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Class of 2018 Excels in Early College Acceptances
Posted 02/06/2018 09:00AM

Throughout the late fall and into the winter, members of the Fordham Prep Class of 2018 have been receiving letters, emails and text messages congratulating them on their college acceptances and welcoming them into some of the top colleges and universities in the United States and abroad.

“The cornerstone of the Fordham Prep college counseling program is to encourage each student to find a post-secondary opportunity that is the best individual fit,” says the Prep’s Director of College Counseling, Maura Brennan. “Where will they thrive? In pursuit of that best fit, the students in the Class of 2018 have filed applications at 325 colleges and universities. Their interests are vast and so are their college options  ̶  from Jesuit and Catholic, to small liberal arts colleges and large public research institutions.” 

So far, Fordham Prep seniors have earned admission into 151 colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Georgetown, Boston College, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and the Naval Academy. Seniors have also earned admission into several well-known international colleges and universities: Kings College (London), University of St. Andrews (Scotland), University of Edinburgh (Scotland) and McGill University (Canada).

Several of our seniors have been accepted to Ivy League schools this year. Nicolas Eccles is one of them. He was accepted at Harvard University to study environmental science and public policy. Nick credits his teachers for his preparation for college. “My favorite subjects are English and Math. I really enjoyed how Mr. Gilligan and Dr. Lee were able to contextualize my learning with current and relevant events. I also like the fact that I have learned how to think quicker, at least with mathematical problems, from Ms. Zefran's intense and engaging training.” He also credits Fordham Prep’s emphasis on students being open to growth: “The Prep has encouraged me to pursue different passions and activities. I attend the Columbia Science Honors Program and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Academy, am on the varsity tennis team and played AAU basketball. I am a member of the Prep’s Social Justice Committee, Jazz Band and Speech & Debate Team. This past summer, I interned at the Bronx Community Board 6 and attended the Yale Young Global Scholars Program.”

Brendan Burbage, captain of the rowing team at the Prep and editor on the literary magazine, Labryinth, will be at Columbia next year, specifically Columbia College. For him, the college selection process started his junior year when he approached college coaches about their rowing programs. Brendan says, “The guidance department helped me by playing a passive role; I did not feel pressured and could eventually come to the decision I thought was best for me on my own. They then pushed through transcripts and other documents when I submitted my application.” His decision to attend Columbia came after speaking with the rowing coaches and talking to his friends who row at the school or who have already graduated. “They enjoyed their experiences overall even without the rowing aspect.”

Several Fordham Prep students have been accepted to prestigious Catholic universities, including Georgetown, Boston College and Notre Dame. The president of Student Government, Christian Gjelaj, has been accepted at both Georgetown and Boston College, and though he has not made a final decision where he will be this upcoming fall, he knows he will be well prepared for the challenge ahead.

“I hold AP Calculus and AP Spanish as my two favorite courses at Fordham. My calculus teacher, Ms. Zefran, challenged me and compelled me to approach the learning process much more effectively. This class has allowed me to undertake difficult academic study with a new efficiency, which I know will serve me in my academic endeavors throughout college. AP Spanish has revealed to me the importance of loving to learn. Allowing me to open my mind to the language acquisition process and, by extension, cultural immersion. My experience with modern language study at the Prep has equipped me with the important lesson of staying open to various methods of experiencing the world in order to maintain the love of growing. The persistence that comes alongside studying subjects has engrained a work ethic within me rooted in a love for learning.”

Another student who has similar options is senior Christopher Friend. He was accepted to Boston College, Georgetown and Notre Dame, and will be in South Bend this fall. “Next year, I will be attending the University of Notre Dame. I chose Notre Dame because of the strong academics and the importance of community and tradition, just like here at Fordham Prep. Notre Dame will continue to sharpen my intellect and challenge me to serve the common good by being a man for others. Notre Dame will also offer me a strong education in finance which is definitely something I want to pursue later in my life.”

When asked about his Fordham Prep experience, Chris says, “My experience at the Prep over the last four years has been amazing. Coming in as a freshman, I could have never imagined what opportunities were ahead of me in my faith, scholarship and service. I quickly learned that in the classroom I would be challenged daily and that outside of the classroom we are all called to help others. The numerous friends I have made will be my brothers for life. Fordham Prep has definitely matured me into a man, but more importantly, a man for others. Looking back at my time here at the Prep, I feel that I am very prepared to handle the next stages of my life.”

One of the students heading overseas is senior Peter Marment. He will attend the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. When asked why he chose Edinburgh, he said, “After visiting the city of Edinburgh and some of the school's buildings, I knew that it was definitely going to be one of my top choices. I ended up selecting Edinburgh over my second choice, St. Andrews University, because of how amazing the city was and the university's great sports management program.”

Peter also gives credit to the Prep’s College Counseling Department: “My college process began, like many other seniors, at the beginning of junior year. I had thought about where I wanted to go college generally before this, but this was where I started researching schools and planning my path to get into them. The FP College Counseling Department was helpful in making sure that I made a well-informed decision on where I wanted to go and also was able to work with the schools I applied to directly to figure out any questions I had about my application, along with writing me a solid recommendation.”

“More than 80% of the class applied in November through either a binding or non-binding early admission program, and so many students already have received acceptances as we begin the second semester. We look forward to regular admission decisions later this spring,” says Ms. Brennan. “It's an exciting time at the Prep.”

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