by Terry Rogers
The week of October 21st, Milford High School celebrated College Appreciation Week, providing students who wish to attend college with additional resources to accomplish that goal. In addition to assistance in completing the Common Application, the online method most colleges use for students to apply, the school held a College Fair on October 22 with more than 20 colleges in attendance.
“College visits and the first run at the SAT happens in a student’s junior year,” Jesse Parsley, Principal at Milford High School, said. “Parents should be online looking at colleges with their student and checking the college board website. That site has a wealth of information that includes pricing, demographics, along with the approval and application process. Seniors should be narrowing the list of potential schools, crafting application essays and making a list of schools to visit. Many of our students have already registered for or taken the SAT this fall.”
Parsley explained that Milford School District begins discussing the future with students as early as 7th grade. The district tries to provide students with details about each pathway available at Milford High School, whether they want to enter college preparatory pathways or they plan to enter a technical field. Counselors work with students to help them see what life after high school could look like.
“Researching our pathways allows students to take courses that let them explore different career fields,” Parsley said. “Students need to challenge themselves daily and continue to take rigorous courses each year. Colleges look at all four years of school and too many students think that once they are accepted, grades are not as important. Schools tie acceptance and scholarship awards to transcripts, including the fourth marking period of a student’s senior year.”
When a college reviews an application, Parsley explained that they don’t simply look at transcripts, however. Many schools also want students who are active in the community or who participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities at their school. Although grades and SAT scores are important at some schools, volunteer and leadership activities are more important at others. Parsley explained that the main thing colleges look for when they review applications is what sets one student apart from all the others who are applying, especially if acceptance is competitive.
In 2018, Milford Senior High School students earned more than $7 million in scholarships. In addition, students earned more than 1,000 hours in college credit through partnership programs offered to students through Delaware Technical and Community College, University of Delaware and other institutes of higher education.
“Our school counselors and volunteers are very knowledgeable,” Parsley said. “The financial aid process can be very intimidating but researching ways to pay for college is very important. The key is for students to do their own research and then come to us with any questions they may have.”
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