Senior Feature: College Readiness

Senior year should be the most fun year any high school student experiences. It’s their last year of grade school, their last chances for homecomings and proms, and their last opportunities to play on high school sports teams. The possibilities never end. Although this year has been fun for our seniors, it has also been very stressful because of college applications, scholarship essays, and ending those final transcripts on a good note.

As every college-bound student knows, the SATs are an extremely important stepping stone on the road to college. “I made sure to take the SAT prep classes before I took the real thing, so I knew I was prepared,” said Autumn Lennartz (’12).

Senior courses are also vital to college-bound students. “I am taking four AP classes this year,” said Tim Williams (’12); “Since I want to major in civil engineering, my engineering class is also preparing me for college.”

After classes and tests are out of the way, it’s time for seniors to get down to the real business: selecting possible colleges to attend.

Students are likely to choose colleges that have credited programs for their specific major. Lennartz is looking at Penn State, the University of Tennessee, and Mercyhurst University, because they all have renowned anthropology and applied forensic science programs. Williams is considering University of Maryland College Park, Virginia Tech, and Penn State, because they are all ranked in the top 25 engineering schools in the nation.

After selecting colleges for consideration, some students visit campuses and take tours of the schools to get a better feel for student life. “Go visit the school and make sure it’s exactly what you want, because sometimes scanning the website just isn’t enough,” said Jacquie Veasy (’12). “I don’t want to spend so much money on a school and not have it all work out in the end.”

Costs and tuition are two major factors when choosing a college for consideration. Luckily, scholarships are available to financially aid seniors and their parents when going through the selection and application processes.

“Scholarships are a good opportunity for those who really want to go to a particular school but can’t necessarily afford full tuition and fees. Also, you can find scholarships that are designed to accommodate your specific needs,” said Hannah Rogers (’12).

Possibly the biggest, most important thing that college-bound students consider when looking at potential schools, is finding somewhere where one can feel as comfortable as they would at home, with the privilege of experiencing new things with new people. “Choose a college that you’re comfortable with, It’s a big decision that will have a major impact on the rest of your life,” said Williams. “Make sure you’re 100% committed to the major of your choice and you’ll be fine.”

Senior year is the ultimate end to every high school student’s grade school career. Many expect the last year of high school to be exciting and very fun-filled, however it is not all that it is cracked up to be. Senior year can be a very nerve-wracking time for several students, but if you keep up with the college application process, you’re sure to have a relaxing end to a stressful senior year.