Seniors step up to college

Ms. Hirschfield in the college office. Photo by Ayanna Robinson.

Bach Tong
Staff Writer

The fall and winter are known as the college admission season for the college office, which has been running at high capacity with college counselor Karina Hirschfield and her team of five interns. Both X and Y lunches are the students walk-in hours, when students can come in and get help directly in-person.

“We will provide you with all of the necessity to embark this [college admission] journey” said college intern Francesca Carregal to a senior as he inquired about the college admission process.

Senior William Felinski said that he is “impressed with the people’s willingness to volunteer their time” and he doesn’t have a complaint about the process.

Ms. Hirschfield said that students, especially seniors, should “make times to come” to get assistance, and “if [they] think [they] need a lot of time, then make an appointment.”

However, senior Gina Dukes said that “coming to the college office is a bit stressful, [because] there are a lot of people, and Ms. Hirschfield is always pressed of time.”

Dukes is now done with the college application process and waiting for results. She said that she does not need to visit the college office as often, because of the resources that are available on Naviance. “But when I do really need to talk to Ms. Hirschfield, I got a lot of time with her” Dukes added.

Naviance is the official web-based program that Science Leadership Academy (SLA) uses for college research and planning. It is the communication hub between college office, students, and teachers regarding resources for the application process such as letter of recommendations, students’ transcripts, and application tracker. This year, SLA is going paperless for common app colleges.

“At times I get aggravated by the amount of things I need to keep track of between the online Naviance and paper systems” said Felinski.

The class of 2012 has received the most preparation for this process than the previous graduating classes, according to the college office. “I have found a lot of support and accessibility in my college process” said Felinski, “so far all my needs have been met and kindly handled.”

“The most frustrating part is when students don’t access the information and resources that we spent time making” said Ms. Hirschfield, “many students ask questions that are answered on Senior News.”

According to the college office, this graduating class has been slower in getting themselves ready for the process. But there has been a significant rise in the number of Early Decision applicants. This year, seniors don’t just consider the academic approach but also financial ability, and there is a range of schools in students’ college lists.

Seniors should “access the resources that [the college office] put at their disposal” said Ms. Hirschfield, “don’t hesitate to ask for help.” Although it goes by the name as “The College Office”, students who don’t want that path should also stop by for help with plan after high school.

“We want to help students who don’t consider college as well, as long as it pertains to their post secondary plan” added Ms. Hirschfield.

If you are a senior, please make sure that you complete these steps:

1) Finalized your “College I’m applying to” list on Naviance.

2) Check and sign your transcript. This is to confirm that what appear on your transcript is correct and that it is ready to send out.

3) Read and sign the blue form of transcript. This gives the college office permission to send your transcript to colleges.

4) Give the college office a two weeks window for transcript request.

5) Make sure you send your SAT and ACT scores to colleges well before the deadline. Although the websites say it takes two weeks, most of the times it takes longer.

6) Schedule an appointment with a college intern at if none of those things make sense to you!

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