By Fred Alvarez, College Counselor
NYU. Babson. Savannah College of Art and Design. UC Santa Barbara. Whittier College.
What do they all have in common?
A fair number of OVS graduates have matriculated to these schools in recent years, and each has proven to be an excellent fit for our alums as they navigate college and carve paths toward adulthood.
However, these schools share another common feature: each has faithfully sent a representative to speak to our Upper Campus students for many years. In fact, these five schools are among the more than 20 colleges and universities that already are scheduled to visit the Upper Campus this year.
The importance of these college visits can’t be overstated.
While the colleges and universities who send representatives to our campus clearly have an agenda – they obviously want to “sell” their schools by putting them in the best possible light – they also bring with them valuable information to impart to our seniors and juniors as they formulate their college choices.
Often, that information is about academics, and the myriad programs and educational pursuits available to students.
Did you know that Babson hosts an annual “Shark Tank”-like competition in which students, alumni, faculty and staff team up to create and pitch entrepreneurial projects as they vie for a share of more than $100,000 in cash prizes? Or that at Whittier selected students can design their own majors, customizing the focus of their studies and related research to pursue their passions? Or that UCSB is home to the first-of-its-kind National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, a think tank dedicated to accelerating scientific discoveries designed to enhance the understanding of the world and benefit people and nature?
That’s the kind of information students get when college reps set foot on the Upper Campus, meeting with students – from freshmen to seniors – for up to an hour.
But often the most pertinent information college reps provide has nothing to do with the classroom. College reps speak to the nuances of dorm life, the possibilities of internships and the headache of navigating the financial aid process.
They at all times are talking about the kind of students who thrive at their campuses, and those who don’t, and all the time helping our students figure out the most important question when it comes to college choice: what campus provides the best fit.
Maggie Lucas, one of the California representatives for NYU, is always one of the biggest draws, and she has gotten to know OVS and its students extremely well over the years. That has its benefits. For those who apply, Lucas will be the first reader on their applications. And because she knows our students, having met with many of them personally, she can help talk up their strengths as they move through the application process.
With nearly two dozen students in attendance at the NYU meeting last fall, including several of this year’s seniors, Lucas talked test scores and GPA averages, application deadlines and Advanced Placement credit. But mostly she talked fit, telling our students that most who apply to NYU do so because they connect with the university in fundamental ways.
“We are looking for students who are excited about the urban college experience NYU provides,” Lucas told those in attendance. “There’s not just one quality we are looking for in a student – we want students who are ready to bring their interests and their passions to our campus.”
NYU generally draws the largest number of students of all the college reps who visit. But it doesn’t matter if one student shows up for these college visits or 101. The idea is to expose our students to the breadth of college opportunities that await OVS graduates after they cross our graduation stage.
When it’s all said and done, more than 50 colleges and universities will visit Ojai Valley School this year. And we will add to that number this spring by attending the Tri-County National College Fair at Seaside Park in Ventura, and when we visit colleges either during the winter break or spring break on our school-sponsored college tour.
From a college counseling standpoint, there’s tremendous value in each one of those contacts: each one helps our small world On The Hill grow just a little bit larger.
|Sept. 5||LMU (10:00)|
|Sept. 13||Landmark College (2:00)|
|Sept. 16||NYU (9:00)|
|Sept. 17||Denison University (12:40)|
|Sept. 18||Lafayette College (12:30)|
|Sept. 20||Chapman University (8:10)|
|Sept. 20||Columbia University (2:00)|
|Sept. 23||American University of Paris (11:30)|
|Sept. 23||Gettysburg College (12:15)|
|Sept. 23||High Point University (2:00)|
|Sept. 24||Wheaton College (TBA)|
|Sept. 27||University of Oregon (8:30)|
|Sept. 30||Babson College (11:30)|
|Sept. 30||Bard College (2:30)|
|Oct. 1||University of Laverne/Cal Poly Pomona (9:30)|
|Oct. 1||Hult International School of Business|
|Oct. 1||Whittier College (2:00)|
|Oct. 2||Suffolk University (8:10)|
|Oct. 2||UC Riverside (9:00)|
|Oct. 3||Savannah College of Art and Design (10:00)|
|Oct. 3||Pacific Northwest College of Art (11:45)|
|Oct. 7||Case Western Reserve (8:10)|
|Oct. 7||UC Santa Barbara (10:55)|
|Oct. 8||Carroll College (9:30)|
|Oct. 9||The New School (8:15)|
|Oct. 14||Soka University (11:00)|
|Oct. 21||Grinnell College (9:30)|
|Oct. 23||Bucknell College (8:10)|
|Oct. 24||Linden Tours (multiple colleges visit @ 2:30)|
|Oct. 28||Salve Regina University (11:00)|
|Oct. 29||Saint Mary’s College of California (12:30)|
|Oct. 31||Mills College (10:45)|
|Nov. 5||University of Redlands (9:30)|