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More Helpful Advice on Choosing College

November 18, 1990

Mary Yarber's column on the college selection process (Westside, Nov. 1) made some fine suggestions to students seeking the best college choices but worked with a time line far shorter than we urge for our students. In our experience, the college selection process should begin in grade 11, with the student and his or her family assessing the student's study objectives, learning style, financial resources and other preferences. Based on that study and the student's academic record, preliminary research can begin.

The choices ought to be defined late in grade 11 or during the following summer so that the early part of grade 12 can be devoted to applications and interviews, if necessary. Delaying until senior year can create a troubling diversion from academic obligations. The applications demand time, energy and some imagination; the deadlines create panic if homework has not been done in advance.

While it is true that many schools cannot offer college counseling as early as grade 10 or 11, students and their families can begin intelligent exploration before the last year of high school.

DEBRA W. STERN

NEIL KRAMER

Windward School

Stern is director of college counseling, Kramer is director of studies.

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