At Rutgers Prep we take pride in the level of support we provide our Upper School students in their college search and application process, but even our College Counseling Team was a little surprised by the apparent readiness of this year’s graduates. In a typical year, somewhere between 65% and 85% of Rutgers Prep’s graduating class will file at least one application by November 1st, a common deadline for both binding Early Decision programs and non-binding Early Action programs. This year, in the face of ever-increasing selectivity, members of the Rutgers Prep’s Class of 2017 brought their “A” game and completed early applications in record numbers; a full 92% of this year’s graduating class had filed at least one application by November 1st!
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, total undergraduate enrollment in US colleges and universities increased 31% from 13.2 million in 2000 to 17.3 million in 2014. By 2025, the total US undergraduate enrollment is projected to increase to 19.8 million students. It is within this increasingly competitive context that Rutgers Prep students are rising to the challenge. Since in many cases filing an early application can improve a student’s chances of being offered admission, Rutgers Prep provides both opportunity and personal support to each of our students as they embark on their college application process.
As of this writing, although many students have yet to receive the results of their early applications, some good news has started to trickle in. At least one member of the Rutgers Prep Class of 2017 has received an offer of admission from the following schools (this list is not comprehensive, and is growing by the day!):
Carnegie Mellon University
University of Delaware
University of Denver
Indiana U of Bloomington
Johns Hopkins University
University of Mississippi
New Jersey Institute of Technology
New York University
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Rochester
University of Texas at Austin
In addition to some exciting offers of admission, several of our students have been fortunate enough to be recruited Division I athletes, or have received substantial merit scholarship awards. The combination of Rutgers Prep’s excellence in education combined with our students’ own hard work means that our graduates are presented with some extraordinary opportunities. We are pleased and proud to support the Class of 2017 as they prepare to join some exciting academic communities next fall, and we look forward to hearing more good news as admissions committees continue to meet.
As a Co-President of our Tend To A Friend program, John has helped recruit new volunteers, plan activities, and just generally make sure that things are running smoothly. (Tend-To-A-Friend provides parents raising a child with special needs some respite in an otherwise chaotic and challenging world, while at the same time offering special needs children and their siblings an exciting and fun “night out” here at Rutgers Prep.) John has also served as a “One on One” buddy for Hop, Skip, & Jump, a program for special needs children that helps teach social skills and motor development. “I am committed to continuing to work to support special needs young people,” says John of his many hours of service.
In addition to his significant service commitments, John has also been an honors student throughout his time with us; he has consistently sought to challenge himself as a learner, with impressive results. John has also been involved in music through our Men’s Choir and Madrigals group, business through our Entrepreneurship program, and athletics as a two-sport varsity athlete and starting second baseman for our 2016 Prep B. State Championship Baseball Team.
John’s devotion to helping make other young people’s journeys a little easier has been inspiring to witness, and we wish him every success as he prepares to study Engineering in college next year.
Sepehr Gharavi ‘16 wasn’t expecting to be asked to help with a Middle School art class. But when the call came, he was ready.
RPS Middle School Art Teacher Susan McCloskey took in an exhibit at the Met a few years ago that included some incredibly beautiful bowls from ancient Persia, dating all the way back to the 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries.
The bowls were primarily white, and in many cases the decorative element on each was created through a calligraphic inscription. After seeing the exhibit, Ms. McCloskey wanted to find a way to invite her students into that spirit of inspiration. And she remembered having a conversation with one of her students whose family origins were Persian.
When she reached out to Setareh Gharavi ‘22, the RPS sixth grader in turn recommended that the teacher reach out to her older brother, Sepehr (“Seps”) Gharavi ‘16. When Seps learned of the possible project he was immediately interested in helping. “I know how to write in Farsi, so I thought I could maybe help students develop their own designs.” Seps went to the eighth grade class and essentially took over, teaching them about Farsi, serving as a scribe, transcribing students’ names for them, and helping to translate quotes into Persian. The students then studied examples from history and created their own pieces of pottery, which were carefully kiln-fired here on campus.
“This was a cool opportunity to express part of my culture to other people, and it also gave me a chance to realize how long its been since I really used my “Persian” muscle,” Seps reflected. “In some ways it was a warning for me that I need to look for more ways to keep my Persian up to date! And then of course it was great to see the finished products and feel like I was a part of making them possible.”
Art gives us a window into lives long since past, and transports us to parts of the world that we may never visit in person. Throughout our own history, art has been a vital part of the Rutgers Prep curriculum, and sometimes, art becomes a bridge within our own community… in this case, between a classroom full of eighth-graders on the cusp of becoming Upper Schoolers, and an Upper Schooler who is himself about to move on to the next stage of his journey as a life-long learner.