College Decision Time for High School Seniors
Katharine Eneguess, President of White Mountains Community College
We're getting into the time of year which, for college-bound high school seniors, is the most nerve-wrecking season. In a little more than a month the majority of universities and colleges throughout the United States will be sending out their notification letters to those who have applied for the academic year beginning next fall. Traditionally, the beginning of March is when colleges send out those bulky envelopes that contain acceptance letters, and also the month these institutions of higher learning send out the thin envelopes to potential students they have had to turn down.
Not all college-bound high school seniors will be biting their nails come the first of March. Those who have applied, and been accepted, for admission through a college's early decision plan have already had their nail-biting sessions. Once reserved as an option for those seeking admittance to Ivy League colleges, more and more colleges are filling a large percentage of their in-coming freshmen class through early decision. Even more colleges offer early action or single-choice early action plans, or even offer both.
We like to think that here at White Mountains Community College we offer the best of all worlds. Not only do we have what could be best described as rolling admissions, but we welcome anyone whose academic record and personal qualifications indicate that he or she would benefit from the classes we offer. Because we are not a residential college and many of our students are commuters, we don't have to worry about overbooking for our freshman class. We always have room for another motivated student (though certain programs, such as our Nursing Program, have class size limits).
It is worth noting that though we are not what one thinks of as a traditional residential college in that we don't have any ivy covered buildings, we are not so very different in what we offer. We offer a variety of stimulating courses. Students can work closely with academic advisors to ensure that they will be successful here at the college and that their academic and career goals are realized. We provide transfer counseling for students who wish to further their education at four-year institutions.
We have great food service here, perhaps better than at traditional colleges, helped in no small part from our excellent Culinary Arts program. The recent renovations and additions have added vitality to the Berlin campus, with the fitness center in particular getting a good workout from our students. We have more what you would call public spaces here at the college, and our students take advantage of them here the same way that students at residential colleges do: they take time to visit with each other, getting to know fellow students outside of the regular classroom. As we all know, it's sometimes not only what you know, but who you know, and this social networking is an important part of going to college. Often people hear of career opportunities through word-of-mouth. Besides this practical application of social networking, meeting and making new friends is an invaluable part of the college experience.
So when you (or your high school son or daughter) are looking at college choices, just remember us, and you can forgo the nail-biting.