MILLBURN, NJ - The college admissions process can be a little daunting for parents and students going through it together.
Tuesday evening in the library, attendees received tips and tricks to help them better navigate the oftentimes confusing steps needed to make the right moves.
Two members from the Collegewise Millburn office were on hand to speak with students; Senior director Rhianon Schade and College Counselor Maureen Hinkis. Both women spent the course of the evening laying out what a good timeline should look like for a student who will be applying to college at the end of their four years in high school.
Each grade level was covered, showcasing the benchmarks a student should meet in the application process by the end of each year in school. Additionally, the two presenters gave a whole host of tips and tricks that would help with connections.
For Schade, even thou it is August, she finds it important to continue having this discussion in order to keep people informed, no matter what season it is.
"A lot of people vacation in the summer and they should," Schade said. "But when we get closer to the time that school's about to start back up, families and students start to worry about what is going to happen in this process. it's important to continue to talk about how this process will go and get ahead of it right before it all kind of launches."
Schade also said that while freshmen should not be looking into specific colleges or taking test prep, it is important for high school students to lay a foundation that helps make them well-rounded individuals.
Speaking about some of the tips that people who could not make the meeting should know, Hinkis said that it simply comes down to being on top of the college admissions process.
"It's just a matter, of like Rhiannon, said, being thoughtful," she said. "Making sure that you're early and often checking in with the college process and that you're not waiting until the last minute, and rushing and scrambling."
In response to a question about the academics and extracurricular balance of students in Millburn, she also noted that it was important for prospective college students to avoid falling into an imbalance of academics without emphasis on extracurriculars.
"Academics are certainly important," Hinkis said. "But it's also just as important [that] students lead a balanced life and that they have things that they care about outside of the classroom. That they're taking initiative and that they're finding the things that they love to do and learn about."
Hinkis added, "Colleges aren't just looking for robots. They're looking for humans. And they want to see likeability, and they want to see distinctiveness in the college application. That's what's going to push you to the top of a pile when you maybe have the same test scores or the same grades as the students next to you."
Along with the workshop held at the library, Collegewise also has a blog dedicated to answering frequently asked questions about the college process, which can be found here: http://go.collegewise.com/