By Aranza Carrillo and Emely Martinez
Junior year is a great time to start thinking about college admissions. Instead of stressing about the process during the fall of your senior year, get ahead of the game and start planning now. Here are a couple of things you can do now as a junior in high school that can help your case as a college applicant next year.
Finish Strong: Many counselors will argue junior year grades are the most important in college admissions. When you are applying to colleges in the fall, the second semester of junior year will be the final grades you will report at the time of the application submission. Therefore, it is very important to finish the year strong.
Connect with teachers: Get to know your teachers and let them get to know you on a personal level. Colleges will need recomendation letters and it’s always best to have a letter that can speak highly about a student.
Continue preparing for the SAT and ACT: Some colleges require the SAT or ACT; those test scores will play a role in the college admissions decisions. In adittion, many colleges use your test scores to determine financial aid.
So, not only does a better score give you a boost in admissions, but it can pay off big time in the form of financial aid.
Stay Involved: Get out of your shell and join as many clubs as possible. The more you are involved, whether through clubs, sports or community service, the more competitive you will look on your college application.
Avoid time consuming distractions: It is very easy to lose track of time, therefore it is very important to avoid distractions. Get used to this habit and you will be able to reduce the chance of getting “senioritis” next year.Start planning your summer activities: After all the hard work you’ve achieved this school year, make fun plans with friends or family this summer. Relax and enjoy your break, you deserve it. It’s important to prepare for senior year.
As the final months of this school year approach, more pressure comes down on seniors to decide what they are going to do after high school. Although there are many options, most seniors will be continuing their educational career and will be attending college. Around this time, seniors must accept or reject colleges and universities that they applied to. Deciding on which college to go to is not easy, especially since there are a lot of pros and cons to each of them. Here are some ways to make the decision process easier.
One way to do this is by visiting the campus, sitting in on a class, eating in the cafeteria, and visiting the residence halls. Once you do this, you will be able to formulate an appropriate opinion taking into account positive and negative factors that should be juxtaposed to form your decision. Seeing the campus in person vs online is really different, in person you get a better feeling of the vibes of the campus.
By Minerva Padilla
As many students have been noticing, universities are starting to send out their acceptance or rejection letters, which is a very conflicting time that continues until April. What many students don’t know is where to find out if they have been accepted, which makes them think that they were rejected since they didn’t get an email from the school. This is why your portals are important.
Almost all universities use portals to communicate with applicants about deadlines that they might have, and to notify applicants if they have been accepted or rejected. Many students tend to think that they will be notified via email and are confused when they don’t get one. This is a very common mistake that students have, which will often times make them miss the deadline to SIR( student intent to register) when they were accepted, and end up losing their spot at what could’ve been their dream school or only opportunity to go to university.
If a university uses portals, you will be notified in an email explaining that they have received your application and will provide you your portal login information. This email is often overlooked, leading students to believe they just were never provided a portal.
As universities continue releasing their acceptance or rejections, it’s a good time to go through your emails and find you portal information for each school and actually create them. Check them regularly in case they need certain information from you that have deadlines as well. Those portals should become part of your daily routine when getting on social media so that you don’t miss any information. If you have any trouble with creating your portals, you can always go to the college center to find willing assistance.
By: Ariana Galvez
Along with the joy that an acceptance letter from college brings, comes the rejection, but it isn’t the end of the world. It may seem like there is nothing worse than getting rejected, but it is important to remain positive. A few simple steps I like to follow in the face of bad news are:
- Relax: It’s okay to feel down about the situation, it is heart breaking but, you must move forward. Remember all the other options that are opened to you.
- Look into other options: There is always another way. Being successful isn’t a one way path. Look into other colleges or programs that can help you advance in your future.
- Try new things: You never know what secret talents you can have under your wing. So why not explore them?
By Lesley Huerta
Grades are the most important thing to work on and beginning to set higher standards will prepare you for the upcoming years. Developing work and study habits is a major component to get into a habit of, especially if you plan to take an AP course. Most of all, try to get involved on campus so that your high school experience can be enriching.
Being in the middle always seem like a bad thing, but the one thing that is so great about being a sophomore is that this is the year where you have time to find out who you are. This is the year you can make mistakes that will still work out. However, it doesn’t mean you should be making too many mistakes. Pay close attention to what you love to do. Study for your ACT and SAT, join clubs, and maybe pick up a sport.
A good way to avoid stress during senior year, which should be fun and enjoyable, is to take all of your SAT and ACT tests during your junior year instead of leaving it all for senior year. When senior year comes along, you will only have to be preoccupied with college apps and scholarships. Continue doing well in your current classes because they will be reflected on your college applications. One important thing to also keep in mind is community service; colleges like to see students that stand out with volunteer hours and dedication.
Senior year is almost done, and the thought of “ I need to fix to my grades, I need to get a job….”may be flowing through your head at the moment, but just take a deep breath. As a senior, I had the same exact thought. My mind was overwhelmed with stress and the problems that senior comes with. However, stay organized, prioritize, stay committed, and be updated on deadlines.
By Lesley Huerta
As the time passes by and seniors await on their acceptance letters, the question of how college will be for their first year comes to play. Although the thought of going to college may seem overwhelming, getting an insight from another people’s experience can help you prepare. College students were interviewed to share their first-year experience on the reality of college.
Firstly, what did you expect college was going to be like vs how it is? How do you manage your time with doing assignments but also balancing your personal time?
