College Counseling Newsletter

December 2015 Edition: Seniors

Holiday Banter... About College?!

Conversation at the holiday dinner table seems like a great time to remind "Johnny" about checking his email for college decisions. The entire family is anxious to hear about the possibility of "Johnny" attending Yale. Hold that thought!!

Winter break is a time to enjoy family, friends and loved ones. If students are excited to discuss college, they will certain initiate those talks. If they don't, it's probably for a good reason. The stress associated with applying to college is often immeasurable. Do your family a great favor these next few weeks: Give your students the freedom to come to you about colleges. Give your students the space to be upset about rejection letters. Help ease the tension of this season with fun family activities that are totally not college-related. Trust that this will save everyone in your home just a bit of unnecessary turmoil.

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Final college lists have been submitted. Applications are complete. Student's are already receiving acceptance letters and scholarship rewards. The communication between Emerson and colleges/universities is generally seamless, except for when it's not.

As an experienced and trained certified school counselor, I am very aware of the barriers involved when completing an application packet. Over the course of the last 5 years, I have encountered everything from incorrect social security numbers to admissions reps quitting their jobs mid-application season. When students and families do not trust the process, difficulties will exponentially arise. I am incredibly confident that every student at Emerson who wants to attend a 4-year college or university can. Working as a team will benefit everyone involved much more than working as opponents. If there is a question, concern, mistake, delay, etc... please, let me know so that I can handle it. Please also be mindful of these quick tips:

1. Colleges will generally communicate with students and school counselors.

2. Student's should be communicating directly with admissions reps and only under limited and specific circumstances. DO NOT contact a school to find out if a decision has been made but DO contact a school to find out if all of your materials have been received.

3. Families should be helping students review their applications for errors and inconsistencies. DO NOT write your student's essays.

4. Families should occasionally remind students to be careful of social media postings. DO NOT tweet your dream school and ask them to "please please please admit" you.

5. Student's should be informing me of ALL decision notifications. ("Ms. Oglesby, Denison sent me a rejection letter." or "Ms. Oglesby, I got accepted to Guilford!")


Together, we can make this process 25%* less stressful.


*Estimated percentage, not based on scientific research.

Alicia Oglesby

Social Media Presence by Alicia Oglesby