As the 2016–17 school year comes to an end, we’re sharing the college choice stories of several members of the Class of 2017.

In what grade did you come to MPA? 7th

How did you come to choose the college that you did?
I chose the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities because I wanted opportunities in every field—academic, athletic, social, artistic, etc. I love Minnesota, so I knew that I wanted to stay here. Plus, the tuition was relatively inexpensive, and there’s a lot of school spirit.

What are you most excited about as you embark on your college experience?
I’m most excited about immersing myself in a new environment. I’m excited for next year because there will be a lot of new opportunities to meet new people, try new things, and jump into something that I know nothing about.

What did you appreciate most about the college counseling process at MPA?
I appreciated the essay writing workshop the most. We’ve been trained in writing argumentative papers that are factual and impersonal. Therefore, Ms. Pederson and some others, dedicated a few classes to writing an essay for the Common App, and gave us advice about what to highlight and what to leave out.

What about your MPA experience has best prepared you for college?
I think that MPA has taught its students a lot about public speaking that many other students don’t get. All of my friends from my old school are scared out of their wits giving a five-minute presentation to the class, and MPA assigns things like that so much that it doesn’t feel like a big deal at all. We’ve also been assigned 10-minute speeches, complete with a podium and an audience. I think that that will give me an edge over the other students at college.

What is your advice for the Class of 2029 (kindergartners)?
My advice for the kindergartners would be to work hard in school, but also to play hard. Don’t beat yourself up over one mistake, just make sure that it doesn’t become a habit. Don’t sweat the small stuff, because everything will all work itself out.

Insights from Ms. Pederson, Director of College Counseling:
Camille had the U of M in her sights from early on in her process. During her junior year, we met to specifically discuss her course selections to be sure she was making smart decisions that would keep her competitive for U of M admission. As an editor-in-chief of the MPA yearbook, she knew that her senior year would be especially hectic in the fall leading up to her application deadlines. We also were aware that the U of M has become much more selective than a generation ago—or even just a few years ago. A musician and athlete as well, Camille also wanted to look out for a healthy balance between her classes, the activities she loves, and enough time for herself. I am confident that Camille will make the jump to a large school beautifully. She thinks clearly, articulates her ideas well, and engages confidently with a wide range of people and perspectives. Camille knows herself well, and I trust she’ll find her niche (or a few!) and thrive in the busy campus scene at the U.

The 54 members of the Class of 2017 were offered admission to 113 different colleges/universities in 31 states, Washington D.C., and Canada. They will attend 33 different colleges/universities in 14 states. Learn more about MPA’s College Counseling program here! >

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