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Planning to Apply to College? Get Started Early.

By Guy Gong
Staff Writer | The Pacific Times

For students who plan to apply to colleges and universities, don’t wait to get started is the advice from this year’s seniors and NP3 counselors.

Applying for college can be a stressful time for students, according to NP3 counselor Kelly Clancey.

“They’re really stressed out, they don’t know what the application is gonna be like, not knowing if they’re gonna get accepted to a good college,” said Clancey.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, according to Clancey. There are thousands of different colleges in the U.S, and counselors are available to help students during the application process.

NP3 is not offering a summer SAT workshop as it has in the past because application requirements for several colleges and universities, such as the UCs, have changed. (Clancey noted these workshops will likely return in 2023.) There are still resources during the summer, however.

“In the summer, counselors hold workshops to help students start their applications, depending on what colleges they decide to apply to,” said Clancey.

Clancey said the counselors and advisory teachers partner with students and families to help prepare students for college-level academics. This includes choosing high school classes to meet the eligibility criteria for four-year colleges. Counselors also help students improve their grades.

“We assist in coordinating summer school and other credit recovery resources so students can get back on track for college admissions and graduation if needed,” explained Clancey. “Every year we review every student’s transcript, provide course scheduling guidance to support student and family postsecondary goals.”

Students decide which colleges to apply to for several reasons.

Senior Christopher Loupeda said that “diversity was a big part of my decision.”

“Different colleges also offer different majors, so it is important to consider colleges for their major as well,” Loupeda added.

Colleges want to get to know the applicants, that’s where application essays come in.

“For the UCs you had to write four short essays, choosing from eight prompts,” said senior Kristen Chung. “The essays are mostly about you, your interests, what you’re passionate about, examples of you being a leader, your talents, and just mostly personal questions.”

Seniors and counselors recommend participating in extracurriculars if students are interested in continuing on to college.

“Many more colleges are looking at students more holistically,” Clancey said. “It’s not just about doing well, it’s about being an active member of the community and doing community service.”

Taking the time to research colleges and universities is also important.

“I had no idea what the UCs were but now I (kind of) have a good understanding through research and talking to other people who went through the same process,” said Chung.

Starting the application process early is recommended.

“Explore. Get on college board and start using their big futures app to look at colleges that fit what they’re looking for in a college,” said Clancey. “And then, as much as possible, look at their website, look at their classes, and tour their campus.

“If your family goes on a trip somewhere, ask to drive by any local colleges,” she added. “There are many different colleges that a student would thrive at.”

This year NP3 High has hosted college representatives from UC Davis, CSU Sacramento, The University of Nevada at Reno and the University of the Redlands. CSU and UC reps met with students virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. Most colleges are now participating in virtual college fairs to meet with prospective students and parents. NP3 counselors have shared this information and links through email, the Captain’s Log and in advisory classrooms. Information and links to register for virtual colleges fairs will included when Academic Advising videos are sent out later this month.

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