As the school year begins, seniors are hard at work on college applications. Juniors, however, are just beginning their college search. Pioneer High School offers numerous resources in order to aid students in this extensive process, one of which being college visits.
One of the issues students face in attending these visits is making up missed class time. Junior, Sanelma Heinonen has found that sometimes it’s hard to go to these visits. “It’s stressful to go to a visit if you have a really important class during that hour,” said Heinonen, “they’re all during 2nd and 5th hour, so there isn’t really a wide selection of times to go.”
For students that have electives during those hours, it’s easier to miss class than it is for students with AP or AC classes. However, most teachers are encouraging of these visits. Paulo Warren, a senior said “Teachers were fine with it...they’ll ask me how it was afterwards.”
Many students don’t realize that these visits are very important in the application process. Career center counselor, Mrs. Williams, explained that colleges “keep track of how many times someone has contact with the school to gauge how interested they are or not.” In addition she said, “usually the representative that comes is the person that’s reading the applications and it’s important to make a positive impression on this person.” She added that while students could easily get the information given at these visits online, going to them has added benefits. “It gives students a first hand glimpse of what the school is like and creates more of a personal connection” said Williams.
A month into senior year, Warren said that he hasn’t gone to any yet. “It doesn’t seem like it’s worth it because I’m already submitting applications,” said Williams, “they don’t give you any super secret key into getting in.”
For juniors just beginning to go to these visits, Williams said that instead of going to a bunch of big name schools, students should think carefully about where they want to go. “Just because it’s USC, it doesn’t mean that it’s gonna be the place you go” said Williams.
Students and staff alike agree that Pioneer gets a good representation of schools. Heinonen said, “there are some obscure ones I’ve never heard of that are coming but there are also some big names like CalTech and University of Chicago.”
Mrs. Williams has found that in the past couple of years, more out of state universities have come in addition to liberal arts schools. “Small, private, liberal arts schools from all over the country will come, and this year University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Illinois are coming,” said Williams.
Williams explained that colleges seek Pioneer out and “visit high schools where they know the students graduating meet the qualifications.” She added that Ann Arbor high schools in particular get so many colleges because they graduate kids that are going on to college.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity that Pioneer has. Students should take advantage of the over one hundred schools that come every fall,” said Williams.