The Center for Mission & Academics
Mission Moments Blog

Junior College Class

By Nick Spaeth, Director of College Counseling

As the College Office gears up for a new semester and another round of Junior College Class (here we go, Class of 2023!), it seemed like an opportune time to reflect on one of the more interesting juxtapositions found within the college search process: time. Sometimes high school can feel like a never-ending slog. In other, more positive, words it might seem like there is all the time in the world before college. And rightfully so. Underclassmen have time to explore, to try new things, to get involved and take advantage of all that the Upper School has to offer. Then senior year hits. BA’s college placement program oftentimes shines a brighter than normal light on this shift in focus regarding time, when college-specific deadlines necessitate a literal focus on the calendar. Junior year, however, should be seen through quite a different lens.
The college search is not a mad dash. It’s not a sprint. Done well, Junior College Class demands that one gives themselves the time and space to think, to process, and to contemplate. Generically, Junior College Class results in a student having a list of schools that they plan to apply to in the senior year.  The more successful outcome of this rite of passage at BA is a list of schools that they are confident in, comfortable with, and excited by the notion of attending. We take the time to do the college search with intentionality and purpose. This small departure from the hustle of life sure can feel strange. But it is so incredibly valuable.

You will note that nowhere have I mentioned admissibility, selectivity, prestige, or status. Rather, an understanding and focus on “fit,” and the impossible definition that this word possesses, is paramount to managing the time of Junior College Class. In the same breath, I’d be remiss to not point out that BA graduates continue their education at all manner of institutions across the country, and the world. From large public research universities to small private liberal arts and science colleges, and everything in between, BA graduates who use their time wisely will find themselves with an abundance of options as they prepare for college and life.
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