With College Around the Corner, Seniors Start the Application Process

Allison Stopka, Staff Writer

It’s a phrase we all have heard since we were freshmen. “Enjoy your high school years, they’ll go by too fast.” Our parents preach this, but most of us just brush it off. Not many people actually realize how true that statement is until their senior year, and even more don’t acknowledge it until they are away at college.

For 600 of us, it is senior year, and the time for planning our future is now. Most college applications are out, and it’s an extremely stressful experience for anybody applying.

While some seniors are prepared and filling out the forms that will determine where they spend the next stage of their life, others don’t quite realize that, if you haven’t already, you need to get the ball rolling.

There are many aspects to choosing a college, and it can either be an obvious choice or a hard decision to make. You are choosing where you will spend the rest of your young life, so it is crucial that you know that the school you are going to will be the one you still want to be at in four years.

For senior Claire Smith, the choice was obvious.

“When I started the search process for colleges, I had a checklist of things I wanted in a school,” Smith said. “[University of Arkansas] has great sports teams, a huge Greek system, a great nursing school, and it’s not too far away but also not too close.”

While sports, Greek life, and location can be important factors, another factor is how well you did in high school and on your ACT.

Scholarships are in huge demand, since the price of college is equivalent to buying a house, and are extremely competitive. You may have the score to get you into a school, but you could be paying full cost and graduating with a debt from student loans.

Taking and retaking the ACT to get the score you want is one of the most important and stressful steps of applying to college. Smith has already taken the test twice, but wants to improve by a few more points before applications are due.

“I have one more test date scheduled as of now,” Smith said.

Some students, like Smith, have their choice college and are only applying there. Smith has already applied, but has not gotten a response yet.

Other students, such as senior John Teske have many options to choose from.

“I’m applying to six colleges,” Teske said. “My number one consideration is location, followed closely by academics.”

Senior Amanda Kerlin also has many places to choose from and apply to.

“So far, I’m applying to four,” Kerlin said. “I look for schools that would look good for my academic background when I apply to med schools in the future.”

While senior year is filled with fun activities and parties with your friends, we all have to realize that college is right around the corner, and needs to be the focus right now.