College admission officers from eight colleges and universities shared their expertise and advice with Ransom Everglades’ students and parents during separate panel discussions on Oct. 15 at the Lewis Family Auditorium and the Rehearsal Hall.
Students heard first from panelists Candice Aldrich of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, Chuck Bachman of Lafayette College of Easton, Pa., Stacy Rusak of Duke University and Sayaka Smith of Tufts University. Ransom Everglades Director of College Counseling Claudia Jolivert served as the moderator. The topic: “The Right Fit: The College Search Process.”
Parents heard first from Jody Glassman of Florida International University, Simon Nascimento of the University of Chicago, William Segura of Emory University and Karen Vargas of Wake Forest University. Senior Associate Director of College Counseling Daniel Creasy moderated that panel, which was entitled, “The College Admissions Landscape.”
Midway through the evening, the panelists changed venues to expose students and parents to both programs. The eight admission officers touched on myriad topics throughout, but certain themes surfaced repeatedly – namely, the importance of students finding schools that matched their personality and interests.
“This is their search, it’s not their friends’ search; it’s not their parents’ search,” Bachman said. “We look for students to take ownership of this process… identifying what’s important to them, and why it’s important.”
The officers also addressed misconceptions about the college process; explained the meaning of “institutional priorities,” “demonstrated interest” and other admission jargon; discouraged students from overloading to pad their resumes; and discussed how issues such as legacy, athletics and authenticity factor into the admission process.
The evening also provided an opportunity for an introduction of Terry Giffen, who is assisting RE’s college counseling team – which also includes Associate Director of College Counseling Aleny Garcia and Coordinator of Student-Athlete College Recruitment Roger Caron – as a counselor in residence for one week each month in 2019-20.
During his 46-year career in academia, Giffen has held college counseling directorships at Choate Rosemary Hall, The Taft School and Montgomery Bell Academy.
The special event came less than a week after RE families heard from Davidson College Dean David R. Gelinas, who visited the Pagoda on Oct. 10 to discuss college financial aid.
RE's college counseling team will hold a handful of other special events in 2019-20: meetings with parents of freshmen (Jan. 28) and sophomores (Nov. 25), a college athletic recruiting night (Dec. 10) and a College Admission Symposium (Jan. 11).
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The mission of Ransom Everglades School is to provide an educational environment in which the pursuit of honor, academic excellence and intellectual growth is complemented by concern for the physical, cultural and character development of each student. The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.