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Norwalk High Seniors Savor College Decisions

[updated 4/11] Three Norwalk High School seniors have been accepted to top universities for the fall: Cornell, Tufts and Villanova University, and they couldn’t be happier or more relieved. “There was so much uncertainty and waiting during the process,” says Larry McGonigle, who plans to attend Tufts to study psychology. “I’m just happy I got into a school that I really wanted to go to.”

The last time talked to Larry, Meagan Henry and Oliver Viera in December , they were fretting about applications, essays, their SAT scores and whether they should apply to another school or two, just in case. According to guidance counselor Dan Sullivan, approximately 60 percent of Norwalk High's 330 seniors go to a four year college.  Meagan, Oliver and Larry are in the Top 10 percent of their class.

Now, with all their decisions in hand as of last week, the waiting game is over and all three students are eager to move on.

“I already sent in my deposit to Villanova last Sunday,” says Meagan, who was also accepted to Holy Cross, Boston College and UConn. “I’m so ready to go to college and get into the school spirit and get on with the next part of my life.”

Oliver, who is going to Cornell to study medicine, agreed. “I feel all the pressure’s off,” says Oliver, who initially applied early decision to Williams University. But when he was deferred, that left him open to apply to more schools. “I’m really happy with the result, so are my parents.”

Larry received a handsome financial aid package from Tufts, cinching his college selection.  "Finances were a big part of the decision for me."

As experts of the college admission process, the seniors are ready to share their wisdom. Larry, who was accepted into four out of the five schools he applied to, says students should take the time to find the best fit. “Visit them all. Do you connect with the school when you go?”  Meagan agreed and added, “Start as early as possible.”

Larry also urges students to spend time on their college essays. “Tufts had four essays. I was really confident about mine, and I think it made a difference.”

“You have to command their attention,” says Oliver, who compared himself to the “Little Engine That Could” in his essay. “Everyone has the same scores. You have to show what sets you apart.”

Are you a high school senior or parent of one? How did the college process turn out for you?

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