First Step for the Class of 2023


The class of 2023 is taking the first steps in their college journey, with the opportunity to attend a school-planned “Class of 2023 Virtual College Prep Night”.

As the college journey begins for the Class of 2023, many students scramble to find the right place to begin. College visits, virtual meetings, and endless searches for the college that fits your taste is a grueling process that the juniors are only just beginning. 

The PFHS Counseling department and College and Career center, however, have the necessary resources to help students start the college planning process. On March 16, the Class of 2023 will get the opportunity to attend a “Virtual College Planning Night”, in which students will get the chance to learn more about the college planning process as a whole.

This is the first college planning event of its type offered by Potomac Falls. College and Career counselor, MaryAnn Ottenberg explains why juniors should take advantage of this opportunity now. “[Juniors] will enter their senior year of high school and find that it is an extremely busy time. Lots of fun, but lots of responsibilities too. So stay informed and know what’s ahead of you.” 

The importance of college planning is something that counselors at Potomac Falls are familiar with, and it’s the reason they want to provide the best tools possible to help students succeed. “The School Counseling website has a lot of information to help get students started,” said Rae Ann Paolozzi, Director of Counseling at Potomac Falls. Links to websites such as Naviance, an informational and personalized college searching tool, can be found in LCPSGO as well. 

The online resources mentioned are not only for those who plan on pursuing a four year university path after high school. “The School Counseling website was revamped and streamlined to provide information for students on all post-secondary options and additional resources to include but not limited to career exploration, financial aid, military options, and apprenticeships,” said Paolozzi. 

Besides online resources, Potomac Falls also provides more personable opportunities to aid in the college planning process. “Students who stay informed by attending scheduled college planning events, financial aid information sessions, and on-site college visits (on campus or at PFHS) are typically prepared for the rigorous college admissions process,” said Ottenberg in regards to the differences she sees in students who take advantage of these opportunities versus those who do not. 

The Virtual College Planning Night will include helpful information straight from the admissions offices of Virginia Schools, including The University of Virginia, James Madison University, Virginia Tech University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Northern Virginia Community College. Assistant Deans and Directors of Admissions from these universities will be live at the Virtual College Planning Night to answer any questions that students may have regarding specific schools or the college process in general. 

Topics discussed will include important information to keep in mind during the application process and before. For those who are looking for a good first step in the college planning process, the Virtual College Planning Night is a great place to start. Students will not only hear from colleges in Virginia, but will also be opened up to the extensive resources available in school and online to aid in the process. 

The Class of 2023 Virtual College Planning Night will be held online on March 16, 2022 at 6 pm, open to all juniors.