At a time when increasing numbers of applicants are competing for college admission and scholarships to help pay for tuition, everyone could use an edge. An entire industry has evolved around planning for college, with “experts” for hire to coach prospective students on everything from the SAT to financial aid to the application essay.
But college is already expensive and what high school students and parents need to know is readily available free for the asking, if they know what to ask.
The annual College Admissions Workshop at Sweet Briar College was created to help families navigate the search and application process. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Florence Elston Inn & Conference Center on the Sweet Briar campus. Sweet Briar’s co-sponsors are Lynchburg College, Randolph College, Central Virginia Community College and James Madison University.
Concurrent information sessions will run throughout the morning, allowing visitors to attend up to three topics. Participants can attend all or any portion of the event. Students are also encouraged to bring an essay or essay topic. Admissions counselors will be available to help with proofreading, suggestions and feedback on the college essay.
Derry Crews of Lynchburg attended the workshop with her mother before she enrolled at Sweet Briar. She found the help on her essay was the most useful, along with the session on financial aid.
“I probably would not have known what to do and ended up paying more money than what I will owe after I graduate,” Crews said.
The workshop also guides prospective students on finding the right college for them, and intentionally includes representation from public, community and private liberal arts colleges. While deciding where to go wasn’t an issue for Crews, she said attending the workshop made her feel it was a reachable goal.
“I already knew that I wanted to go to Sweet Briar, but after the sessions I felt really comfortable and confident that I would be able to get into the college of my choice,” she said.
Topical presentations will be held at 9:30, 10:15 and 11 a.m., followed by a mini college fair from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Ken Huus, dean of admissions at Sweet Briar, will begin the workshop with a welcome at 9.
The topics and presenters are:
- “Starting College at a Community College,” Ashley Pearson, Central Virginia Community College
- “Overview of the College Search Process,” Shaun Mooney, James Madison University
- “Hints on How Colleges Use the SAT/ACT, Curriculum and Grades,” Sharon Walters-Bower, Lynchburg College
- “Writing the Perfect College Essay,” Margaret Blount, Randolph College
- “Getting the Most Out of Your Campus Visit, Ken Huus, Sweet Briar College
- “Financial Aid Basics for College,” Bobbi Carpenter, Sweet Briar College
- “What I Wish I Had Known During My College Search,” student panel by current students from the sponsoring institutions
Registration is encouraged but not required. To register or for more information, please contact the Sweet Briar College admissions office at (800) 381-6142 or (434) 381-6142 or firstname.lastname@example.org.