Counseling to the Rescue

The college application process can seem overwhelming, but the NASH School Counseling Department met last week with their respective students to help them through the maze.

Camryn Gray, Arts and Entertainment Editor

The 22-23 school year brought about something new to relieve the stress of college applications for incoming seniors. Last week during an extended homeroom period, the NASH counselors arranged meetings with seniors to briefly discuss the most important and most asked questions about applying to college. Everything from recommendations letters to how to work the Common Application website was covered. 

The School Counseling Department wanted to connect with our students in order to make a more personal face to face connection with our assigned kids.  Thankfully, the fantastic team of Dr. Dirda, Dr. McEwen, and Mr. Salopek approved this, and we were able to meet in large groups,” said NASH counselor Mr. Thompson (last names N-Sh).

The counselors and administrators felt that this seminar would be highly beneficial for seniors seeking guidance on how to begin what can become a long and complicated process. There are some NASH students who may already know the routine from older siblings or neighbors. But for those who feel lost or confused, the counseling team came to alleviate any worries about the process of applying to college.

This was the first year we structured this meeting so counselors could meet with their own students.  We went over all the steps for applying to college.  We hope students understand how to apply, request transcripts and letters of recommendation, and send their test scores to the colleges they are applying to,” Mrs. Rosato (last names A-Dn) said.

The informational presentation began with an introductory sheet explaining the college application process, including the difference between Naviance and the Common Application website. Essentially, Naviance is used for recommendation letters or any other document that comes from the North Allegheny School District. The Common Application website is used to apply to nearly every college in the country.

You never have to go through the application process alone.  Your counselors are here to help you every step of the way.”

— Mrs. Bielawski, NASH counselor

“My hope is that the presentation provided seniors with not only an overview of the different systems to use during the application process and the components needed but most importantly I hope they learned that we are here to provide them support along the way and help answer their questions as they come up,” said Mrs. Buettner (last names Si-Z).

The meeting also touched on how different the college application process can be for each student, with an emphasis on test-optional admissions policies. Each year, more colleges and universities are not requiring SAT or ACT scores from applicants, but the counseling stress stressed the importance of making that decision based on each student’s strengths and weaknesses. The presenters added that recommendation letters and supplemental essays make the college application process a highly personal one.

The counseling team also recommended setting up an appointment for any additional questions that seniors may have during this crucial part of their high school career. 

“You all will have your own letter of recommendation needs, application deadlines to follow, and test score choices to make.  You never have to go through the application process alone.  Your counselors are here to help you every step of the way,” said Mrs. Bielawski (last names Do-J).

The informational meeting was new this year, but NASH counselors wish for it to become a tradition to benefit future NASH college-bound students.