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Seniors apply to college; left in the dark

November 1st is the deadline for early action for most colleges. This is one of the various deadlines a senior might encounter. Senior year is one of the most anticipated times of high school, but the sad reality is many seniors don’t even know how to begin.

Studies have shown that many students aren’t prepared for college: course wise and application.

According to a report from Hechinger Report.org the vast majority of public two- and four-year colleges report enrolling students – more than half a million of them–who are not ready for college-level work.

One of the crucial parts of senior year is creating a post-secondary plan. Your post-secondary plan is a plan for life after high school. College isn’t necessarily for everyone. There are plenty of other options instead of college such as cosmetology, carpentry, plumbing, or even the military.

“I think everyone should choose a path that is academically, mentally, socially fulfilling because not everyone has the drive to pursue academics.”

There are many professions that require education in some other form such as trade school or apprenticeships. We need those people just as many as people that go to college,” said Ms. Olfky, English teacher and PeerForward advisor.

If you do plan on going to college, you must apply by the college’s dates. There are many types of College Application Deadlines.

The first type is early decision, which is a binding. That means if you are admitted you must enroll in that school and withdraw any other college applications you have in work. This type of admission should only be for students who are 100 percent sure that the college chosen is for them because once you get accepted you can’t change that decision.

The second type of admission is early action, which is still an early option of applying to college, but this deadline is not binding like early decision, which means that if you are admitted to a certain college you are not required to attend that school. Early action qualifies you for early consideration for scholarships, admittance and possibly honors courses.

The third type is regular admission, which is also non-binding again, many students use this deadline if they took their SAT late. You still can get in, but the chances you get in might be slimmer and you have less time to make up your mind.

Lastly, there is rolling admission which is also another type of non-binding deadline. The difference with this admission type is that schools accepts applicants until the program fills up.

The best type of application process is early action because you get early consideration for the honors college and scholarships, which means you can review your options before you selected your final decisions. The only downfall is that the deadline is early as the name states,which means you must have taken your SAT early and be satisfied with your score. Waiting later to apply lessens your chance of being accepted because many students apply during that time.

Many students don’t feel like they get assistance during their college journey, especially if they are First Generation students, which means the student is the first person in their immediate family to attend college, so that means neither of your parents have received a college degree.

School emphasizes the importance of having a plan for after high school, but don’t really say how. The county wants you to be College and Career Ready before graduation, but the requirements for that are to pass certain English and math tests.

There is more to being prepared for college than just passing certain tests. These tests don’t test you on how to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, how to pick the best schools for you,or how to figure out which career is best for you. That means all those responsibilities fall on the student causing them to stress out even more.

“I think a lot of people don’t know everything about the application process. I feel as though there should be a class for it in school so people know more about it and are more prepared,” said senior Arianna Minns.

Most schools have some sort of college preparation program that can help alleviate some of the stress put on students.

“I think our counselors work hard getting colleges in so that they can have on site admission and go to college fairs. We do have other programs such as PeerForward and First Generation where support is given through peers or a Non-profit aimed at helping our students,” said Ms. Olfky

Parkdale has a program called PeerForward, where there are student leaders known as PeerLeaders who help guide their fellow peers during their college process, so the students won’t be completely in the dark about college preparation.

They also have an after-school program called College, Career and Connect also known as “Triple C”  in which the PeerLeaders helps with college applications, resumes, personal statements and filling out.

Overall, if you look hard enough, there are some wonderful resources out there for students, they just have to take advantage of them.

“The best advice I have to seniors is to not wait to the last minute and have good time management when it comes to college,” said Minns.

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