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College Applications Up at Sleepy Hollow High

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – A record number of Sleepy Hollow High School students have been applying to colleges and universities, according to David Ziegler, head of the Guidance Department.

“Each year, we've seen an increase in the number of applications the department has processed,” he said. “This not only speaks to the small increase in the number of kids in the school, but speaks more that we have more kids who are filling out applications.”

Ziegler said that 76 percent of this year's graduating class has applied to at least one college. Of the 23 percent remaining, Ziegler said many of them have worked with the guidance department on pursing post-secondary alternatives such as apprenticeships or job placements.

The number of college applications submitted by the graduating class has been steadily increasing since the department first began using the Naviance college planning program in 2004. Ziegler said 1,130 applications were submitted in 2011, up from the 988 in 2010.

The Naviance program helps students submit and track their college applications. They can also compare their school performance and test scores to previous students' scores on applications to the same college. Ziegler said this is helping students figure out which schools are more likely to accept them.

“It's really allowing kids to research this process at a whole other level,” he said.

The guidance department has also been improving its college planning process by bringing in more admissions officers for campus visits and expanding the annual college fair, Ziegler said.  He said one of the guidance department's main goals was to establish relationships earlier in high school.

“There's a bigger push to be more proactive and get in ninth through 11th grade classes,” Ziegler said.

The department is doing this by hosting high school orientations for parents and students, guidance lessons for each grade in high school, senior college planning workshops and junior class conferences.

“It's about working with those kids and really understanding what their goals are,” he said.

Ziegler said the district will be focusing more attention on several areas such as graduate surveys, career exploration for grades six and up, and parent evening programs at the high school in the future.

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