Throughout the college admissions process, the chief concern of the college advisers is giving each student – and his or her family – tools to help find the right match: that institution best suited to offer academic and personal challenge appropriate to that student's abilities and interests following graduation from St. Paul's School. The College Office provides support at this pivotal point in our students' lives when they are asserting their independence, defining their dreams for the future, and preparing for the transition to college.
There are many institutions throughout the country where our students can thrive and succeed, and we believe that a good education is as varied as the temperaments and interests of our students. Our goal is to give students and their families the guidance they need to help them sift through the often dizzying amounts of information so that they can make informed choices at each stage of the journey. We aim to demystify this potentially intimidating experience and to teach students, first, where they have opportunities to control the process, and second, how to exert this control. While we believe that students need to play the lead role in the process, we encourage parents to work closely with us in preparing and supporting their children as they navigate this exciting and defining step in the passage to adulthood.
In his book The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, Ned Hallowell writes about the importance of enabling students to take ownership of the college process, and he addresses the ways we define success:
What determines success and happiness in life, of course, is not the quality of the college to which a person goes but the quality of the person who goes to the college. . . . If you focus on helping your child develop into a good person who does her best to develop her talents and interests as well as her concern for people, then "success," however you define it, will follow in proper proportion."
As college advisers, we have the opportunity to help each student embark on this journey with feelings of confidence, success, and self-worth, and we invite parents to share in this important mentoring with us. We will work hard to educate each student about the ever-shifting college admissions landscape, to share in their aspirations and to help them uncover appropriate choices across the spectrum of selectivity, and to best represent their various individual strengths and qualities at each college to which they apply. We are here to provide the resources to support our students in this process and to offer guidance at each step of the way.