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Q and A on applying to college Wednesday in Bay Shore

West Islip High School teacher Trish Portnoy shares

West Islip High School teacher Trish Portnoy shares her wisdom about applying to college in her new book. Photo Credit: Handout

When parents hear that Trish Portnoy teaches a class at West Islip High School called “College Freshman Seminar,” they frequently say, “I wish my child’s school offered that class.” Portnoy helps high school seniors during the fall of their senior year narrow down college choices and tackle the application process.

So Portnoy asked herself, “How can I share this information? I’m only one person.” Her husband suggested she write a book. At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, she’ll be at the Barnes & Noble at 842 Sunrise Highway in Bay Shore to do a Q and A and sign her new book, “College Apps: Selecting, Applying To and Paying For the Right College For You” (Course Technology, $14.99).

The book will be helpful to both students and parents, Portnoy says. “I’m good at breaking down processes. The book explains the process and websites to use to demystify and simplify.”

Portnoy, for instance, encourages students to first assess their own personalities and career desires before choose where to apply. “Sometimes kids will say, ‘I want to go to SUNY Cortland because my aunt went to Cortland and I have the sweatshirt already.”” But when Portnoy asks what they want to major in, and they answer “marketing,” she has to explain to them that “You can’t be a marketing major at Cortland.”

For more information, attend the free Q and A or visit


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