Applications, Scholarships, and College, Oh My!
Hey Mohawks! It has been a crazy week as a Senior Intern. As you probably know Homecoming week is upon us and we are working hard to make the annual homecoming court video. I am also very honored and excited to be on homecoming court again this year! Just a reminder that tonight's football game is Jersey night at Oakwood and make sure you don't forget to show your school spirit this weekend at hallway decorating! Check out my last blog see all the themes for homecoming week :)
So now let's talk about the point of my blog this week: College. This may seem like a topic just for seniors, but really it is something all high schoolers should give some thought too. I am lucky to know where I am going to college because of athletics, but that is not the case for most people and just like everyone else I still have to fill out an application and find scholarships. This is a really stressful time for a lot of seniors as many deadlines are quickly approaching. Regardless of if you know where you want to go or not I want to share some tips, ideas, and helpful websites to make this whole college thing a little less stressful:
1. https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges - The website US News and World Report has been an extremely helpful resource to me in my college search. It has college ranking for national, regional, and for different majors. You can always look up a college and see information such as application dates, about the area, dorms, social life, and more. You can also make an account and save different schools to make it easier to compare and contrast them.
2. https://myscholly.com/ - This is a free website called Scholly that allows you to fill out a survey of your interests and activities, clubs, or sports you participate in, then gives you a list of scholarships that match those interests. This is a great tool because it gives you tons of scholarships with their deadlines, amounts, and information all in one place. You also create a goal of how much money you would like to earn in scholarships then you can save scholarships that you would like to work on the future. Every time you save a scholarship the website adds up the amount to show you how much money you could receive if you filled out all of them. Overall, it makes it so much easier to find and apply for scholarships.
3. MAKE A LIST - I have found that when deciding between a few schools making a list of them and ranking certain factors about the school can help you choose. For example, ranking each school 1-5 on the campus, location, tuition, major, academics, and housing can help you have a concrete way to differentiate and compare and contrast between a few schools you really like.
4. GO ON A VISIT - It is easy to fall into the trap of having a "dream" school that you have always wanted to go to and not opening yourself up to any other possibilities. You have to balance that dream with making sure it is actually the best fit for you. An awesome way to figure this out is to go on a visit. You may think the campus is beautiful in pictures then get there and think that it is entirely too big, or you may visit a school that you didn't have a ton of interest in and fall in love with it. Visits are great to show you want you don't like about a college as well as what you do like and it can make it easier to look for certain things in the future. Visits are also good because you get to talk to admissions counselors, get a tour, meet students, and get an overall feeling of the atmosphere around the campus.
5. DON'T PROCRASTINATE! - It can be so easy to push college to the side and let school, work, football games, and friends take the wheel, but you can't let that happen. There are strict deadlines when applying to college as well as for scholarships and if you miss the deadline you are many times out of luck. November 1 is an early action deadline for many schools and that is only about a month away. Crazy right. Even if you think you want to apply later, some schools require early applications in order to be considered for certain scholarships. So, make sure you look up the dates of any possible school you are thinking of applying too. If you have a long list then I would recommend filling out the common application because you can send that to all those schools at once. On first glance the common app is super long, but most of it is filling out routine information. If you just sit down for a few hours and bust it out it will relieve a lot of stress and you will have one less thing to worry about.
I know that seems like a ton of information, but don't be overwhelmed! Senior year is supposed to be fun and a time to making some final memories, so make sure you to do just that! Try setting aside half an hour a day to work on applications, it won't seem like that much but it will pay off. If you get this stuff done early you won't have to worry about it later:) Good luck!