As the 2017–18 school year comes to an end, we’re sharing the college choice stories of several members of the Class of 2018!

In what grade did you come to MPA? 4th Grade

How did you come to choose the college that you did? Colby College was actually not at the top of my list until I visited the school. At the beginning of the year, I had over twenty schools on my list, but I sat down with Ms. Pederson to talk about my choices. We drew a chart of the schools on my list and organized them by location, price, chances of being accepted, and strength of programs that interested me. I knew I wanted a very small school that emulated the learning environment of MPA but also had the opportunities and programs I was interested in. Right when I arrived on campus, I knew Colby was the school I wanted to attend. I loved the campus and the people, and I was confident that the environmental science program would be an enriching experience.

What are you most excited about as you embark on your college experience? I am very excited to be somewhere different with many opportunities to experience a lot of new things. I love adventure and being able to explore new places, so I cannot wait to go to school in Maine and the East Coast. I never really had the chance to do as many outdoor activities as I wanted to, so I look forward to learning how to ski and snowboard and doing more hiking, biking, and rock climbing. Additionally, I would like to travel abroad in college because I am also passionate about travelling and learning about different cultures.

What did you appreciate most about the college counseling process at MPA? Ms. Pederson and Ms. Hager were instrumental in my college process, and I greatly appreciate their help! I met with Ms. Pederson multiple times during my senior year to go over my list of colleges. Although my list stayed very long for a while, we were able to narrow it down to the ten schools that I eventually applied to. I really appreciated how personalized Ms. Pederson made my college search because she wanted to really make sure I was content with the schools that I applied to. Ms. Hager was also very helpful with applying to scholarships and programs. I was able to visit two schools on my list in the fall through fly-in programs that I would not have gone on of without Ms. Hager’s and Ms. Pederson’s help. I met with Ms. Hager many times to go over scholarship essays and applications. The commitment of Ms. Pederson and Ms. Hager to help every student make the right choice is what I most appreciate about the college counseling process at MPA!

What about your MPA experience has best prepared you for college? The teachers at MPA have really helped to prepare me for college. I have always been a shy and reserved person, but all of my teachers have encouraged me to express my opinions and think more critically. Because the class sizes are also small, my teachers have gotten to know me well enough to know my strengths and weaknesses, which has helped them to help me be a better student.

What is your advice for the Class of 2030 (kindergartners)? Be adventurous and take risks! Without trying something first, you will never know if you will like it. Sometimes the best experiences can come from the greatest risks.

Insights from Ms. Pederson, Director of College Counseling:
William approached his college search with his trademark depth and thoughtfulness. He knew he wanted a liberal-arts college with small class sizes and sense of community, as well as strength in its environmental science program. We worked together on finding schools that could offer those things as well as a diverse student population that would allow him to stretch and grow in other ways. Fortunately, we were also able to find programs enabling him to visit campuses far away, which can be challenging and expensive for busy students to fit into senior year. I admire how active William was in researching scholarship opportunities and drafting the many essays he needed for various applications. I’m confident he’ll be a success as he heads off to Colby College next fall with a sense of purpose and adventure!

The 51 seniors in the class are going to 30 different universities and colleges in 18 states, including Washington D.C.! Learn more about MPA’s College Counseling program here! >

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