On Thursday evening, October 4th, the Sacred Heart Greenwich community welcomed to our campus, Ms. Susan Migliorisi, Associate Director of Admission at Boston College.Ms. Migliorisi was as giving with her time as she was generous with her insightful perspectives regarding the contemporary college admissions landscape at large.
In an afternoon presentation with our juniors and seniors, Ms. Migliorisi fielded questions from nearly 20 prospective BC applicants. In this lively dialogue Ms. Migliorisi focused much of her attention on the inherent stressors of the college process and challenged our students to “keep things in perspective”, “seek to maintain balance” with an eye toward “healthful living.” Ms. Migliorisi used this same point to launch her reflections at the evening presentation to our broader Upper School student and parent community.
Another discussion point focused upon the various components of a student’s application: the high school transcript, test scores, letters of recommendation and the many essays that often accompany the process. Ms. Migliorisi placed special emphasis on the preservation of a student’s voice in the essay. She cited the essay as the most significant opportunity for an applicant to present his or her most authentic, unique, revealing self. She cautioned regarding the pitfalls of having “too many hands” on the essay. She empowered her audience members to have confidence in their writing abilities and to fully embrace the opportunity to be reflective and, thus, revealing in the process. Ms. Migliorisi compared this approach to writing to the
Jesuit tenets of “examen” present in the Boston College philosophy.
When the conversation turned to the value of rigor, the degree of difficulty, reflected in a student’s high school transcript, Ms. Migliorisi supported a student’s desire to be high achieving, but cautioned that rigor for the sake of rigor is not a healthy, best practice to adopt. She commented that through the eyes of an admissions committee, a student’s academic trajectory and success over time top the list of factors considered in an admissions review. Beyond GPAs and test scores, Ms. Migliorisi noted that community involvements, be they at school, home or employment shed light on an applicant’s character and commitment.
Before turning the evening over to the audience for a period of questions and answers, Ms. Migliorisi reiterated the importance of students investigating beyond the limited scope of the most well-known, high-interest schools, and being truly open to finding the college or university that best matches their needs and desires as individuals. She celebrated the fact that there are a vast number of incredible institutions throughout the country, and the reality that students almost always find the perfect match for them if they go through the process thoughtfully and with an open mind to a variety of options.
In closing, Ms. Migliorisi applauded the intellect, achievement and poise of the many Sacred Heart students she has reviewed over the past 15 years. As a community, we are grateful for her candor, consideration and support of Sacred Heart Greenwich.