College panel discusses admissions process

University of California Los Angeles representative Mike Drish speaks about the college process. Four panelists shared their insights and advice to freshmen, sophomores, juniors and their families on Thursday night.

Mason Cooney, Features Editor

WEB EXCLUSIVE Four college admissions representatives spoke in Syufy Theatre this evening to advise students and their parents about the upcoming application process and college experience.

“I thought it was valuable to hear a genuine insight as to what colleges want and how that varies from what most students think colleges want,” junior Wellsley Cohen said.

Representatives from Stanford University, Lafayette College, Chapman University and University of California Los Angeles spoke in the panel, providing advice about the college search and admission process and answering questions from the audience. The panelists emphasized the importance of pursuing individual passions and curiosities as well building relationships with teachers and the college counsellor.

“These experts in the field can provide very helpful information to students,” college counselling director Rebecca Munda said. “[The] process can seem overwhelming, but it does not have to be if you follow their tips. The goal is to make this process as transparent as possible.”

Juniors began college counselling this semester, and Munda encouraged them to attend the event as well as begin exploring possible colleges.

“[The event] inspired me to be more focused on not just maintaining good grades, but writing unique and exciting supplements,” senior Sophia Davari, who attended the event last year, said. “It inspired me to make sure colleges get know my personality rather than just my resume.”

The representatives said college essays and supplements are an opportunity for students to distinguish themselves through personal insights, rather than show off their accomplishments. At the end of the event, the panel briefly described examples of essays that stood out to them.

“It was surprising how personal the essays are, especially how they were about really simple things,” Cohen said. “It wasn’t about people’s successes but sometimes more failures and how they grew from that. I think it surprised a lot of people who thought that colleges want to hear about the glittery stuff.”