My College Application Process: Townsend Harris High School

October 28, 2014

This week, we asked a few of our high school interns to share their college application process and what it looks like at their school. Here’s an inside look at Townsend Harris High School in Queens, NY.

The college process at my school begins with a guidance counselor meeting. Each 11th grade student has an individual meeting with his or her guidance counselor that lasts one period (about 40 minutes). The meetings, which are assigned, run from February to May. Each student discusses various topics with the guidance counselor- standardized testing options, teacher recommendations, the essay and the college application process in general. The student and the counselor discuss potential schools, both “reaches” and “targets”. Naviance is a very useful website throughout the college process.  Each student has an account through which he can access information about colleges, careers, and summer opportunities (i.e. volunteering, jobs, test prep programs). Naviance allows students to look up specific colleges and match themselves with colleges based on their preferences. After the initial college meetings are over, students can sent up additional meetings to address any concerns with their guidance counselors. 


Most of the students from Townsend Harris end up going to CUNY or SUNY schools, mainly because they are the most affordable. Many students are accepted into Top 50 colleges, but choose not to enroll because they cannot pay the tuition and are not offered enough financial aid/scholarship money. A decent amount of students apply and are accepted into Ivy League schools as well; Cornell is a popular choice. According to Naviance, in 2013, 18 students out of 76 that applied to Cornell were accepted. Other popular choices are Northeastern University and Boston University. 

Browse Successful Application Files

UPenn ‘21

Accepted to UPenn, Tulane, Elon , UNC

Student in the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business dual enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School.
Columbia ‘20

Accepted to Columbia, Brown, UPenn, Rice, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UVA, UC Davis, UCSD, UCSC, USC

Hey! I'm a John Jay Scholar at Columbia, and I'm from Los Angeles. I'm planning to major in Art History and do ballet and theater. Hope I can help!
Pomona ‘20

Accepted to Pomona, Swarthmore, Bowdoin, Middlebury, WashU, Vassar, Emory, Kenyon, Wesleyan, Hamilton

Salutations person! My profile includes the awesome details of the ridiculously goodlooking man in the above picture! Plus, a bunch of essays!
Notre Dame ‘20

Accepted to BU, Emory, Swarthmore, Notre Dame

Hello! I'm an international student from Ethiopia and I'll be majoring in Biology. I'd love to share all the tips and tricks I've learned from my rather unique college application experience with you!

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