Five college admission officials representing a wide cross-section of schools shared advice on navigating the college process during Ransom Everglades' annual College Admission Symposium at the Lewis Family Auditorium Jan. 17. RE's Director of College Counseling Claudia Jolivert led the roundtable discussion with representatives from Berry College, Columbia University, Florida State University, Oberlin College and Texas Christian University.
The goal in bringing in representatives from universities big and small, public and private, in cities and rural areas, was to provide RE students and parents with different perspectives and a comprehensive picture of the college admission process. In attendance were Manuel Carballo, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid for Oberlin College; Heath Einstein, Dean of Admission for Texas Christian University; Hege Ferguson, Director of Admissions for Florida State University; Joanna May, Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Columbia University; and Adrienne Amador Oddi, Director of Admissions for Berry College.
The college representatives weighed in on topics ranging from college essays to financial aid to the importance of summer opportunities. They addressed questions about standardized tests, AP courses and rigorous schedules. Despite their disparate vantage points, several encouraged families to take the stress out of the process – and the high school experience more generally – noting that colleges and universities are seeking to fill their classes with authentic, engaged, intellectually curious and happy kids who will make positive contributions to the campus community.
"If people knew how much information we sift through in trying to create a community, they would be surprised," Ferguson said. "It's so much more than GPA and test scores ... it's a complex process."
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.