Students unable to make college visitations due to the pandemic received some valuable advice via a virtual Lunchbox Lecture on Friday, May 1.

Emilia Monrad, Stephen Kanefke, Hailee Smentkowski and Daniela Murphy, members of Mrs. Cornell’s Gateway 11 group, gave an informative presentation – How to Prepare for College While at Home – via Google Meet.

The lecture, which had 23 attendees, covered many topics, including ways to research and tour colleges, how to access online sources and guidance on the admission process in the time of COVID-19. In addition, students learned about writing college essays and how to go about getting letters of recommendation.

Of course, students would prefer to visit in person but the internet provides the opportunity to do many things from the comfort and safety of their homes.

Smentkowski feels prospective students should take advantage of www.campustours.com, www.youtube.com and youvisit.com. Simply by typing in the name of a college on campustours.com, one will discover links to videos, maps and other resources. Youtube.com has promotional videos and and tours as well. Youvisit.com offers access to 360 colleges and universities and the opportunity to interact with a student ambassador.

“It’s important to take notes and check social media to find out about sports, clubs and admissions,” Smentkowski added.

The lecture touched on College Board and Naviance, two valuable tools when selecting a school. On the College Board website, the group benefited from the College Planning tab, which is great for exploring areas outside of academics such as dorms, survival away from home and quizzes to match young adults with colleges. Naviance has the Super College Match.

As a result of the pandemic, colleges have altered their admission processes. The National Association for College Admission Counseling’s website, NACACnet.org, updates its information frequently so those applying can check on current procedures.

Kanefke noted that SAT/ACT scores will not be required for students beginning college in 2020-21. In order to impress colleges in the absence of sports and extracurricular activities, Kanefke suggested “finding creative ways to stand out in your community.”

Aspects of the college application process that have remained the same are financial aid, college essays, letters of recommendation and the Common App (www.commonapp.org) for school transcripts, work, activities and academic honors and achievements. A FAFSA and CSS Profile are still needed.

The quartet concluded their presentation with a very relevant discussion question: With our current stay-at-home situation, has your college selection changed?

James Nash, a guidance counselor and the Gateway coordinator, commended the students for “an excellent presentation” and said that they “had a lot of good information.”

Here’s a link to the presentation:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1sAU_94Dqi5V8S63C9zp_qtqglVjYqBIazh5bA-WhuYQ/edit#slide=id.p

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