Counselors hold college application workshops for students


Kevin Zhu

Students and parents seek some much-needed help in the tedious application process through college application workshops.

Kevin Zhu, Senior Staff Writer

Amador’s counselors held a workshop on Wednesday for students struggling with the college-application process. Since October is prime time for finalizing college applications, various students and parents sought help on filling out their applications successfully. 

Since each person’s application uniquely differs by their transcripts, achievements, and interests, the workshop did not intend to be a paint-by-numbers guide on creating a flawless application. 

“There’s no formula … that’s something that I get asked often. It differs for everybody”, said Audrey Zarrinkhat, the college counselor for students with last names Q-S. 

Instead, the counselors hoped to provide personalized guidance to help students showcase their potential to colleges. That’s why the workshop lasted for almost two hours, with many people popping in to patch up holes in their applications or ask specific questions.

”I didn’t stay for the whole time. I was just there to see what I need and [I thought] ‘if I get it, I’m happy,’” said Paul Maasrani (‘22)

The counselors will hold the next follow-up workshop on November 8, Monday.

This year’s students face several new issues that previous applicants never had to deal with. The return to school amidst the pandemic has created large quarantine-marked blots on many seniors’ transcripts and histories, leading many universities to adjust their policies.

“[College applications are] probably about the same, but there’s a lot more unknowns and a little bit more stress because of those unknowns”, said Zarrinkhat.

For example, CSUs previously required submission of SATs and ACT scores, which were heavily judged.  After reforms launched during the pandemic, the colleges declared themselves test-blind for an indefinite period of time.

“A huge part of the CSU application was the SAT and ACT scores, and that being scrapped has shaken up that process quite a bit. On the other hand, it can be good because a lot of that stress for those tests are now gone”, said Zarrinkhat

Parents also harbor high hopes for their children, and UC and CSU applications are the prime hotspot of attention for many of them. However, they also understand that safety schools are a great choice as well.

“It’s great to set your goals high but some people don’t get their first choice in everything. Opportunities were given to them that they couldn’t have gotten otherwise. There’s more to life than GPA and APs,” said Sharolyn Borris, mother of a senior. 

Effort and an applicant’s circumstances are some of the most important qualities for college applications and a strong future. The counselors believe that it’s not all about how many APs or what level of math one takes, but what type of person one is.

“Follow your own process. It’s okay to look outside the box, [because] there’s a college for everybody. It’s important to tailor it to your own process, and we have tools for that”, said Zarrinkat. The next and last in person night for help with college applications is November 8th, 5-7:30 pm. For more information, visit the college subpage at the AVHS Counseling website.