Gearing Up

Gearing Up

Members of the Class of 2024 open up about where they are going to college and why.

As we commemorate National Decision Day, we want to highlight the College Counseling Office’s pivotal role in our seniors’ success. We spoke with four students about their college application and decision process, and it was evident that the guidance and support they received were instrumental in their choices.

Three members of the Class of 2024 will attend Cornell this fall.

Lena Gordon’s college decision was a frequent topic in her family. Her father, an alumnus of Carleton College, often encouraged her to follow in his footsteps. Lena, in turn, joked about attending Carleton’s rival, Macalester College. And when she began her college search, she discovered that Macalester might indeed be a great fit. With guidance from Director of College Counseling Bruce Wolanin, Lena sought a small, diverse liberal arts school located in an urban setting where she could explore healthcare, Spanish, and anthropology. Ultimately, Lena chose Macalester. “I had a great support system with my college counselor, advisor, teachers, and parents. I learned to trust my gut, and I am excited about my decision,” she shares.

Henry Spence is on his way to the University of Exeter.

Like Lena, Henry Spence’s parents often discussed universities while he was growing up. Originally from the United Kingdom, his parents often discussed the universities there. When he began at Pomfret four years ago, he was initially drawn to schools in warmer climates, like Florida and California. However, his interest in studying law led him to consider UK universities, where the path to becoming a lawyer is shorter. With support from his college counselor, Associate Director of College Counseling Sarah Gawronski, he applied to five UK schools. After touring the University of Exeter, Henry felt at home due to its teaching style and community atmosphere, reminiscent of Pomfret.

Beau Johnson chose the University of Richmond because its campus environment felt similar to life on the Hilltop. Initially unsure where to start, Associate Director of College Counseling Art Horst guided him, beginning at the spring college fair in his junior year. Beau decided he wanted a small school and was drawn to the University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies — the nation’s first undergraduate school of leadership studies. “I would encourage all juniors to tour as many different types of colleges as possible,” says Beau. “Touring can help you identify what type of college you are looking for and where you feel at home.”

Daniel (left) with Lehmann (center) and the three other members of his class who will enroll at RIT this fall.

Daniel-Seth Onwuka began studying computer science during his junior year on the Hilltop and decided to pursue it as a major in college. While touring the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), it both rained and snowed. “How does that even happen,” he questioned. Despite the inclement weather, he met many current RIT students who gave him excellent application advice, suggesting that he apply as a computer exploration major to help him learn about all the different facets of computer science. Daniel took this advice to heart when applying to RIT. After learning of his acceptance, he worked with his college counselor, Wolanin, and Head of the Arts Department Lindsay Lehmann, an RIT graduate, to find scholarships. Knowing Daniel aimed to graduate with minimal debt, Wolanin suggested that Daniel appeal his financial aid package. Daniel successfully won his appeals, and after attending the college’s revisit day, he knew that RIT was the school for him. “I am so thankful that I talked to the current RIT students and Mrs. Lehmann,” says Daniel. “I would encourage all juniors and seniors to talk to alumni and current students about their experience.” 

Despite facing significant external hurdles in college admissions this year, the Class of 2024 has demonstrated remarkable resilience. From the US Supreme Court’s decision to end affirmative action in college admissions to delays in FAFSA processing, our seniors have navigated these obstacles and committed to schools where they will take the next step in their academic journey. They submitted fifty-nine Early Decision I (EDI) applications, twenty-eight EDII applications, and three Restrictive Early Action applications. Eight students are recruited student-athletes, and three have chosen universities outside the United States. This variety is a testament to their diverse interests and ambitions; we couldn’t be prouder.

View the Class of 2024 College Matriculation List

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