Deferral Letter Form
The college guidance program at The Frisch School has two major goals. First, of course, we do whatever we can to help each of our seniors gain acceptance to the college or colleges he/she has chosen for him/herself (based, one hopes, at least partially on parents’ and our input about admissions standards, quality of observant Jewish life and financial realities). Almost as important as “getting them in,” however, is the effort to help students feel good about themselves as they work through the process. A crucial factor for realizing both of these important goals is our responsibility to help students and their parents be as realistic about the process as it works today and about themselves.
College guidance counselors meet with ninth graders once or twice during the course of the year in order to begin establishing a relationship and to speak to freshmen about the unfortunate reality that their performance as fourteen-year-olds will have an impact down the line upon college admissions.
We meet with tenth graders after they have received the results of the October PSAT to discuss their scores—which really are quite unimportant for sophomores—and begin thinking about Grade Eleven elective choices.
The intensive relationship between students, parents and the college guidance office begins in the winter of grade eleven when we begin meeting with the juniors to talk about the implications of their PSAT scores in regards to SAT preparation and about scheduling of SAT and (if appropriate) SAT Subject Tests dates. During the next several months, there are two college meetings for parents and students. At the first meeting, the college guidance staff helps students and parents begin the process of gathering recommendations, thinking about essay topics, researching college possibilities and completing and submitting to us the information which will help us write the best letters we can for each student. The second meeting (in May) brings together a panel of college admissions officers from several schools who discuss a series of admissions issues and answer parents’ questions about the entire process from the perspective of the colleges. During the spring, as students’ SAT scores are reported, each student and his/her parents are invited to meet with a guidance counselor to begin drawing up a list of colleges and to make other specific plans. A major component of each meeting is a discussion of observant Jewish life on the college campus. College guidance counselors also advise students about the choice of appropriate senior-year electives.
During the course of the application period, from September through February of the senior year, the guidance counselor works with the student on a myriad of issues such as, just to mention a few, crafting of the student’s extracurricular resume, campus and alumni interviews (including mock interview sessions which are conducted by experienced interviewers who work with the Frisch Parents Association), teachers’ recommendations and financial aid. Throughout the fall representatives of many of the colleges to which Frisch students apply come to Frisch to meet our seniors.
Each year, the Frisch Parents Association, in conjunction with the Department of College Guidance, organizes an alumni college fair for Frisch juniors. At the fair, the juniors have the opportunity to hear from and speak with Frisch alumni from a variety of colleges.
The event includes a panel discussion about Jewish life on campus including the size of the Jewish community, davening, Jewish programming groups, Shabbat on campus and Israel advocacy programs. Juniors also have an opportunity to circulate to booths manned by the alumni to informally ask the alumni questions about their college experience.