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Low Attendance at College Representative Meetings at HSAS

Max Hauser, Grade 11, Staff Writer


The beginning of the school year for seniors is often characterized by college applications and stress, but this year it has been coupled with a strange aspect of drama. Attendance at college informational meetings at HSAS has been nothing short of underwhelming and HSAS A.P. U.S. History and Economics teacher Mr. Mansdorf has taken it upon himself to criticize the absence of the seniors. 

In an interview, Mr. Mansdorf said that these college representative meetings are important for numerous reasons. 

First, students have a tendency to explore schools digitally rather than by visiting. This is because of the new norm of applying to 15+ colleges and the high cost of traveling and touring each one of them.

As students and their parents turn to virtual tours and catalogs, colleges start to look and sound the same. College representative meetings, on the other hand, give a perfect opportunity to identify the unique character of every school. 

Mr. Mansdorf also dove into the idea that because of the overflow of applicants in the Common Application, college tours no longer offer the opportunity to meet a college admissions officer. 

Sebastian Ramos, a senior who has attended numerous college representative meetings, goes because of the insight the meeting could provide in deciding where to apply, “these college meetings offer more information than you may get on a website, or a flier, and you get them from a personal school representative”  and they also might help discover new possibilities, “you could also find out that you’re interested in a school you didn’t think about.” 

The variety of college representative meetings might result in an advantage in admissions to each of their respective universities.

Sebastian says “most of the time those representatives that come visit are the same people who read your application and building that personal connection could be very beneficial.” With the newfound difficulty in building relationships on college tours, college representative meetings at HSAS emerge as a much more valuable source for making connections with admissions officers and getting that extra boost.

Mr. Mansdorf speculates that the reasons for students’ lack of attendance at these meetings include the involvement of parents in the application process. Students and parents attempt to visit schools instead of attending local representative meetings. 

The massive number of schools students have the opportunity to apply to causes the “entire process to be overwhelming and fraught with anxiety.” Mansdorf compares the process to “going to the dentist”, as it is full of uncertainty, stress, and displeasure.

The senior Aiden Tom provides reasons for his absence at the meetings such as information being easily accessible online and disinterest in the universities visiting.

Aiden also explains one of the reasons he doesn’t go to the meetings is because he has “to spend a lot of time on college apps so it is hard to make the time to attend.” 

Affirming Mansdorf’s speculations, Aiden does not go to these meetings because of the other stressful aspects of the application process that entitle the time and effort of already busy, work-ridden students.

Whether or not the seniors are truly interested in going to the meetings, Mr. Mansdorf says that they have an obligation to maintain the opportunities of the seniors of the future. He says that when college representative meetings have minimal attendance, the schools just stop coming, but is this something the seniors of HSAS need to take responsibility for?


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