RE juniors and their parents assembled at the upper school on January 8 to hear from a panel of experts in the field of college admissions on a range of topics that surround the college search and application process. Representing a variety of school types (a highly-selective, private, liberal-arts school; a highly-selective national university; and a flagship public university), admission directors Chris Gruber from Davidson, Denny Paredes from Tufts and Charles Murphy from the University of Florida, entertained and informed during the school's annual College Admissions Symposium.
The program helps provide an official launch to the college process for RE's juniors, and it's one of many offered by Ransom Everglades College Counseling Office to RE families.
The panelists provided important suggestions, offering insights on such things as how to make an effective college visit; the changing role of standardized testing; the values assigned to the component parts of a college application; and how to begin to create a list of prospective colleges. They discussed the importance of keeping the process in perspective and not letting the process dominate conversations. They also encouraged the juniors to begin their search by identifying “what” they wish to find in a college or university rather than “where” they they hope to find themselves;
The representatives encouraged RE's parents to allow their children to “drive the bus” and to be sensitive to how their comments may be perceived. As an example, it was mentioned that it’s far better to ask, “What did you think about your (not our) visit to College X today?” Not: “I really liked College X; I think it would be a good place for you.”
Another important point mentioned was for families to have frank conversations at the start of the search process about such things as costs, distance from home, and any other factors that could affect the ultimate choice.
The day ended with parents and students meeting with their assigned college counselors to further discuss the road ahead, which includes scheduling individual parent meetings.
Ransom Everglades will send a survey to those parents who attended, and share a link to a video recording of the program for junior families who were unable to attend or may wish to view the program again.
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 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.