Angela Mendez, 2018 alumni of SGHS who is now attending Cal Poly SLO, has shared her experience on college. She explains, “I expected college to be extremely hard especially compared to high school. I knew I would have a bit for freedom having to live in my own and become independent. By my experience is a challenge especially because all the people you’re in class with are just as competitive as you. However, college is so much fun. You get to meet so many people from different backgrounds and share your story with them. I manage my time by getting my work done before its due. Although there isn’t much homework assigned in college, I like to get a head start on studying to not leave everything for last minute. Prioritizing your time is crucial in college! It helps you stay organized and on top of it all. It’s good to go out with friends and have fun as a reward for completing your work.”
Selene Poblete, 2018 alumni of SGHS who is now attending Cal Poly Pomona, has some advice of her own to give to this year’s seniors. “When I began my first semester in college I was expecting my professors to be intimidating and the courses to be rigid, to be quite honest I was scared because in high school everyone made it seem that way. However, in my experience it felt like the complete opposite. My professors were kind and passionate about their job and the courses I took were, needless to say, easy. I wasn’t stressed, in fact I was happy. It felt good to be there. How I managed to balance my personal time and school time was simple. I had a planner where I wrote certain tasks for me to complete throughout the way, whether it be upcoming homework or study for an exam. I figured it’s best to dedicate a time and day for something specific rather than try to fit it in somewhere it won’t workout. Additionally, I considered my personal time to be any time I had left to spare to take care of any errands or even catch up with friends if I wanted to. It worked for me, hopefully it works for others too.”
By Minerva Padilla
Everyone knows that going to a university is expensive and could leave you in tremendous debt which is why many times people decide to go to community college. Although community college is less expensive than a state or private university, sometimes the tuition is still too much for some students to pay which is why the LA college promise was made.
The LA college promise is partnered with many organizations, such as LAUSD, and is designated to target graduating seniors to pursue a higher education. It provides one-year tuition to any community college that is part of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACD). This is an amazing opportunity for students who decide to go to a community college because they save the money from their first year’s tuition and can use it for their second year or for any personal needs. Not only does it cover your first year’s tuition, it also provides you with academic counseling and enrollment benefits.
To apply to the LA college promise you must complete an application online at http://lacollegepromise.org/apply.html where you can find out more information and also read pervious students who were awarded the LA promise. If you decide to get assistance from the promise you must also complete FAFSA, the Dream Act application, or the State Fee Waiver application.Each community college has a different priority deadline and if you are considering applying for it you must research the school to know when the deadline ends.
By: Ariana Galvez
Everyone has different fears for college or for their future. Some are afraid of getting lost, others fear that they won’t like it and they are simply wasting their time and their money. For many of us the biggest fear is not enjoying the major we choose, then having to change it and start all over. I asked a few seniors what they were most afraid of for college. Here’s what they said:
“ Some fears I have for college are getting lost, not being able to have a decent relationship with my professors, and not getting into the programs I need in order to succeed” Nicole Salas 12th
“Procrastination, finding a group I can hang out and study with, and the rigor that we are not prepared for here compared to wealthier schools” John Gonzalez 12th
“Mainly, financial needs; being accepted into the college I want but not being able to afford it” Brian Osegeuda 12th
Most of these are easy fix, for example if you are afraid of getting lost, the best fix is to visit these colleges beforehand and take a look around so you can have an idea on where your classes are located. If you are afraid of not having enough money, make sure you apply for as many scholarships as possible. Even if you don’t think your going to get it. It doesn’t hurt to try. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
The SAT, Scholastic Assessment Test, first appeared back in 1926, given to 8,040 students. It first started with giving the students 90 minutes to answer 315 questions. As time changed, so did the test, as it now comes with different sections and time limit. As of recently, the College Board has decided that all juniors across the nation will be taking the SAT on a set date. Just like the PSAT, juniors will be taking the College Board SAT during school hours. The Nationwide SAT will be taken in April of this year.
Taking the SAT is essential to apply to college, especially for juniors. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has implemented the SAT as a required college-readiness test for all juniors. All public high school juniors must take the SAT in order to earn a high school diploma. SAT scores will be shown on the transcript, unless parents request that the score be removed. This has stirred up the conversation, if requiring them to take is a god idea or not.
Taking the SAT multiple times has its pros, as it gives you a chance to get a better score. A major con is that students who have no intention in attending college will be taking it for no reason. However, if they ever have a last minute change, they will need those SAT test scores to back them up. Another reason why the SAT is a good idea, is if you are planning on attending college, a high score would make up for a low GPA.
By: Ariana Galvez
Taking AP exams can get a little scary because you feel as if you are unprepared, but there is so many programs that can help you, such as UCLA AP readiness program. This program offers many different classes that deal with AP classes, ranging from English, Math, History, and even Psychology. They teach you different methods and ways to ensure that you pass the exam. Not only do they aid you in passing the exam, but it also gives you a feel of the college experience. You go into real classes and you get taught by actual professors. From my personal experience I have learned that it is helpful. I went my sophomore, junior year and I plan 9n attending for my senior year. Attending the program not only benefited my scores, along with giving me taste of how vigorous college can be and what to expect in the future. When I went to get assistance on the AP Psychology exam they taught me how to tackle the multiple choice section and what to expect from the free response question. I also learned a few time management skills, so I didn’t waste time. From going I was able to pass my AP Psychology that only has a 21% pass rate. Going year after year not only benefit my education, it also looks great on college application because it demonstrates you want to learn and are willing to go out of your way to gain strength in your subjects.