On the first of our bi-monthly meetings, FTC freshmen continued with their College Exploration curriculum by welcoming a special guest from USC, Admissions Counselor Sarah Esquivel. At last month’s meeting we spent time researching colleges, admissions requirements, majors, and university life, so the students were full of questions about the admissions process and expectations for a private university like USC.
The focus of our round-table discussion with Sarah was figuring out what it takes to be a competitive candidate for admission and thanks to Sarah’s experience in admissions at both Occidental College and USC, she was able to share some extremely helpful and insightful guidance to the freshmen. For over an hour the students and Sarah engaged in conversation together and each freshman was able to ask Sarah their own questions about college, spanning every topic from the application process and financial aid, to dorm life and college class sizes. The students were particularly interested in what they could start doing as freshmen, and continue to do throughout their high school career, to help raise their chances at getting in to good college.
At the end of our meeting the students used their FTC binders to write down Sarah’s Top 5 Most Important Factors for College Admissions and brainstorm ways to accomplish all five points by the time they are seniors. Not only did they leave with a set of tangible goals, but also Sarah’s direct contact info for any future admissions questions they might not have had a chance to ask! Our FTC freshmen expressed that getting to meet and speak to a college counselor as ninth graders has put them “ahead of the game” and has helped create a college-going environment from the very start of their time at John Muir High School.
By Lina Calderon-Morin, CAP Program Coordinator