Students ‘Apply’ Themselves to the College Application Process

Isabella Lilley, Staff Writer

With this school year just beginning, most students’ thoughts could not possibly be on the beginning of next year. For some upperclassmen, however, the college application process is an all too familiar thought.

Senior Brittney Wright has been in application preparation since the end of her junior year. On why she started so early, Wright explains that you must be observant. “Pay attention to what colleges find interest in. Show care. Seem like you really want to be there.”

Wright has applied to numerous high-ranking colleges, including St. Louis University, Washington University, Purdue and Duke. She plans to earn her doctorate in psychology after taking the class last year.

“I never had to study it, but I wanted to. And I just have to be around people,” Wright said.

Most of Wright’s applications required an essay, two to three letters of recommendation, an ACT score of 26 (which she received on her first try), and a high GPA. Certain schools, particularly Wash U, have callback interviews for those who are accepted.

If having to choose between schools, Wright said that it would be dependent on how much scholarship money is offered, but that she would really prefer Wash U. Even though it will be one of the hardest to be accepted to, she would have the opportunity to study abroad in Australia.

On how she is going to do it, Wright says, “I work my butt off. My friends always say I’m the worst kind of achiever because I achieve at everything.”

Senior Austin Gusewelle, like Wright, also plans on staying close to home. Having spent the past six months in the application process, he wants to attend Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for his undergrad and possibly for Law. As he simply puts it, “I’m good at it [Law]. I can argue with people.”

With the increase of college costs, Gusewelle wants to stay in state if he does decide to go to a different school for Law.

Although seniors are the obvious graduates, we can not forget about those juniors. Every year, students are offered the opportunity to graduate early, whether it be at the first semester of their senior year or a whole year early. Junior Holly Copeland has this exact plan.

To graduate early, Copeland took two years of summer school and is taking early bird this semester. She wants to stay close to home, either attending SIUE or Lindenwood University in Missouri.

A pageant she competes in, Miss Illinois Teen USA, offers scholarship money to Lindenwood for the top finalists. If she is a finalist, she will likely attend school there.

Copeland has not started applying to schools yet, seeing no need to rush. “I just keep my nerves calm. Just gonna keep going with the flow. I could take a year off since I’m graduating early, but I’m choosing to start early.”

After seeing neonatal nurse practitioners at work at Anderson Hospital, Copeland knows what she wants to pursue. “I saw this cute little baby in an incubator, and it just melted my heart. I know I’ll be happy going to work every day.”

Before doubting how much this school year is worth, underclassman or upperclassman, keep in mind that everything affects everything. How you perform today can change tomorrow. As Wright reminds us, “This is your last year to make your mark. Make it count.”