Early college planning brings stressful decisions


Gina Gossett

Seniors Elizabeth Steele and Nancy Xaio show both the stressful and stress free environment of college application.

As seniors enter their last year of school, thoughts of an easy and stress-free time encompass their heads. However, with senior year many new stresses emerge.

For some students, they’ve had their intended major in mind since freshman year. However, others are still trying to determine what they want to do. Students should take note of what they have a passion for doing and decide on a major. 

After determining a major, the process of applying to colleges begins. Students are advised to pay attention to important information their schools will request, including SAT or ACT scores, high school transcripts and immunization records. 

When students need to request their high school transcript or a letter of recommendation from a teacher, they must do so through Naviance. If seniors need their official transcript, they need to make sure to fill out the blue form in the guidance office for permission to send it to colleges.

As for letters of recommendation, students must make a request for a specific teacher to write them one. Students should also ask this teacher in person to make sure they are willing to do so. Seniors should be sure to include any athletic or academic awards, volunteer work, intended major and any work experience. Make sure to provide the teacher that will write the letter of recommendation a copy of this information.

In addition, there are deadlines seniors should keep track of. The first of May is when all college decisions must be made and applied to. Any scholarship deadlines that are offered by any colleges selected should also be noted along with the FAFSA deadline on January first.

“Seniors should keep deadlines in mind when going through the college application process. They should also be organized when it comes to knowing what schools will require,” said Ms. Burns, school counselor.

Elizabeth Steele, a senior, plans to double major in elementary education and psychology. She has applied to the University of Kentucky, the University of Tennessee and West Virginia University. 

“I have already been accepted to WVU and the University of Tennessee but am still waiting to hear from Kentucky,” stated Steele.

Her hope is to be accepted to Kentucky because of its academic programs. She has not applied for any scholarships but has received offers from WVU and the University of Tennessee. 

“No matter what step seniors are on in the application process, they should remain organized. If they apply to multiple schools, they should keep track of acceptance packages and make sure of their decision before sending in their deposit,” replied Burns.

As the high school journey comes to it’s close, another one is about to begin for seniors. By taking the time to apply to college now, they are preparing themselves for that next step into their futures.