College Applications as a High School Senior

Here at EHHS, seniors are beginning the stressful process of applying to college and starting their life long careers. Two seniors discuss what the process is like in hopes that it can help rising seniors. Gia Buonfiglio and Ohm Patel give an inside look of what applying to college has been like for them.

Gia and Ohm have both completed the multiple steps of submitting applications and have tips to share with juniors. Gia says, “Ask questions, figure out what you need to get done.” She feels that it is important to be clear on what is expected from you. Ohm wishes he joined clubs sooner, so he while completing his applications he could show longevity in involvement. Also, looking into college courses you can take in high school is helpful. Ohm takes medical spanish at SCSU. There are also classes in other subjects you can take to obtain college credit as a high school student, such as UCONN ECE Literature of War, AP English, Born or Created, Writing for College, AP Stats and Modern European History. Most importantly, plan ahead.

One of the most critical steps to applying to college is choosing a college which is right for you. Ohm plans to become a doctor so he looked for schools with strong medical programs. Ohm is applying to Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Princeton and many other Ivy League schools. Be sure to visit colleges, look through their social media and talk to students and staff at any and all colleges you choose. Currently, a lot of colleges are not offering in person tours, so you should register for virtual tours, or even just go to the campus to walk around and get a feel for the environment.

After choosing colleges, you will need to complete your common application. Common App is a single application you have to complete. The one application gets sent to the college(s) you are applying to. Each college usually has their own deadline for the application, along with scholarships and financial aid. Gia says, “I think (the deadlines) they are reasonable, but they are stressful.” Colleges are preparing for the thousands of applications they will receive and many of the deadlines for applications are in the next couple of months.

Photo Credit: Victoria Moll

As the deadlines get closer, you will need to start thinking about college recommendation letters and who will be writing them for you. Find teachers that will be honest about your work ethic, even if your grade was not the best. Ohm asked many of his teachers to write him recommendations. In order to have a teacher write a recommendation letter, you will need to give them your transcript, a student brag sheet and invite them to write about you and submit it to the colleges you are applying to. You also will need to write an essay congruent to a provided prompt. Ohm asked his English teacher to review his college essay a couple of times to make sure appropriate language was used and that he had everything he needed in it. Lastly, you will need the help of a guidance counselor to fill in your academic history on Common App. Be sure to plan an appointment with your guidance counselor in a timely manner to do so.

As we get closer to the beginning of the new year, rising seniors will be meeting with their guidance counselors for course selection. Both Gia and Ohm took many AP and honors classes this year, along with career driven electives. Start planning, asking for help, and looking at colleges. Applying to college is stressful, but taking this advice from Ohm and Gia will help put your stress at ease.

Photo credit: Victoria Moll