College Counseling Hosts 'Junior Jumpstart' Event

The upper school College Counseling Department hosted their annual Junior Kickoff Meeting Wednesday morning in Benjamin Hall. 

Juniors and their parents were invited to attend the program featuring a “fireside chat” with Mike Drish, Executive Director of Admissions at Vanderbilt University. 

Drish emphasized the importance of an authentic approach to the application process. 

“Vanderbilt and places like it focus on balanced academic success and achievement. The notion of getting to know the applicant through their applications hasn’t changed. Too many students think they need to be unique. You can’t be completely unique because there are other students like you in the applicant pool. I’m excited about the candidate that tells their story, gives us personal insight, fills in the blanks and pulls back the curtain on who they are,” he said. 

Drish said if he can’t get to know an applicant it becomes difficult to feel confident that they will be successful. 

He also encouraged students and families to keep an open mind about the wide swath of colleges and universities that may be a good fit for them. 

“There are some incredible places that people might not have necessarily heard of that are great schools. I wish people didn’t have a hierarchy,” he said. 

The College Counseling team spoke with families about what’s on the horizon in the counseling process, the importance of exploring the “right fit” college, and encouraged authentic student involvement at the high school level. 

The program concluded with an open-forum, parent-only question and answer session. 
A premier PK3 - Grade 12 independent, coeducational day school with campuses in North Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Since 1960, The Benjamin School has provided a challenging college preparatory education to a diverse student body in a structured, nurturing community environment.
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