The college admissions process presents many challenges and can, at times, seem confusing, frustrating and disappointing. It can be both an exciting and stressful time for students and their families as hopes and dreams meet the reality of the always increasing competitive landscape. The college admissions process is neither transparent nor predictable – yet it is able to be managed. Whether students hope to attend a four-year college immediately or are considering other options post-graduation, the goal of the College/Counseling Department is to help each student find the match which best suits their needs.
At Bishop O’Connell, the College Counseling department works as a team with students and their families in preparing for future goals. We work carefully with each student throughout the process, encouraging him or her to approach the process as young adults, to take advantage of resources and advice and to find the best college matching each student’s developing talents, passions and goals.Throughout their careers at O’Connell, students will be educated on how to assess their strengths, weaknesses, needs and values. Students will learn to take ownership of their academic experience and create a plan meeting their personal needs.
The College/Counseling Department will serve to help students in a number of ways:
- In understanding the admissions process
- In accurately evaluating their achievements and aspirations
- Assisting in the gathering information about schools and programs
- Assisting in making informed and not arbitrary choices in future plans
- Helping students in presenting themselves effectively, both in person and on paper, in the college admissions process
As our seniors begin to think about colleges, we ask that they keep in mind there is no one “perfect” college. A school does not have value simply because it has a “name” or appears on a magazine’s "Top Ten." Your college search is just that—yours. Students are encouraged to think about their goals, talents, accomplishments and interests before even beginning to evaluate a school to determine if it is right for them.
This is a very exciting time in the lives of young people and there have never been so many wonderful collegiate opportunities available. The college process should be a community effort with parents, teachers, advisors, counselors and friends all working together to support our young men and women as they begin to take control of their futures.
If you have questions or would like further information, please contact our office at 703-237-1400.
Director of College Counseling