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College Process Kick-Off Night Takes Rutgers Prep Class of 2024 on a Journey Through Admissions with Expert Help

College Process Kick-Off Night Takes Rutgers Prep Class of 2024 on a Journey Through Admissions with Expert Help

In what has become a rite of passage in the Rutgers Prep Upper School experience, the College Process Kick-Off night in early February brought together our College Counseling Team, three expert admissions panelists, and the entire Rutgers Prep Class of 2024 and their parents for an informative and energizing presentation.

This year’s admissions panelists, who got the program off to a strong start, addressed topics ranging from the college search process to the role of standardized testing, essays, and recommendation letters in the application review process. The admissions professionals who took time away from their review of applications to share their perspectives and wisdom with the RPS Class of 2024 were Erica Padilla, Regional Associate Director of Admissions for the New York Metro Region at the University of Rochester; Rodney Morrison, Vice President for Enrollment Management at the University of Delaware; and Kristy Materasso, Director of Recruitment and Alumni Relations for New York University. Ms. Padilla shared her perspective on several different approaches students might take while in the process of building their initial college list. Mr. Morrison explained some of the nuances of the shifts in standardized testing policies over the past few years, while also sharing a bit of his own perspective as a first-generation college student. Ms. Materasso helped give students and their parents a sense of the ways in which her office counts on the input of trusted adults like their teachers and counselors as her admissions officers are seeking to make distinctions amongst many academically qualified candidates for admission.

After thanking the panelists and taking a brief stretch break, the gathered crowd re-convened to hear the Rutgers Prep College Counseling Team explore the college search and application process from a Rutgers Prep perspective. Students were encouraged to center their own values and goals, to resist the urge to take shortcuts, and to take accountability for the many parts of the process that they will have control over. Each family was provided with a collection of RPS-curated resources, including recommended books, websites, and podcasts; parents who were observed taking pictures of the team’s slides were reassured that the entire slide deck would also be shared out with the students and parents the next day. The last portion of the program was reserved for a Q&A session, during which Rutgers Prep’s three full-time college counselors expertly fielded questions on everything from whether it’s possible for families to know what to expect in terms of financial aid (possibly; check out each college’s net price calculator online)  to whether or not an interview ever has a negative impact on an admissions decision (probably not). The program wound down to a discernible buzz of positive, engaged energy; one mother commented: “You delivered an information-packed, but easily digestible program this evening, and this group ate it up.”

When RPS juniors and their families logged into ArgoNet (Rutgers Prep’s Learning Managment System) the following morning, they discovered that a questionnaire was awaiting them. With the completion of those questionnaires, students in the Class of 2024 and their parents/host parents/caregivers will be ready to schedule their family meetings with their counselor, and the process of building initial college lists will have begun in earnest. The RPS College Counseling team is looking forward to supporting the Class of 2024 on this journey.