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College Counseling starts students earlier this year

Counseling department decides to change up the approach this year, starting earlier and being more practical.

The counseling department and the Class of 2017 have worked to get all applications into colleges to meet early deadlines. This year, counselors enacted some changes to ensure that this overall process becomes easier.

“I think the big thing was starting to fill out the [Common Application] in the spring,” Director of College Counseling Ian Harkness said. “I think that a lot of the guys that I had in the spring classes fulfilled most of those check marks before June.”

According to Harkness, this year was one of the first times that was able to happen. Because the Common App saves everything, students can always go back and edit things or update certain pieces of the application. College counselors began the applications with counseling classes in the spring so students could get a head start.

“It is just the twenty to thirty minutes of time that you have already put into thinking about that  class/application. You do not have to go back and do it over, you can just go back and confirm that the information is still the same,” Harkness said.

The Counseling Department is also going to do something different with regards to brainstorming for essays. According to Harkness, the point is to get the “creative juices” flowing in class.

Harkness thinks that the college process is going well so far.

“I think this year’s seniors have done a good job of listening to our advice and working hard,” Harkness said. “We processed 460 plus applications.”

In fact, Malvern processed exactly 503 applications for the November 1 and 15 Early Decision and Early Action deadlines, according to Administrative Assistant to the Counseling Department Mrs. Susan Sarafinas. For the regular decision deadlines, 638 applications were submitted for the class of 2017.

This was more than last years class, which submitted 314 early applications and 404 regular decision applications. Take into account that last year’s class was actually bigger than this class by one student.

“That shows that [seniors] were on the ball, and ready to go,” Harkness said. “I think that some of the preparation work that we did last year really helped.”

Head of School Mr. Ron Algeo is also satisfied.

“I have had the opportunity to talk to students and counselors, and I would say that there is a very, very good spirit and vibe surrounding it,” Algeo said. “There a lot of students that have been working really hard to be ready for this deadline and to have all their things in within a timely fashion.”

According to Algeo, students have communicated well with their college counselors, and with their teachers in regards to their recommendations. They were also very proactive in communicating with Sarafinas.

“I think that makes the process for everybody more manageable,” Algeo said.

For the first time, the counseling department met with the faculty in the spring to discuss the possibility of writing recommendations over the summer, according to Harkness.

Seniors like RJ Napoli were very pleased with the way the teachers handled his recommendations.

“I thought the teachers were very approachable,” Napoli said. “Mrs. Gordon and Mrs. Kenworthy finished well before my deadline.”

According to senior Jack Waite, the process did not seem to be stressful until he really got into it. “I did think it was a little bit stressful,” Waite said. “I had a lot of help and guidance so a lot of the stuff that I did was pretty straight forward.”

Overall, the process has gone smoothly so far.

“Our number one goal is to make this process less stressful,” Harkness said. “Hopefully, we can do that with a full year’s worth of work.”

About Tommy White

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Tommy White has been reporting for the BFC for three years know and has written 16 stories and counting. He hails from Phoenixville, PA and will be attending Fordham University next Fall. He is extremely active on the Squash team and has played a solid role in the BFC.

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