The Class of 2016, who will celebrate their graduation on May 28, is rapidly approaching the end of their time at Archer. As soon-to-be college students, they had admissions insight to offer for rising classes.
Below is an interactive map of every school the students will attend in the upcoming year.
According to Archer’s college guidance department, 68 percent of this and last year’s class got accepted to their top choice colleges. Eighty-seven percent had an acceptance by January, and students applied to nine schools on average. In addition, 29 percent plan to major in STEM fields, and five out of 47 will attend all-female institutions.
The biggest advice the Class of 2016 has for future seniors is to start the application process as early as possible.
Responding to an Oracle survey, Maddie Arzt ’16 wrote, “Start everything as early as you can. Get your personal statement written and over with. Fill out applications as soon as you can. The earlier that everything gets done, the less daunting first semester will feel.”
The College Guidance Department agreed, and they, along with students, also stressed the importance of authenticity and individuality in the process.
“We definitely heard [the desire to begin earlier] early on and made some changes accordingly,” Director of College Guidance Scottie Hill said. “I would say that the other big piece of advice would be to find that authentic place, to find that self-knowledge that the sweet 16’s had. It really does make everything easier.”
“In the end, the college process and attending college are your experiences, not anyone else’s,” wrote Carina Oriel ’16 in the survey. “It’s important to remember to think about yourself because while others may think they know what’s best for you, you know yourself better than anyone else. Never let your college guidance counselor, peers or college decisions define your worth.”
Associate Director of College Guidance Sonia Arora also encouraged rising seniors to listen to their gut and eliminate the schools they don’t love.
“Decide that you don’t like some schools. All these Ivy League schools, all these liberal arts colleges, all these public universities — they’re different,” she said. “Oftentimes when you visit campus, you find that they’re not for you. And seeing a school that has such an amazing brand name, or that you’ve heard about in the community, and realizing that you just don’t like it because it’s just not you is awesome.”
The seniors surveyed echoed this sentiment.
Alison Kiley ’16 wrote, “Be really really honest with yourself in what you want and where you see yourself fitting in with the student body. Remember this is a very individual process (not that you don’t have a strong support system). Don’t compete with classmates over schools, just focus on yourself because at the end of the day it’s where you will actually be going and do not compare yourself to others.”
Archer’s college counselors remarked upon the Class of 2016’s unique ability to do this and to remain true to themselves.
“The Class of 2016 were incredibly impressive in how authentic they were in the process,” Hill said. “They made really good choices based on who they were and more than a few of them just had a moment where they said, ‘this is who I am. This is what I want. I’m done.’ And they shut out a lot of nonsense in the process.”
Seniors who responded to the survey were excited about the schools they had picked for themselves and the implications of those decisions. Some of their reasonings behind their choices included money, location, community and academic opportunities.
“I felt at home when I was on campus and couldn’t see myself at any other school,” Arzt wrote of her school, Pitzer College.
“I imagined myself putting up the banner for this particular school over the other and it made me so proud and excited that I burst into tears,” wrote Kiley [of her school]. “I think the main thing that sets this school apart from all of the others is my seamless fit with the student body. It didn’t fit with everything I thought I wanted when I started the process, but I realized this school is very me and I am this school.”