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VHHS seniors enter college application season

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VHHS seniors enter college application season

This graph shows the number of schools that seniors are applying to.

This graph shows the number of schools that seniors are applying to.

This graph shows the number of schools that seniors are applying to.

This graph shows the number of schools that seniors are applying to.

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As seniors submit their college applications, many important decisions arise. Each student has to choose whether they want to apply to colleges or not, how many schools to apply to, and finally, where they want to go. Throughout the entire process, it’s important to stay focused and keep the worrying to a minimum.

In a survey sent out to VHHS seniors, of which 78 students responded, 17.9% reported that they are applying to nine schools or more. To some, nine schools might seem like an extreme number, but for many seniors, this is a way to maximize their chances of getting accepted.

“I’m applying to a bunch of top schools — most of which are private,” Ben Gorashchenko (12) said. “And quantity is important; you raise your chances if you apply to many of them.”

Gorashchenko added that it is important to compare financial aid packages. Even if he gets into a top college, it doesn’t necessarily mean he can go, since the school might not offer him enough financial aid.

On the other side of the spectrum, 30.8% of students reported that they are applying to fewer than five schools.

Katie Gheysen (12) is applying to three colleges: University of Miami, University of Rhode Island and Roger Williams University. It was easy for her to narrow down her college list, since she knows she wants to major in marine biology.

“I know that my school has to be by an ocean. And even though some schools have really amazing programs like Duke, their marine biology campus is not close enough to the main campus; it’s six hours away,” Gheysen said.

Some seniors have already been accepted to colleges through the rolling admissions process. Common rolling admission schools that VHHS students apply to are Arizona State University, Michigan State University and University of Iowa.

Jess Nabat (12) is currently committed to University of Missouri. She found out about her acceptance a week into school due to the rolling admissions application.

“I do [like the rolling admissions process] because I’m not as stressed about waiting to see if I’m getting into a college or not; I don’t have to wait until a certain date,” Nabat said. “Also, it’s easier to connect with a lot of people that already know that they’re going to Mizzou.”

She officially committed, but is still waiting to hear back from University of Michigan and University of Illinois. Big factors to her decision are scholarship opportunities, academics, campus and Greek life.

Other students have committed through sports. Drew Petereit (12) committed to Tulane University in September on an athletic scholarship. She will be on Tulane’s D1 swimming team next fall.

For Petereit, the recruitment process began around the beginning of junior year, when colleges started reaching out to her and she started expressing her interest in certain schools.

Early this school year, Petereit went on official visits to University of Denver, University of Miami and Tulane University. All of these schools sent her offers, and after the visits, she was expected to choose.

“It was a really hard decision, and I went into my official visits thinking I was going to go to the University of Denver,” Petereit said. “Tulane beat out Miami for academics, and I want to go to school for academics, not just swimming.”

For some, a big question is whether or not to play during college. College athletes are considered for athletic scholarships and learn important skills such as time management. On the other hand, many athletes feel overwhelmed and overworked while trying to balance school and sports.

For Petereit, she always knew she wanted to swim at college.

“It wasn’t really a decision; I just kind of knew I was going to,” she said. “I’ve been swimming for the past 11 years, and I can’t imagine my life without it.”

87.2% of seniors are applying early, whether it be Early Action, Early Decision or Restrictive Early Action. However, 12.8% are not applying early, choosing to wait until regular decision.

Many seniors advised applying early if one is interested in a school and would like to receive a decision earlier.

“If there is one school you really want to go to, it actually is worth it to do Early Decision,” Gorashchenko said.

Application season is a difficult time for seniors and families. There are many questions to answer and choices to make.

A common piece of advice is to start early. The application process can be stressful, not including financial aid applications, so it’s a smart choice to get a head start.

“It’s very normal to avoid [something] whenever [it’s] stressing you out. My advice is if you’re feeling stressed out by the whole application process, to start somewhere,” College Counselor Ms. Bellito said. “There’s a lot of pressure [to put] together a perfect application, and there’s no such thing.”

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