Seniors Share College Application Tips for Juniors

As the class of 2022 approaches their senior year, many students anxiously await the college application process.
Students diligently work towards achieving certain grades and test scores throughout their high school career; all of that stress and hard work will finally pay off when applying to one’s dream college.
Many of this year’s seniors had tips to share with the Class of ‘22.
“Two things I wish I knew is the importance of doing scholarships and also how much of an advantage early action is,” senior Ayo Amodu said.
When applying to college, most schools have the option of early action, early decision, regular decision, or rolling decision. Each of these options determine when a student’s acceptance letter will be released to them.
Some schools have a binding early decision option, which means that if a student gets accepted into a school, that student must attend that school, regardless of other acceptances. This type of application is recommended only for students who are certain that a school is right for them.
Early action, on the other hand, is released shortly after a student has submitted their application and it is non-binding. These acceptance letters usually come out a few weeks after submitting an application, generally within the months of January or February.
Regular decisions are also non-binding and are reported back to students much later, during the months of March or April.
Lastly, rolling decision means a college or university will accept and respond to applications after deadlines for early action, early decision, or regular decision have passed; it is non- binding.
On top of college applications, many students forget about the hundreds of scholarship opportunities that colleges offer.
Scholarships are immensely beneficial for students, and there are a vast variety of them. Some colleges grant students scholarships automatically due to outstanding academic performance, while others have additional scholarship applications. These scholarships often offer a substantial amount of money, which takes off a large chunk of a student’s tuition.
Resources will become a student’s best friend when applying to colleges, and knowing which resources are the most beneficial is a huge help.
“The most helpful resource to me when applying to college was the lists and plans student services provided to us virtually. It helped me know the deadlines, what requirements needed to be met, and where certain papers needed to be submitted to,” senior Hannah Parsons said.
Staying organized and submitting applications before its deadline is crucial throughout the process, especially when writing the essays that most schools require with the application.
“The essay was definitely the hardest part for me, and if I were to give advice to a junior, I would tell them to start writing it over the summer. For my essay, I started with an outline of my main ideas I wanted to get across and then put it all together. I started my essay in September when my first deadline was October 15th,” senior Tori Vandenberge said.
When choosing a topic for the essay, there are often a plethora of prompts to pick from.
The essays are designed to assess a student’s ability to write about a topic that the student chooses themselves, which separates the student from all the other applicants by using their own voice to share unique experiences. In other words, it’s designed to help colleges get the chance to learn about students as people outside of courses, grades, and test scores.
Students pick from one of the prompts provided to structure a response within the required word count.
Although the application process may appear intimidating, once students go through their first few applications they should find that it becomes much easier and less time consuming.
The college application process is the gateway to students’ futures, but the most important thing to remember is that students are not alone in the process, and there are several people, including counselors and teachers, who are available to assist and provide guidance to anyone who needs it.