COVID-19 affects applications to colleges

Senior Pedro Manon is a finalist for the Questbridge Scholarship and plans to attend a four-year college after graduation. Manon has applied to several universities such as Princeton, Yale, Brown University, and many more. If accepted through the Questbridge Scholarship, Manon will have the opportunity to attend college on a full-ride.

“I am a finalist however that doesn’t mean that the colleges will accept me,” Manon said. “If none of them choose to accept me, I don’t go for free, so I’m still applying to other scholarships just to ensure that I’ve got money to pay for college.”

Senior Connor Gwin is in the midst of his college application process. Gwin is taking advantage of the variety of different scholarship opportunities available to them in hopes of being able to afford college. He has already applied to the University of Denver and the University of Nevada with plans of having a career in business. 

“These colleges have pretty good business programs and I feel like if I go to college I’m probably going to go for business to be able to sell cars better,” Gwin said. “I work at a used car lot and I’m pretty infatuated with that and I figured if I can maybe one day open my own, that would be fun for me.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges are running their application processes differently than years past. With restrictions such as no large gatherings and social distancing, campuses this year are unable to conduct events that may help students in enrolling for college.  

“It just sucks because you can’t really tour campuses or do anything like that,” Gwin said. “Although, it has opened up the world of 3D touring and doing things through the computer which is convenient, but sometimes it’s nice to have a hands-on experience.” 

School counselors are encouraging students with college questions to schedule a meeting with them. Information on colleges and scholarships can also be found on the counseling center website. Senior Cecilia Martinez plans on receiving a degree in nursing. After several years of standing alongside her passed mother through her cancer journey, Martinez hopes to one day be able to serve others as they once did for her mother. 

“I want to get a degree in nursing, but first I might do a CNA program just to get a feel for what it’s like and then go back and be an RN,” Martinez said. “The counselors checking in and sending emails has really helped me stay on track in regards to applications.”

With each college requiring different forms for their application process, students must find available resources to help them. Senior Cooper Tisevich is in the course of applying for both colleges and scholarships. Tisevich is currently in the National Guard and wants to continue his education at the University of Arkansas to get a degree in engineering. 

“Figuring out how to actually apply to colleges has been challenging,” Tisevich said. “Luckily my advisory teacher has been very helpful and has been helping me with the whole process.”

Since sophomore year, students have been familiarized with Naviance, an online tool to help students with college planning. Naviance, as well as the Common App, have been essential for some seniors to complete their college application process. 

“I would recommend that in the future people start applying earlier than they think is necessary or at least prepare for it because it can sneak up on you especially once school starts because you get a lot of work and you might forget,” Manon said. “I would also look into more scholarships because you’re probably eligible for more scholarships than you think you are.”