Upper Mids Attend College Forum Virtually

To kick off the college application process, the annual Upper Mid College Forum will be held virtually on Friday, January 22 and Saturday, January 23. Hosted by the College Counseling Office, the forum is open to all Upper Mids and their families. 

The forum provides a broad overview of and introduction to the college application process. The two-day program will offer panels of college admission officers and opportunities for students to ask questions. Admissions officers from six universities – Dartmouth College, Johns Hopkins University, Lafayette College, Morehouse College, University of Notre Dame, and Williams College – will offer guidance on what to expect during the application process and discuss changes in college admissions due to the pandemic. 

This year’s sessions are titled “What’s This All About,” “Thoughts on the Current Landscape,” “Institutional Priorities and Building Communities,” “Tell Your Story,” “Transcripts, Testing, and Recommendations,” and “How the Pieces Come Together.” In addition, breakout sessions on Athletic Recruiting, the Arts, a Gap Year, and Financial Aid will be offered. Keith Matanachai ’22 said, “The [College Forum] will give me more clarity, and I’m excited to learn about how I can display my best self in my application. I hope to learn about my values and how I can apply [them] to choosing best-fit schools.”

Ms. Katherine Boyd, associate director of College Advising, understands that there are  downsides to an entirely online program. Ms. Boyd said, “It’s sad that [the forum] will not be held on campus [this year]. Since we have relationships with admissions officers, in usual years, we host them and have dinner together. It’s [also] nice for them to see Hotchkiss in action by walking through the hallways and be impressed by our students.”

Although the forum officially begins tomorrow, Friday, January 22, the college office also held a “Student Voices” panel last Thursday, January 14, in which current Seniors and recent graduates shared their experiences with the application process. Isabella Yoo ’21 said, “When I was an Upper Mid, I learned a lot from [Seniors sharing tips] and talking about what helped them in the admissions process. The Senior panel was completely student-run and the most helpful part of the college forum for me.”

After the forum, the College Office encourages Upper Mids to read the online College Handbook, especially the reflective questions, as they begin their college application journey.