College Counseling News

By Sam Uzwack, College Counselor & Middle School Head

For many students and families, November 1 is simply the day after Halloween. Pumpkins are composted, costumes stored away, candy is carefully catalogued. For many of our seniors, however, it is a milestone in their college search process. This is the first major Early Decision or Early Action deadline, which means this weekend will be one final opportunity for students to polish personal essays and double-check application details. Faculty and college counselors (which is redundant at EPS) will finalize recommendation and school letters, all so we are ready for the big moment when students click the submit button on their applications.

Aside from the technical aspects of the process, there are many issues students have been mulling over for months that now need to be decided. First, some context: Early Decision (ED) applications are binding, meaning that if a student is accepted, they have already decided they will attend that school. Early Action (EA) means that students are showing particular interest in an institution, and simply want to hear about an admissions decision sooner. For some students, the choice to apply Early Decision is agonizing; if accepted, it means closing the door on other opportunities. And this is one of those moments when the counselor aspect of college counseling is highlighted.

As these final decisions are reached, it often takes one, two, maybe three conversations to help guide a student toward clarity, all the while remaining personally neutral, to ensure that students have come to decisions on their own. It is in these key moments that the relationship built over the prior years is in full relief, as these conversations are high-stakes and personal. To me, this is one of the hallmarks of the EPS experience…relationship is everything.

November 1 will come and go, and the next major deadline will fast approach (the November 15 UW deadline, as well as many other ED and EA deadlines, in case you are wondering). Students who have decided to apply Regular Decision (typically January 1 or 15) will continue to hone their applications. Until then, the EPS College Counseling team will continue to work with seniors to find the best match possible, to find the schools where they can continue to be the very best versions of themselves. It’s truly a treat to play a part in this wonderful process.