By: Max Pikras – For every high school senior, choosing a college is the most important decision that they will make for the next four years. As important of a decision that this is, it is also a very stressful one to make. Most seniors panic and are very nervous about simply applying to the college or colleges of their choice. Seniors are typically very skeptical of themselves in the college application process and are afraid of a possible rejection from their dream school. Although the college application process is very stressful for high school seniors, they are not alone in this process. High school guidance counselors are there to help the seniors with their applications and also to help guide them to their perfect school.
In our school, Junior/Senior Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Judy Caves, works very hard throughout the year to help students with their college applications and also to help guide them on their college journeys. I recently had the chance to sit down and talk to Mrs. Caves about the college application and selection processes. Mrs. Caves had wonderful answers to the questions that I asked and I believe that they will be very helpful and also will help to relieve any stress that any current high school senior is having
Rebel Report: What do you believe that most students look for in a college?
Mrs. Caves: I think that initially they are looking for a college that has a major or career interest that they are searching for, but after visiting the college they tend to place more emphasis on the livability of the campus for themselves.
Rebel Report: What factors do you believe most effect a student’s decision to attend a specific college?
Mrs. Caves: Lately, I’ve been seeing the cost plays a big factor, but I have also heard students say things like, “When I visited the dorm, I could not see myself living there or that the tour guide painted a negative image of the school.” Distance, for our students, is also a big factor. Most of the students tend to go to college close to home.
Rebel Report: Do colleges make the application process easy for students?
Mrs. Caves: No, I think they try to weed out students with essays, which tends to work very well. Also, the application fees play a big part. The more selective colleges, such as Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, add more essays to further weed students out. Average schools tend to make applications easier for students.
Rebel Report: What do you believe, is the hardest part of the college application process?
Mrs. Caves: Getting started. It is very time consuming and very stressful for students. It is also hard to find time to fill out the applications, on top of doing homework and extracurricular activities.
Rebel Report: Are there any colleges that are difficult to deal with in terms of the application process?
Mrs. Caves: No, I am very pleased with the advisors I talk with from all schools. I find that being friendly with advisors helps to make the process easier.
Rebel Report: What do you believe is the most important factor that colleges consider when reviewing student’s applications?
Mrs. Caves: I think they consider heavily the high school transcript. Sometimes current report card grades are requested when students are not meeting the full requirements.
Rebel Report: What can students do to make the application process less stressful for themselves?
Mrs. Caves: Start early, so that you may better understand the colleges you are applying to. Also, get your test scores out of the way early, to save yourself the stress and pressure of taking them.
Rebel Report: What should students do to make themselves stand out on their applications for college?
Mrs. Caves: They need to tell about themselves, so that the college can see past the SAT/ACT scores and high school transcripts. For example, if a student had a bad sophomore year, they should explain the factors that caused that year to be bad. They should explain that they had too many extracurricular activities or that a parent was sick and a majority of their time went to that parent’s care.
There you have it. Hopefully this interview will help to relieve current senior’s stress and make the entire college application process easier. Furthermore, I encourage all currents seniors to stop by and thank Mrs. Caves for all of the hard work that she puts into helping us through the year.