In my former life as a college admissions officer, I spent weeks at a time on the road going from high school to high school speaking to interested students. Over my 17-year “stint,” I made well over 1,000 visits. I remember all too well the challenge of deciding which high schools to visit on limited time and budget, then shoehorning 5 visits into one day. From mid-September through mid-November the College Counseling Office plays host to well over one hundred road warriors representing their respective colleges. Last year our hallways saw 130 college admission officers all eager to speak with our senior class. (We already have 100 scheduled visits and climbing for this fall.)
Last week, we dipped our toes in the water and had our first two visits from Mt. Holyoke and Haverford. However, this week we will have a dizzying 24 colleges representing institutions from across the country and even from Canada and Europe. The volume of visitors is a testament to Bay’s academic approach and the strength of our students. By visiting us a visiting rep had to forgo visiting another Bay Area high school.
These visits are extraordinarily beneficial for our students. The senior class is comprised of 64 students so the visits tend to be pretty intimate with an average of 2-3 students meeting with the visiting college rep. The seniors at this point in the process use this as an opportunity to solidify their decision to apply and are able to begin building their personal relationship with a school. The questions our students ask are consistently thoughtful and insightful. I am constantly impressed with our students and so are the colleges. The college reps often comment about the level of engagement and curiosity of our students. (It makes me proud.) Some of the reps arrive early to sit in on morning meeting or stay for lunch, so they can soak in The Bay School culture. After spending some time with our students and walking our hallways, they inevitably agree with me when I say I’m so very fortunate to work at such a special place.