The year to come
Senior Cilicia Anderson gives her insight on the road to her future including college applications, scholarships, and the feeling of acceptance.
March 19, 2018
Dear Class of 2019,
From the outside looking in, senior year seemed like it was going to be the best year of high school. Having only two credits left to satisfy, I was looking forward to having a schedule of just electives, focusing on my extracurricular activities and enjoying my final year of adolescence.
When the reality hit that there was so much more to be done to prepare myself for college, I was surprised at how lengthy, costly, and time consuming the college application process really was.
I was fortunate enough to apply to 13 colleges using fee waivers, and although this is something I am thankful for, I was still worried about financial expenses. According to Forbes, students are scared of applying to too few colleges with fear they won’t get in anywhere, whereas those who plan to apply to many, like me, are worried about the expensive and overwhelming process.
There is a lot to do while applying to schools; setting up your Naviance, Common Application and Coalition accounts, sending test scores and transcripts, and keeping track of all the important deadlines.
Another thing I wasn’t aware of was the amount of money it costs to just apply to schools. The cost of applications for competitive schools can run from $50 to $75. Additionally, it’s $12 per school to send test scores, plus the cost to secure your spot and your housing application fee.
According to Marketplace.org, it can cost thousands of dollars just to apply to college, something that I wasn’t aware of until reviewing my recent transactions.
It is important that students preparing for college make sure they create a plan to satisfy the costs necessary to apply to the colleges of their choice. In my case, I was fortunate enough to be sent fee waivers from colleges through my email, which I advise every senior to check regularly. I was also on the lookout for both school and independent scholarship opportunities to cut down on some of the costs.
After all the chaos of completing applications, writing essays, reaching out to coaches and sending all appropriate paperwork, it was time to play the waiting game. I submitted all of my applications in November and, since I mostly applied for summer terms, I received some of my responses within the next couple of months as well as my merit scholarships.
It is such an exciting feeling getting the package in the mail saying “Congratulations! You’re in!” For all the years of work you have been putting in, you finally have something to show for; it makes waking up at five in the morning worth it.
The process was nerve-racking and there was always a worry that I was forgetting something important. However, the acceptance letters I have gotten so far are reassuring because it lets me know that I did what I was supposed to do all this time and the parties and events I missed out on were for good reason.
Remember, the better your grades, the less money you’ll spend when the time comes to pay for college fees.
College isn’t for everyone. And if it’s for you, take this as my fair warning for the work and success to come. I speak from personal experience when I say that as long as you create a plan and are in constant communications with your guidance counselors, there is nothing to worry about.
Cici is a senior and sports editor of the newspaper. She is also the communications secretary for student government and is a member of the track team.