As the college admissions process ramps up into full swing this fall, seniors at RHS have been trickling in and out of the campus center with small white slips of paper: College visit passes. Admissions representatives from prestigious universities come and visit the RHS seniors during school to guide them through the admissions process, facilitating conversations to excite prospective students about their futures at these universities. However, the question becomes: are these “college visits” effective, or are they simply a reason to escape class?
An anonymous student claims that “it is bothersome to miss class for the visits” because much work has to be made up and teachers must sign off on the forms. Some students advise that lunch meetings would be preferred; others claim after school hours would be the best. Contrastingly, another senior said that “college visits are really helpful since a lot of us are so busy and unable to actually go visit them in-person… by allocating them during class times it’ll be more likely that more seniors will attend the visits and actually apply to colleges.”
The Ridgewood tradition is to hold visits at the long tables in the Campus Center, so it feels as though it is more of a conversation. Admissions counselors appreciate this sentiment, as they are often placed into classroom settings, forced to lecture students rather than converse with them. Students also appreciate this, but question whether the Campus Center is the best place to have these conversations, especially during the boisterous lunch hour. “Perhaps a conference room in the Lommons would be better?” suggests another anonymous senior.
“Generally, I’ve found if it’s a smaller group I get more out of it, because when it’s a bigger group, people maybe [are] scared to ask questions,” mentioned a student who has attended groups as small as three students and as large as twenty students. With bigger groups, it was noted that admissions representatives tend to elaborate on the general overview of their college, while those leading the smaller groups have more time to engage with individual students’ interests and provide details in depth to truly help with their personal application process.
Nonetheless, the general consensus is that the visits are helpful. Admissions counselors approach the groups with exuberant energy and are willing to answer any questions students may have, no matter how repetitive or eccentric. Of course, many students also mention what a great treat it is to receive the little “goodies” the admissions officers bring along with them for prospective students.
Graphic: Vivian Yuan