Freeman ’07 and Morris ’07 Embark Upon College Application Process

PA Seniors are granted privileges such as Senior Tea, late Friday sign-in, and superiority over the underclassmen on campus. However, before they can sit back and relax, they must first get through Senior Fall and the college application process. The Phillipian plans to follow Katie Morris ’07 and James Freeman ’07 as they navigate the college process. Morris has already refined her college list down to several colleges, including Duke, Stanford, Princeton, UPenn, and Dartmouth among others. To Morris, the most important factor in selecting the schools of her choices was the location. She said, “I love being warm and I’m so tired of New England weather.” Morris is also searching for a larger student body and an open and suburban campus to a school in an urban setting. Freeman said that he is looking for “the perfect blend of academics and a social life” in a college. Thus far, he has eliminated some schools on his list that he originally only considered for their prestige. “It’s not worth my time to apply to a school based solely on a name, especially if my chances are of getting in are slim,” he said. With today’s college admission becoming more and more competitive, it is not enough for an applicant to have a perfect 6.0 GPA in order to be guaranteed admission. Students become involved in extracurricular activities and find a “hook” to make their application stand out. Freeman plans to emphasize his interest in and developing concern for the environment on his applications. Freeman is also the Vice President of the Student Council and on the Varsity Boys Soccer Team. Morris is Captain of the Girls Cross Country Team, and also serves as Head of Photography for Potpourri, the school yearbook. “I’m interested in going into engineering, and I have a strong liberal arts background, so an engineering program is important to me. Going along with that, a flexible curriculum that allows me to pursue all of my academic interests is key,” Morris said. Morris decided on her first choice, Duke University, after visiting the school on a college road trip down the East coast. It fit all of her criteria and impressed her enough to decide to apply for early decision there. After visiting Princeton and UPenn on the same road trip, Morris narrowed down her list of colleges through online research and the Princeton Review. “Hopefully, the impressions I got of the other schools from online are accurate! …[However] visiting campuses really gave me a good idea of what kind of things I appreciated in a college, because each campus really does have a unique atmosphere.” While Freeman will be visiting a few schools over winter break, he thought that it would be possible to get a good sense of the school by simply looking up information on the Internet. He said, “I’ve just looked at a number of schools…because of their close location to home and because some of them put an emphasis on an interview. My process is to find schools I know are academically competitive and give them all a look.” Freeman has not decided on a first choice yet, and he is not planning on applying through the first early decision plan (the deadline is November 1). Since he entered PA as a new Upper, he would like to add another term of grades to his transcript. However, he is considering the second early decision option (deadline of January 1) offered by many liberal arts colleges such as Williams, Amherst, and Bowdoin College. “Personally I think that everyone is going to get in to some college, and even if it wasn’t their first choice school, they’re probably going to be happy there,” Morris said when asked about the college application process. She continued, “It’s still kind of a stressful process just because it’s one of those things that’s hanging over your head all of the time. …Anyway, I’m sure all of us will be thankful when it’s over.” This article is the first part of an ongoing series, in which The Phillipian will follow Seniors Katie Morris and James Freeman as they navigate the college process.