As a Cadet progresses through the various stages of the college search and admissions process, he will assess his strengths, weaknesses, needs, and values. Thoughtful use of self-knowledge allows a Cadet to make better choices in considering future plans. The goal of this process should be to find the right university that best meets personal needs and provides an academic and personal environment for growth. The best university on some sort of "top ten" list should not be the sole criteria for the right fit..
Fittingly, the Cadet should understand their stake in this process. Early in the process, the system will be automatic with some mandatory events occurring. But the end of the process will be a college acceptance for the graduate. HMA's College Counselor and the other mentors at Hargrave are here to help you in a number of ways:
To help you understand the admissions process
To accurately evaluate your achievements and aspirations
To assist in the gathering of information about schools
To help you to make an informed and not arbitrary choice
We do not have special magic powers to "guarantee" a college admission. But we can help maximize opportunities. It is the Cadet's responsibility (as scary as it might be to think of your young man making a potentially life-defining decision) to make sure that the Counselor is apprised of plans and goals and notified of any changes when they occur. Please help him help himself.
Make no mistake, there is real pressure here: college admissions systems, college marketing and hype, items from the (social) media, financial issues, test anxiety, and the general uncertainty when a man makes meaningful decisions about the future. But it can be managed and issues mitigated when a Cadet communicates openly and often with your parents, mentors, faculty, staff, and College Counselor. Consistent communication is the key and will help you achieve the best results!
The process itself is seemingly straightforward:
- Do a self-evaluation
- Research colleges that meet your needs
- Make a draft list of schools that interest you
- Winnow the list of schools
But the college admissions process will challenge applicants on multiple levels, from honest discussions about interests to family hopes/dreams/desires to finding the time to face up to a major life decision. It can be complex, confusing, frustrating, interesting, rewarding, and exhilarating — sometimes all at the same time! Whether an immediate admission to a traditional four-year college or considering one of many other options, the goal for the process is to help Cadets find the match that best suits their needs for life-long success.