It is no secret that applying to college can be confusing and stressful. Pinkerton Academy graduates hundreds of students each year in which a large majority are pursuing greater education through college, trade school, or the military. Luckily, the Academy offers many resources for students when it comes to applying and attending college.
Students, counselors, and teachers all use both Naviance and Common App for the college application process. Common App is a website where a majority of colleges can be applied for in one place. This is convenient because instead of filling out an individual application for each school, students can fill out one application through Common App that all the colleges will see once they submit their applications. Each college has a certain set of questions that corresponds to their particular expectations or requirements which can also be answered right on Common App. However, it is important to note that not all colleges are able to be applied to through Common App.
A school counselor, Ms. Krista Coufos, likes what Naviance does and its benefits for those using the program.
“Naviance enables students to research universities based on majors/academic offerings, location, enrollment size, athletic opportunities, acceptance rates, and more. This technology allows us to send transcripts to admission offices all across the U.S. both electronically and securely. This saves us a ton of money and time,” said Coufos.
Coufos also mentions that students can find scholarships opportunities through Naviance.
Another resource the school offers is college visits. This is when a college comes to Pinkerton Academy, and students can visit the college and learn about it during their school day. Pinkerton also schedules field trips to other schools in which students have the choice if they want to attend.
“This year, we held two tours to colleges in NH, SNHU and UNH. Roughly 30 students attended each field trip and thoroughly enjoyed their time on university campuses,” said Coufos.
College visits can be very beneficial to students. A 2019 graduate Jordan Weeden found college visits helpful because it introduced her to many colleges she would have otherwise not known about.
Weeden currently attends Colby-Sawyer College and is in her second semester as a freshman. She is pursuing a biology major with a pre-med advisor track. After completing her first semester of college, Weeden thinks Pinkerton prepared her well for college.
“Students who are academically competent in high school at Pinkerton are prepared for a college workload,” said Weeden.
The school provides a few other resources that juniors and seniors can take advantage of when looking into their future. The school counseling department hosts a college fair every spring where hundreds of admission representatives from colleges across the nation attend. The college fair is intended to expose students to post high school opportunities. Coufos recommends that juniors should start visiting college campuses over February and April break.
If students have any questions or concerns about applying or going to college, they are encouraged to see their counselor. Counselors and teachers are great resources for students to educate themselves on college. Most colleges require a letter of recommendation from either a teacher, counselor, or both. It is important to include teachers and counselors in this process.
Coufos said, “I believe that school counselors provide students with ample college application assistance. Between junior and senior one-on-one meetings and going into senior English classes to present to all upperclassmen, we have so many helpful resources, and tips and tricks to share.”
The school also offers courses that are geared towards careers to help prepare students for college courses. There is a large range of these classes including Animal Science, Cosmetology, Engineering, Woodworking, Culinary Arts, and so many more. Students can explore what they may be interested in during high school, so that they have an idea of what they may want to do after high school.
As a high school student, Weeden took advantage of the Health Science Technology (HST) course which she says the content in the course greatly contributes to discussions in her college classes and her pursuance in the medical field. She also notes that her HST class was very similar to her now college classes in terms of stricter deadlines and work intensity.
A concern for many students is how college is different from high school. Students here have access to a large campus that is similar to a college campus. The size of the college each student attends is entirely up to them. Students should pick a campus size that works best for them.
Coufos said, “Students can use Pinkerton’s population size to gauge what size college campus they are looking for. If our campus seems too congested, especially in between classes, students may want to look at colleges with enrollment between 1,000 and 2,000 students. If you are a student who is looking to meet a new person every day or week, you may want to look at colleges with enrollment of 5,000+.”
Coufos leaves seniors with one last piece of advice.
“Try your best not to ‘senior slide,’ but enjoy the ride along the way as best you can. It’s all about balance. This may be your last year ever working with or seeing your classmates and teachers, so make the most of every minute,” said Coufos.