Froshmore application season: Is it worth it?


Poorna Prakash

Keating and Eshetu still keep in touch after their froshmore year comes to a close

Poorna Prakash, Staff Writer

Each year, interested base high school freshmen are given the chance to apply to Jefferson. If they enter Jefferson in their second year of high school, they are affectionately called “froshmores.” Although students are given the opportunity to attend one of the nation’s top high schools, being a new student in a class where everyone already knows each other can be a rough experience. The lengthy application process of first-year sophomores is one of the main challenges faced by the small handful of froshmores who join every year. 

“We were given seven questions primarily asking about our interests and experiences that we were able to prepare essay responses for. We were also required to submit three teacher recommendation letters,” junior Sophie Keating, a former froshmore, said.

According to the application website, “The selection committee undertakes a holistic review to select applicants that demonstrate a high aptitude for successful study of science, mathematics, computer science, and related technological fields, record of prior academic excellence through coursework and strong PSAT and/or SAT scores, clear interest and motivation in the fields of science, mathematics, computer science, and related technologies, readiness for research, experimentation, or independent study in one of the school’s technology laboratories. This may be demonstrated by successful science fair projects and other in-school and out-of-school experiences in science, engineering, computer science, and other technological areas.”

However, after the delight of getting into a top high school subsides, worry or anxiety may set in, not in regards to the workload, but rather the environment. Very few froshmores are accepted to the TJ community, and they might face some struggles getting introduced to the community, as everyone had already formed friendships the year before.

“I think that the transition from base school to TJ was probably easier for froshmores this year than in the past, because almost everyone was online last year and hadn’t had much of a chance to form permanent friendships yet anyways. At the same time though, there was quite a bit of nervousness in the beginning as well, as I knew from the get go that I’d almost certainly lack the same background other students got in freshman year and would need to work hard to catch up in my classes, “ says previous froshmore Liya Eshetu.

Additionally, froshmores have mandatory classes to take that they have missed in their freshmen year, such as Research Statistics 1, Design and Technology, etc. Some of these classes are separate from those that the freshmen take, resulting in the class size being smaller than normal. However, this means that these froshmores typically create strong friendships amongst each other.

Eshetu says that “froshmores have quite a few required classes their first year, which means you should know early on how you’ll adjust your schedule for next year to include them.”

No matter what, froshmores always end up enjoying their experience at TJ, disregarding the time they joined the amazing family.

“Although my decision to apply was impulsive, I realized that TJ had many cool opportunities to explore science. I’m glad that I was able to get past the fear of being rejected again. My experience has definitely been worth it,” Keating says.