The Wellington College Counseling Guest Speaker series informs and empowers students during the college application process. A number of visitors from colleges and universities around the world travel to Wellington each year to share their insider knowledge on finding schools that are potentially the right fit for students. Most recently, Chris Teare from Drew University and Fred Coons P ‘20, an alumnus of Brown University, shared their unique perspectives on the college application process with upper schoolers.
As senior associate director of independent school and counselor relations for Drew University and contributing writer for Forbes, Teare talked about what admissions representatives look for in an applicant. Important factors considered include the high school a student attended and what challenging courses were taken. Colleges always ask can an applicant do the work? Next, they ask what does an applicant have to offer the college? An established history of hard work, leadership, and service to the community are effective methods for a student to demonstrate they have something to contribute to a college or university. Teare encouraged students, in their applications, to show a comparative advantage. “Ask yourself,” he said, “what do I have to offer compared to other students.” He also encouraged upper schoolers to look for colleges that really cared if they were there, as opposed to just being a number.
Coons discussed the alumni interview component of the application process. An experienced alumni interviewer himself, Coons shared tips on making the most of the experience. He told students to do their research beforehand and come prepared to ask questions. Also, always follow up with a thank you to the interviewer. Coons explained that an alumni interview can only help applicants, not hurt them, and enables students to really show they are different from other candidates.
Both Teare and Coons offered great advice and practical tips on what matters the most in the sometimes complicated terrain of the college application process.