Applying to college is a big feature of every senior high school student’s life and rightly so. But with so many choices and considerations, it can even be hard to know where to start.
It requires deep research for what could be the biggest decision a student will ever have to make. Let’s not forget that the stakes are high – this decision will determine your new life and future career.
At Annie Wright Schools, teachers, counsellors and staff are on-hand to support upper school boys and girls through every step of this important process.
“College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.”
Anyone who’s been through the process knows that college selection boils down to a weighing of soft measures – ie. how much a student will love their time there – against cold, hard realities like costs, future earnings and job opportunities.
This means parents and students have the difficult task of balancing what suits their unique personality, while also keeping in mind the financial weights of today and the future.
Christian G. Sullivan, Head of Schools at Annie Wright, understands the many varied indicators of students’ future success. As a parent, as well, to a student who recently started at Barnard College in New York City, he knows well the “varied and complex” college application process, both personally and professionally.
In this position of experience and authority, Sullivan is equipped to lead the school in helping students answer the question every student wished they have an answer for: which college and course will be best for me?
For this, Annie Wright Schools stresses the importance of fit; choosing somewhere a student will love, where there are opportunities to grow as an individual, over more trivial matters like prestige.
As former President of the National Association of College Admission Counselling Frank Sachs said: “college is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.”
Making this match begins years ahead at Annie Wright. Starting from Grade 9, the school teaches boys and girls how to prepare for the college admission process. Activities mould learners into keen competitors, empowering them to be strong learners and engaged community members.
Academically, Annie Wright organises workshops to prepare students for the SAT/ACT and essay writing, as well as laying on college and university visits the school.
To boost their college profile, activities and clubs include two essential components: a community engagement project and an opportunity to travel, allowing students to participate in conferences in Los Angeles, meetings in New York and expeditions to Cuba.
We see proof of Annie Wright’s winning strategy in its 100 percent success rate in getting students accepted in US four-year colleges, as well as the presence of its alumni network in high-ranking, prestigious institutions worldwide, including Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University and Columbia University.
Genevieve Grant, an Annie Wright alumna now in a dual BA program between France’s Science Po and Columbia University, credits her time at the school for providing the crucial foundation for her current political studies in France.
Since Annie Wright is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, Grant got the chance to enroll in courses like IB English Literature, while Global Studies and Global Politics gave her the vocabulary and framework to articulate her own perspective.
Boarding with students who were local or had crossed global borders helped her discover her own identity. This self-awareness, personal and academic, is proving to be highly useful in her current class, which resembles a future G20 summit
“What I loved about Annie Wright is that it provided me opportunities to become who I wanted to be,” Grant explained.
Expertise and personalised insight from Annie Wright’s career counsellors
Grant is one of the lucky ones. Not everyone ends up with college and courses that they love and can thrive in. According to a Gallup poll, the majority of Americans (51 percent) who pursued postsecondary education would change their degree type, institution or major.
Many factors are behind these doubts and regret, but making ill-informed decisions when applying to a college or course is one of the biggest forces at play.
Escaping this trap requires knowledge and a keen understanding of today’s international higher education sector, on top of the dynamic changes in the labour market these students will graduate into.
Expertise are needed, so Annie Wright’s college counsellors spend a lot of time helping students decide which college is best for them in consideration of myriad demographic, economic and political changes affecting higher education today.
From crafting application strategies to providing personalised finance information, to helping students find their unique strengths – these individuals are vital catalysts in helping students find the college and course to best serve their needs.
“Nothing makes me happier than seeing bright, capable, motivated students excited about their plans,” said Ms. Scottie Hill, Director of College Counselling at Annie Wright.
From Annie Wright to great places
“On from strength to strength” is Annie Wright’s motto. Dara Hansen reminisces about singing this phrase, part of the schools’ alma mater, during her time at Annie Wright. Back then, she thought it was a nice slogan to put on a banner. Today, she believes it could be the answer as to why she’s now thousands of miles away in tropical Singapore, a freshman at the prestigious Yale-National University of Singapore.
Her time at Annie Wright, be it in her Global Politics class or in the student lounge, constantly challenged her to ask, “Why do you believe what you believe?”. It’s a community that “enables self-awareness”, as Hansen describes.
From this foundation at Annie Wright, Hansen now continues on her path, learning how to challenge herself, academically and personally, while at university.
“‘On from strength to strength’ does not paraphrase ‘From success to success,’ but rather a trajectory of where Annie Wright students can go if they use their diverse community to cultivate their personal beliefs,” Hansen said.