The high school guidance personnel on the NJACAC panel spoke about their experiences with college admissions trends.
Bernice Hornchak, School Counselor at Bridgewater-Raritan High School indicated that caseloads had grown in the sixteen years she had worked at the school, with the current caseload of about 260 students per counselor. Counselor time is spent about 50% on college counseling, 30% on academic/career counseling, and 20% on other issues including school phobia and depression. Students have the same counselor all four years and the school uses Naviance, including eDocs. She indicated that some parents are misinformed about the application process, are anxious and want to get started on the application process in the 9th or 10th grade, and are overly concerned with selecting electives. She sees increased interest in education, criminal justice, and allied health majors. More students are taking advantage of Raritan Valley Community College, the local community college, and the NJ STARS program.
John Semcer, Director of Guidance (Emeritus) Mother Seton High School and Montclair High School commented on growing college wait lists, merit scholarships being offered by some colleges requiring applications by September 1, colleges wanting commitments for wrestlers and football players in 10th or 11th grade, kids graduating high school early to get a head start on college sports, college application fees rising, and high school guidance counselors having less and less time for college counseling. John indicated that at public schools guidance counselors spent an average of 24% of their time on college counseling and in private schools they spent an average of 55% of their time on college counseling.
If you are a high school guidance counselor or an independent college admissions consultant, do you have any other trends that you would like to share?