Senior season is officially here! This is a stressful time for seniors as they try to balance doing their school work while facing the grueling college admissions process. Though this task is often time consuming, following these tips will relieve some of the stress that comes along with trying to conquer senior year.
The Common and Coalition Applications
The Common and Coalition Applications are college application websites that allow you to apply to many colleges at once. They help facilitate the process of applying to numerous colleges by providing one central application and therefore are much less time consuming than filling out individual applications for each college.
The Common Application is the most popular application among students as it covers 774 colleges and allows for the submission of 20 applications through their website.
The Coalition Application is much smaller than the Common Application as it only covers 132 colleges. It is a newer platform that focuses on providing underrepresented students more resources as it only accepts colleges that will provide them with financial support..
Start on your applications as soon as possible. If you research colleges and majors that you are interested in over the summer you can start working on applications as soon as they open.
“I started my college applications early because I knew that senior year will be stressful. I don’t think applying is that stressful but knowing what your options are and what you want to do is more stressful” said senior Courtney Ha.
Keep track of the deadlines of all the colleges that you are applying to in order to ensure that you do not miss the date!
Early Decision (ED) is a binding application to a single college which calls for the disregarding of all other college acceptances to attend the college you applied ED to, in the case of acceptance. You should research everything about the college you choose to apply ED for, such as the cost of housing and tuition, to ensure that you are able to afford attending if you are accepted.
The only way to break the contract once accepted to a college you applied ED to is if you are able to prove that you will face financial hardships and have absolutely no way to afford attending.
Early Action (EA) is a non-binding application to a college which is typically due much earlier than Regular Decision, so keep track of the date! EA allows student applications to be viewed earlier than than those of Regular Decision (RD)
Most EA and ED deadlines are November 1st, but they vary depending on the college.
Many Regular Decision deadlines are around January 1st but check the websites of colleges that you are applying to in order to find the exact dates.
Apply for all the scholarships you qualify for to reduce the cost of your undergraduate degree.
All students that are Florida residents are encouraged to apply for the Bright Futures Scholarship, which provides varying tuition coverage for many universities in Florida. There are three types of scholarships available:
The Florida Academic Scholars with 100 hours of logged community service hours and a minimum 1290 SAT will receive an award amount equal to 100% of tuition and applicable fees. Scholars also receive an additional $300 per semester for college-related expenses.
Florida Medallion Scholars will receive 75% of tuition and applicable fees.
The Academic Top Scholars Award covers $44 per credit hour.
QuestBridge is a great opportunity for low income students to have their applications evaluated by top tier universities and Ivy League colleges.
“We have had a number of our students receive a full ride through QuestBridge to an Ivy League College. One student I know even received money to purchase a winter wardrobe for a college up north since she did not have the warm clothing to live in that environment,” said English teacher Mrs. Kelly Meahl when asked about the benefits of applying via QuestBridge.
Make sure to research the requirements for each college to make sure you complete all the supplements and extra necessities that the college requires.
Ask your teachers for recommendation letters at the beginning of the year to allow them enough time to write them for you. Ask them politely and maybe even bring them a coffee or a gift to show your appreciation.
“I think you should approach your teachers early. Ask teachers who know you and always have a back up.” said Biology and Environmental Systems and Societies teacher Mrs. Robin McCarter.
While the college application process is a very nerve-racking time, try to enjoy your last year as well. Participate in clubs, attend school events, and spend time with your friends and family. Make each and every moment in your last year at Seminole count!