivers are available to those with free or reduced lunch.
The counselors also highlighted Naviance, a program designed to help students research colleges and their fit for the student. Additionally, for each college, under the admissions tab, Naviance provides a scattergram of all the students from Edison High who applied to that college along with those admitted and those enrolled. Students can see where they stand relative to the other students in terms of GPA and SAT scores and thus their chances of getting in. The counselors also emphasized use of the Common Application, a general yet extensive application that reaches multiple schools. Students can start investigation on commonapp.org right now and begin dissecting essay prompts.
Following these mini-sessions, parents, students, and counselors relocated to the auditorium, where representatives from Middlesex County College, Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, Saint Peter’s University, and Temple University sat, ready to speak. Parents listened as each representative answered questions posed by Guidance Counselor Brenda Gupta about their school, such as specific program requirements, the way they weigh applications, and financial aid policies.
All in all, the night was a great supplement for parents and students nervous about the application process. As people left the school, they did so with an air of newfound confidence. Additional upcoming events for college information include a career speaker series from February 3-6 (only for students), Coffee with the College Counselors on March 25 and March 26, and the Middlesex County Regional College Fair in the EHS café on April 16. More information can be found on the counseling tab on the new Edison High website: ehs.edison.k12.nj.us.
A big thank you and congratulations to the Counseling Department for an event well-executed!
Photo Credit: Edison High School