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Harrison High Senior Parents Learn Tips For College Applications

HARRISON, N.Y. – Several parents attended the Harrison High School senior parent college meeting Monday night to learn more about the common application, college essay and important upcoming dates.

“It’s an overwhelming time,” said Rosanna Menache. “It’s tough to keep all these things straight, so it was good to have the overview and to be prepared.”

Guidance counselor Cindy Leong, who has worked at Harrison High School for five years, said the best part of the evening “is being able to give our parents very important information that we really need to make them aware of.”

“The college process can be a very scary one, so certainly when we’re able to answer many of their questions about how our process is, it helps relieve some of their anxiety,” she said. The first half of the night focused on the application process and entrance exams (SAT, SAT II, ACT) plus college visits and interviews. Even for some parents like Donna Pollack, whose daughter is a freshman at NYU, they liked the event.

“It’s good to sit with other parents and know that you’re not the only one who’s confused and whose kid hasn’t finished or started anything yet,” said Donna Pollack. “It was very helpful.”

Guidance supervisor Christopher Miller said he and guidance counselor Kira DiFalco worked with 80 families throughout July and August “to push them along in the process” with other guidance counselors helping 70 students in their college essays.

“Tonight is centered on helping students to really shine in this process,” he said of the 235-student class of 2013. “We want them to shine to be packaged as best as possible.”

When it comes to recommendations, Miller has been encouraging the seniors to “touch base” with the teachers they have picked to write the letters.

The night broke off into four separate sessions, which were “The Common Application,” “College Essay Writing,” “Naviance (computer-based workshop for the college search and application), and “Advanced Applications” (when your applications are almost complete and your list is finalized).

DiFalco thought it was a positive night for everybody.

“I thought it was absolutely beneficial for counselors to see families and for families to learn information that they might not have already heard or perhaps they haven’t gone through the process,” she said. “If they have gone through the process, I thought it was great for them to have a refresher and see the new items that may have come along.”

Important upcoming events for Harrison High School seniors and their parents are:

Oct. 17: College Interviewing Seminar (fifth and sixth period) Oct. 22: College Fair at Westchester County Center (6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.) Oct. 23: College Fair at Harrison High School (12 p.m. to 2 p.m.) Nov. 5 (tentative): Social Emotional Transition to College Night (7 p.m.) Nov. 21: Alumni Day Connection  Dec. 10: College Financial Aid Night (7 p.m.)

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