by Caylee Courtright
Last month, our high school held it’s first senior night of the year! Each year, parents and seniors come together in the auditorium to learn about the next steps in applying to college. This meeting makes the college application process a little less daunting, as all of the Guidance counselors attend the meeting. We also got our first look at the new guidance counselors who replaced Mrs. Stecklow and Mrs. Gordon: Ms. Librizzi, Ms. Evola, and Mr. Emmerich. We’re very excited to see what they have to offer OHS!
These next few months are going to be very stressful for seniors as they apply to college and complete supplemental essays, but as per usual, the OHS Guidance Department is here to help. At this meeting, Ms. Pizzo and Mr. Carbonetti tackled the student’s responsibilities in the application process. Firstly: THE SENIOR MEETING. They emphasized the importance of this meeting in order to take the next steps into the adult world. Whether you plan on attending college or not, it’s important to make this appointment with your counselor in order to set things up for your post high school career. What they will cover in the senior meeting is the general common application (making an account, which you should’ve done in your United States Government class junior year), how to add colleges, and how to find them on Naviance if you’re still unsure about which colleges to apply to. In the common application, Mr. Carbonetti emphasized that in the Education section, you should list the classes you are taking your senior year. General classes, even electives are to be listed as Regents.
Next, the guidance counselors discussed letters of recommendation. Ms. Pizzo emphasized that these must be done ASAP. As in, as soon are you’re done reading this, try to go over to the guidance office and grab a white sheet. They also said to try to get the recommendation letter preferably from a teacher you had last year. Once a teacher agrees to write you a recommendation letter, make sure to follow up with these teachers as you go through the application process. Simply send them a quick email asking them about the status of the letter. Mr. Carbonetti also said that you have to email your Guidance counselor to make sure that the letters have been uploaded to Naviance. Ms. Pizzo further explained that you MUST connect your Common App account and your Naviance account. The guidance counselors also emphasized that most colleges prefer students to waive their right to see their letters of recommendation to ensure that they are an honest portrait of you as a student. This waiver is called FERPA. You only need to fill it out once on the Common App for all colleges to see that you waived the letters of recommendation. Guidance also reminded student athletes that Mr. Luisi has got them covered. Make sure to contact him to inquire about NCAA eligibility and requirements.
The last topic that was covered by guidance was standardized testing. Since the pandemic, a majority of schools have gone test-optional. This means the student does not need to submit their test scores to colleges. If they wish to do so, that must be done by the student through the college board website. Make sure to only submit your scores if you believe they will help you. If the score falls below the desired range of the college you wish to attend, don’t submit the test scores.
If you have any further questions, contact your guidance counselor – their emails are located here. For further information, the Guidance office also posted the slide from the Application Night. Good luck applying to colleges!