College Applications: The Most Stressful Process for Every Upperclassmen

Photo credit: Marchella Bailey

Every student is curious about college life, but there are many steps along the way. Here at EHHS, guidance counselors provide the majority of the information students need to get started. The first thing you need to ask yourself is: “When should I begin to visit colleges?”

College search:

EHHS guidance counselor, Ms. Michelle Madonna, recommends, “As soon as you can get on campus, if you can get on them.” However, if students cannot physically get to a campus, then they should look at virtual campuses, which some colleges may provide. With the virtual tour, you are able to look all around campus and see different parts of the school to learn about it more. According to Ms. Madonna, students should categorize potential colleges as either, “A safety school, academic safety, and or financial safety.” A safety school is an environment that makes you feel comfortable, an academic safety school is somewhere you will be able to learn effectively, and financial safety is a college that will be affordable for you.

Photo Credit: Marchella Bailey


Financial aid provides many options for students to take out loans and or grants. For a student to have financial aid opportunities a parent or guardian must fill out the FAFSA form, which stands for The Free Application for Federal Student Aid. According to Ms. Renee Seufert, “FAFSA is really getting your foot in the door.” This should be one of the first things in mind to complete since this financial aid will help you along the way. This form can be beneficial to any student who fills it out by helping with financial problems. Once completed, Ms. Seufurt says, “FAFSA releases the information to each university you apply to then that university uses the inforthe information they've received as the basis for the financial aid provided you and they also have their own funds that they put out based on the information you've put down.” Doing this can benefit that student in the long run if accepted students may have the opportunity to get a scholarship for the university they choose.

Common App & Naviance:

If a student questions what should I think about while searching for colleges? ”Ms. Madonna says that the following factors should influence a student’s decision in choosing a fit college: “Whether you want to be near or far. Big or small. Diversity, whether you are looking for a city or a rural area.” This all depends on the student and what is or is not comfortable for them. To figure out this specific kind of information, students can use Naviance and or the Common App, which is provided to all students. All forms for colleges are held on either of these websites. According to Ms. Seufert, a guidance counselor says “The Common App gets linked to Naviance, the system EHHS uses to manage all of the paperwork that goes along with the application; recommendations, school profiles, counselor recommendation, teacher recommendations, resumes, fee waivers.” Recommendation letters, specifically, are a key component to applying to college.Students should get at least two of these letters from a teacher or a coach. It is also beneficial for a student to obtain a letter of recommendation from someone who knows them and their work ethic.

Even though this process might be stressful, every student can get through it with the help of a guidance counselor. There will be many steps into completing the college application process so be prepared. Once the student finishes the process you’ll be excited to begin the next chapter of your journey.