Cue the confetti: the Class of 2022 is headed to an impressive array of colleges and universities once they wrap up their Calhoun careers. We’re very excited for our seniors’ successes, and even more proud of the way in which they’ve conducted themselves throughout the college process, thoughtfully choosing schools based on their individual interests and needs.
“Stay in your own story”
From start to finish, Calhoun’s approach to college counseling is highly individualized and supportive, empowering students to find their best-fit school — and embracing joy along the way.
Among the many forms of guidance offered by our college counseling team, there’s one piece of advice in particular that has become a motto for students and families: “Stay in your own story.” Jill Goldstein, who has graduating seniors who are twins, notes that this approach “makes for an incredibly supportive environment in which [the students] end up genuinely happy for each other,” adding that the college process at Calhoun “is really about finding a place where your child will thrive, and helping kids hone in on places that will be a great fit.”
Across the board, our seniors have taken this philosophy to heart. Destiny W. ‘22 explains that while friends at other schools shared anecdotes about their college process being stressful and competitive, “the community [at Calhoun] was very supportive, and I was able to focus on what was best for me and not everyone else.” Cameron S. ‘22, who describes having a “Harvard or bust mindset” before beginning to search for a right-fit college, says, “I realized that wherever I’m the most happy is where I’ll be most successful.”
For their part, college counselors Lisa Merritt and Jarrad Nunes beam with pride about this year's seniors. Lisa said, "We are humbled by the way the Class of 2022 looked within themselves, had the confidence to chart their own unique paths, and took such good care of each other throughout the process."
Calhoun students stand out from the pack
The philosophy behind Calhoun’s college process leads students to apply to a tailored list of schools, which in turn translates to great outcomes. A few impressive stats: for the second year in a row, 45 percent of our seniors were admitted to colleges with admit rates at or below 20 percent, and fifteen students from the Class of 2022 were admitted to schools with a ten-percent admit rate or lower. Seniors gained admission to selective schools like Brown, NYU or Northeastern, where acceptance rates have decreased dramatically in recent years.
"We are humbled by the way the Class of 2022 looked within themselves, had the confidence to chart their own unique paths, and took such good care of each other throughout the process." Lisa Merritt, Co-Director of College Counseling
Our 62 seniors will be going to over 40 different schools that represent a wide range of geographic locations, from as far away as the University of St Andrews to as close by as Barnard College. Seniors have chosen college campuses of many different sizes, with the smallest being Claremont McKenna College in California and the largest being Penn State. We’re also thrilled to report that two different seniors will be repping #CougarPride as athletes at Division I colleges, playing soccer for Georgetown and Rutgers.
It’s clear that even in today’s increasingly competitive college admissions landscape, our students continue to stand out in the applicant pool. From their intellectual curiosity and independence displayed through their Upper School course selection or Junior Workshop projects, to their engagement with their community within and beyond the school, Calhoun graduates exemplify the qualities that colleges are looking for in applicants.
“It never feels like a dreaded process”
Despite the inherent stresses of navigating the college search, the experience at Calhoun fosters joy and growth. Students come away from it with more confidence, more self-awareness, and a set of skills that they can apply to college and beyond. “It never feels like a dreaded process,” says Lauren H. ‘22. “[Co-Directors of College Counseling] Lisa and Jarrad manage to make it fun, and offer a lot of support. The amount of one-on-one time guarantees that you end up where you feel you belong.” Destiny adds, “What I took away [from the college process] is more confidence in myself and the ability to articulate that.”
The self-reflection required of students helps set them up for success in the next step of their academic journeys. “[My children] owned the process in a way that made them really mature — it bodes well for college and what will be expected of them there,” says Jill. This is the second time that parent Andrea Black has gone through the college process at Calhoun, and she can already see how the experience has led to positive outcomes for her oldest child, who has thrived in college. “The process is very focused on helping kids understand who they are, and as a result they’re able to walk into college feeling confident in their ability to succeed when they’re there,” Andrea shares.
"The amount of one-on-one time guarantees that you end up where you feel you belong.” Lauren H. '22
Building a BRiDGE to the future
Preparing students for their lives after Calhoun doesn’t stop once they commit to a college. In the last mod of Upper School, twelfth graders participate in Senior Work, which consists of an internship or mentorship in a field of interest, combined with BRiDGE programming. An acronym for Build, Reflect, Implement, Develop, Grow and Enrich, BRiDGE provides students with tools that support the transition from high school to their next steps. Through hands-on experiences and workshops, seniors explore how to be an employee in the short- and long-term, how to be an engaged citizen, how to discover what matters to them, and how to use that knowledge to make the most out of life beyond Calhoun.
Another opportunity for celebration and learning happens at the Senior Send-Off program, when students gather before graduation to wear their college gear and reflect as a group on their high school experience and futures.
We’re incredibly proud of all of our seniors, and though we’ll miss their presence at Calhoun, we can’t wait to see how they leave their mark in college and beyond!
Watch Lisa and Jarrad’s presentation on Class of 2022 college outcomes from this year’s State of the School
Learn more about the college process at Calhoun