More Than a Screen: Woodside’s College Visits

College visits allow Woodside students to explore future options and meet admissions officers.

Visiting+colleges+such+as+the+University+of+Washington%2C+the+University+of+California%2C+Los+Angeles%2C+and+the+University+of+California%2C+San+Diego+handed+out+informational+brochures+to+Woodside+students.
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More Than a Screen: Woodside’s College Visits

Visiting colleges such as the University of Washington, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Diego handed out informational brochures to Woodside students.

Visiting colleges such as the University of Washington, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Diego handed out informational brochures to Woodside students.

Emma Chiu

Visiting colleges such as the University of Washington, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Diego handed out informational brochures to Woodside students.

Emma Chiu

Emma Chiu

Visiting colleges such as the University of Washington, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Diego handed out informational brochures to Woodside students.

Emma Chiu, Coeditor in Chief

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A number of college representatives are coming to visit Woodside, courtesy of the D9 College and Career Center, as college application season begins.

Throughout September and part of October, students can attend brunch or lunchtime information sessions to learn more about specific colleges. Although some teachers encourage or even require attendance, many students go simply to familiarize themselves with the application process.

“The students, for the most part, know extremely little about the colleges,” claimed Zorina Matavulj, one of the College and Career Counselors who helped organize the visits. “Colleges are complex, and there’s a ton of information to know. They learn so much more about them [at the visits].”

According to Matavulj, one of the key takeaways of the visit is exploring college options.

“People are applying to the same 15 schools every year, and there are only so many beds available at each school,” Matavulj reasoned. “To learn alternatives is a benefit.”

A second benefit is that students get to meet the representatives, many of whom are also admissions officers.

“If students introduce themselves, they become more real in the [representative’s] mind,” Matavulj explained. “Otherwise, they’re just one of thousands of screens. It’s much better to be colorful!”

The same schools tend to present at Woodside every year, but there are occasionally minor changes.

“Some years, a college doesn’t have enough money to send out [representatives] everywhere they want to,” Matavulj noted. “Or, maybe they did send somebody to Woodside for three years, but nobody [from Woodside] ever applied.”

This year, Matavulj is satisfied with the scheduled sessions; the list of approximately 50 visiting colleges includes most of the University of California schools, which tend to be the most popular. Students attending the University of California, Los Angeles visit on September 12 had to reserve tickets in advance.

“Woodside students are often fixated on California colleges,” Matavulj commented, estimating that fewer than 10 percent of students decide to apply only to out-of-state schools.

However, Woodside senior Lourdes Arteaga, who attended the University of California, San Diego and Chapman visits, would like to see more non-Californian schools.

“The [visits] focus a lot on California, but I’m applying to a lot of out-of-state schools,” Arteaga described. “I think it would be cool to see some of the ones I’m applying to.”

On her list are Rutgers University, Marymount Manhattan College, Penn State University, and the University of Michigan, among others. She also plans to apply to Chapman University and the University of California, San Diego.

“I’d done research on both of the ones I went to, but I wanted to know more and see what someone who actually worked there had to say about it,” Arteaga said.

Yet the college visits are not restricted to Woodside seniors. Kai Steiner, a current sophomore who is part of the Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) program, has been attending them since his freshman year.

“For AVID, we were required to do a certain number last year,” Steiner explained. “I sort of kept going after that because I liked them.”

Most recently, Steiner sat in on the Chapman University and University of Washington sessions on September 17.

“I don’t really know that much about all the colleges, so I’m hoping to find out more about which colleges are a good fit for me,” Steiner said. “I’m collecting information.”

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