The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

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The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

The Student-Run Newspaper of Townsend Harris High School at Queens College

The Classic

After earning a spot, members of the Class of 2027 offer thoughts on new admissions process

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Andy Chen
When applying, the incoming freshmen were required to write two essays and create a short video as part of the admissions process.
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Last fall, Townsend Harris introduced a major shift in its admissions policy, which involved the introduction of a writing and video requirement. The Classic asked the Class of 2027, who were the first students to enter the school based on these requirements, what their thoughts were about the experience.

Many incoming Harristies had varying opinions about the admissions process. Some students believed that the new system wouldn’t be worth the extra work. 

“Initially I was kind of worried because it seemed [like] a lot to complete and I was not fond of the whole idea of having a lot to write,” said rising freshman Jazmine Chiquito. “However, I later had a change of heart and was willing to go through with the requirements because it seemed like an experience worth facing.”

Rising freshman Nana Ama Kwarteng thought the new system would take a lot of time to prepare, but it did not make her reconsider her decision to apply. She said, “[the new admissions process] was necessary to make it more competitive”.

Some students, like rising freshman Janelle Baker, said that they thought the process was “excessive and restricting” for applicants. 

Kaylee Oh and Namrin Zaman, two rising freshmen, talked about the effects this process had on their mental health, finding the videos and essays very stressful and anxiety inducing. 

Still, others said that they believe the admission process was not that stressful. Incoming freshman Methulia Medage said, “it didn’t have that much of a negative impact on me. I like getting my brain to work.”

Although many students had contrasting opinions about the new admissions process, Assistant Principal of Organization Ellen Fee said, “Over the pandemic it became difficult to access students’ abilities and passions.” She continued, “We believe that having an extra writing assignment and video brought together [the] hard work and passion [we are looking to see in applicants].” 

Parent Coordinator Jodie Lasoff said that every month she receives emails about the admissions process and this year specifically there were a lot of questions due to the new admissions process and stress that came with it. She said that all the hard work the students did to get into THHS “was a sign to know that they wanted to be here.”

Looking back, high school admissions at THHS for the 2021-2022 academic year were primarily based on a lottery system where priority was given to the top 15% of students in the lotterry. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials stated that schools weren’t allowed to use test scores or attendance as part of their admission criteria, instead they would use finalized middle school grades.

Applicants were required to read a passage called “The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and respond to one of the two provided prompts and write an essay responding to a STEM based prompt of their choosing. Additionally, they had to film a video of how they could make THHS a better place utilizing the standards established by the Ephebic Oath.

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Andy Chen
Andy Chen, Layout Editor
Andy is a senior at Townsend Harris High School. He likes watching movies and drawing in his free time. He also enjoys taking photos of the sky.
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