Guidance director offers juniors advice about college search

Ms. Marguerite DiMattia

Ms. Marguerite DiMattia

Anna Winslow, Staff writer

As Archbishop Carroll’s juniors embark on their college search, Ms. Marguerite DiMattia, the director of the school’s guidance department, offered some advice.

Students considering post-secondary schooling should work hard to do get the best grades possible, Ms. DiMattia said. She mentioned four or five times how important it is for students to pay attention to their academics so they can compete for the slots available at the schools they choose.

To figure out what schools to choose, students should spend junior year making a list of what attributes they crave in a college, Ms. DiMattia said. For example, students should consider what size college they want to attend, how far away it should be, what sports and extracurricular activities are offered, and what the college’s setting is. Attending virtual tours would be a great step to take, she said.

Ms. DiMattia remarked on how much easier it is for students today to get information about colleges and universities compared to students in past generations.

“Finding a college now is a bit easier because the internet allows you to access information,” Ms. DiMattia said. “When I was looking at colleges, I had to look for books in the library, which required a lot of effort.”

In addition to seeking schools that will provide what they want and need, students also take into consideration the financial component of attending. There are many websites that offer and describe scholarships. For example, allows students to start earning money as early as freshman year. The College Board also provides many scholarship opportunities, Ms. DiMattia said. 

Besides having access to a lot of information about college on the internet. students of this generation also view college in a different way.

“Some things are constant in college but the media plays a huge part in how students view college,” Ms. DiMattia said.  “Movies often emphasize the idea of partying but that is not always the case. It is never described how students pull all-nighters to finish a paper or how long they study for mid-terms.” 

Furthermore, college isn’t for everyone, she said.

“I think there is a lot of pressure to go to college but there are many different paths open and you have to find what’s best for you,” Ms. DiMattia said. “I enjoy making the college search an easier process but college isn’t for everybody. Sometimes starting off at a community college or a trade school is better. Find the right path for you and this could be anywhere and any way.”

“Never be afraid to ask questions,”  emphasized Ms. DiMattia.