How to survive the college application process

By the time you complete your first month of senior year, the word “college” will be ingrained into your subconscious.

The college application process is one of the most stressful and foreboding processes in the course of high school. The decision of the future is without a doubt exhausting. You get to choose where you go to school for the next four years and what you will study. Although it is exciting to discover where you may go and what adventures you may undertake, the process is drawn-out and tough. Senior Alan Schuh stated that, “There are so many facets and it is insanely hard to keep them all straight. And if you forget one, you might not get in. It’s crazy.”

There are many aspects that need to considered when applying to colleges including location, population and cost. Cost is especially important because it may eliminate the chances of the student attending the school. Despite all of the inevitable struggle students have to go through, there are a number of ways to cope with the process and stress.

One of the best strategies in order to approach the application process is to plan and research early. It’s often better to look into colleges before school starts because once school begins, the process is immediate and you have to narrow your focus. It’s better to stress early and be aware of the situation at hand.  

Money is extremely important, and in this case it can determine everything. Parents do have the authority to fund your education if you are dependent, so always consider their thoughts and opinions. Know what limits you and your parents have financially and always explore financial aid options. Be careful and don’t be too carefree.

Have a backup plan. Your senior counsellor will tell you to have a backup plan so you will have a guaranteed option for a college. It’s best to have last resort in any situation. Your counsellor will remind you of the things you need to do so make sure you listen attentively to their suggestions and instructions.

Gain information from alumni and other seniors who are going through the process. Talking to people can help you give a perspective on what needs to be done, and things that need to be avoided to make the process easier. Anecdotal advice can be important when discovering what you need to exactly do.

Always remember that four-year universities are not the only options and community colleges such as Cabrillo College are available to everyone. Senior Robert Adams has stated that, “I’m just going to Cabrillo. It’s the safest and easiest choice for me.” The majority of students attend Cabrillo and stay at home to attend college. There are a number of educational options available for students that that are concerned with financials. Attending a community college also leaves you with the option to transfer to a four-year college after two years to finish your degree.

Despite the nature of the college application process, it should not determine the course for the rest of your life. It is merely another stepping stone that should be tread carefully. Education is not an hindrance, but an important aspect that will help guide you throughout your life.

By Mairo Kuntze


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