Countdown to College

On Thursday, September 16th, dozens of RB students and their parents gathered around the band room, their eager ears straining to pick up the hidden secrets of college admission. This informative meeting, also known as Countdown to College, was organized by the RBHS counselors in order to better prepare high school students for the college application process and all of the problems they might encounter along the way.

The guest speaker for the event, Jerry Pope, former dean of admissions at Illinois Wesleyan, expressed a desire to help high school students become informed consumers aware of literally all the criteria which college admission officers might look at when making their final decision. 

One thing which most high school students would be surprised to learn is that colleges routinely deny applicants based on information taken from their facebook, myspace, e-mail accounts, and even their cell-phone messages.

“There are many students who possess all the qualifications,” said Pope, “but based on what their profiles and their pictures say about them, I would never want them on my campus.”

One particular instance which Pope remembers where personal information came into play, involved a young man who had initially been accepted until the college he applied to discovered that his e-mail username contained the phrase, “I love drugs.” Needless to say, the college did not take kindly to this and the young man was swiftly denied.

Students should be aware that any questionable material posted on their profile page can seriously count against them in the long run. In the end, your facebook and any other online profile pages you might have should be your ultimate public relations piece, not something that can work against you.

Profiles aside, one of the biggest reasons why students do not get accepted into their first choice college is not because they aren’t qualified, but simply because they missed the deadline.

RB counselor Margaret Leiteritz feels that taking the college application process seriously and being involved in it every step of the way is a student’s greatest asset. 

“Involvement is essential,” said Leiteritz, “the application process will go much smoother if the student does the research, keeps track of deadlines, and attends some of the college-related events hosted by RB.”

“Students should remember that in this process, they are the key player.”