Picking the perfect college

The Collegiate Search

Grant Donaldson and Brandon Hoagland

During senior year, seniors who plan to further their education will have to start and finish their college search on where they want to go for the next two to four years. This can be a stressful process for some students if they begin at the start of their senior year. Some students, though, have started searching during their junior year and maybe have visited a college or two to see the campus and college life there. To find the best college for them, students should research about a few factors. Senior Austin Crow is looking at ”tuition, size of the college, majors the school specializes in, location of the school, as well as anything else specific that the student needs” when looking for the college he plans to apply to. These factors can be very important because a student should pick the school they think is best for them to enjoy themselves and receive a good education.  

Adding athletics to the mix can add to the chaos.  Many student athletes who want to continue their athletic careers find themselves stuck between picking their dream college for academics and forfeiting their athletic pursuits, or settling for a smaller D2 or D3 college in order to continue their sport. Senior Brailyn Franklin said for juniors who want to play in college, “they are mostly looking at your grades; if you are looking at a specific school, send your highlight tape to that school, and send it to other schools like D2, D1, and D3. You need all the opportunities you can get.” Franklin has committed to play football for Penn State next year.  Even then, sometimes it is near impossible to get in contact with the coach that you want to talk to or get accepted onto the team. Getting a scholarship is a whole nother ball game. All of this is added onto the normal stress of finding, applying, and getting accepted into college.  

Starting the college search during junior year can take off a lot of stress.  Visiting colleges, finding average GPA, essay, and SAT/ACT requirements is a big process and can take up a lot of time. Senior Lauren Hoffman says her advice during the college process would be, “don’t scramble during your senior year; it’s better to start during your junior year so you have a year to look at colleges.” Hoffman just recently committed to run track for Duke University. Early applications are due at almost the very beginning of senior year, so having that long process already done or at least started is something to keep in mind. Counselors are a great tool to use during the search; they can guide students towards the college right for them based off of career choice or desires. Counselors also have the ability to send out transcripts and scores to colleges, which saves time.  

All said and done, when the hunt is finally over, it is time to sit back, relax, and start planning the next year of life.  College is a new chapter towards a bright future, and having closed the pages on high school, look forward to a new learning environment and becoming an adult with adult responsibilities and problems. Yet again, more problems to deal with, but that can wait until later.  For now, enjoy the last year of high school, do not let the college process stress you out, and hold off on Senioritis as long as possible.