LIVINGSTON, NJ - On Wednesday, Livingston High School (LHS) hosted a seminar for 9th, 10th, and 11th graders that are interested in learning about the college admissions process. Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Guilford College Andrew Strickler led the seminar in the LHS auditorium where he presented the factual knowledge needed by both parents and students who are planning for college.
At the beginning of his presentation, Strickler asked the filled auditorium how they felt about the upcoming college process. “Anxious,” “nervous,” and “frightened” were just some of the words used by attendees to describe the process.
“Before beginning the college process,” Strickler said, “you need to understand just a few fundamentals: 1) There is a college for everyone; 2) It is dangerous to get your heart attached to a school too early; and 3) College is not about admissions—it’s about graduation.”
Throughout the presentation, Strickler expanded on what it takes to get in to college, and what is most important on one’s resume.
“At the end of the day, it is an academic contest,” he said. “The most important part of your application should be your high school transcript and your SAT/ACT test scores.”
Strickler also emphasized the important role the student plays throughout the planning process. He said that it is extremely impressive to admissions boards when students advocate for themselves and take personal responsibility for their futures.
Toward the end of the seminar, Strickler asked for student volunteers to take a card with a fake GPA and a list of traits particular to each applicant. At first, he lined the students up in order of decreasing GPA. However, as he went through each trait for each applicant, it became clear that the order of “best student” wasn't really so clear, and that each factor played a unique role in why or why not a student would be admitted.
In his closing remarks, Strickler had three suggestions to help ease the process of admission to college. He said, “Be honest with yourself; stay close to your guidance counselors; and visit, visit visit.”