A guide to the college application process

Maddie Cowan, Staff Writer

With the school year coming to a close, many of the juniors are beginning to plan out their senior year with college applications in mind. It can definitely be stress inducing, but there are ways to manage your time in order to stay on top of the deadlines.

“If you’re applying to a lot of schools, I would definitely say try to start your essays over the summer, at least the common app one. That’ll just help you feel prepared going into the school year, it’s a lot to balance all of that work on top of the college applications and all of your essays,” said Fiona Kahl (‘22).

The UC, Common Application, and Coalition application portals open on August 1st, 2022 for students to begin their applications, and the CSU portal opens on October 1st, 2022. Besides working on essays over the summer, it’s also a good idea to think about internships, volunteer opportunities, and summer courses. 

“If you have time over the summer to take a short 6 week class, I highly recommend it. I did 3 last summer, and they were chill and easy classes but it helped to boost my gpa,” said Kristina Costanzo (‘22). 

The last thing to work on during the summer before senior year is forming a college list. This list should include all of the colleges that you plan on applying to, including some reach schools, target schools, and safety schools. Make sure your list isn’t too extensive though, and keep in mind that you’ll have to write more essays for more applications, which will take up time from your senior year. 

“I would recommend narrowing down your list to less than 20 schools, I’d say 15 is a good number because you still have options if you change your mind, but also it’s not too much,” said Costanzo. 

The best way to narrow down your list is to make sure you’re prioritizing what you’re looking for in a school. Things like location, class sizes, majors offered, clubs, sports, rankings, party scene and campus amenities can play a huge role in the quality of your college experience. 

“Make sure the schools that you’re looking at have a good program for your major of course, and then look into the other factors and other things you like about the school,” said Kahl

Sometimes though it can be hard, especially when you’re unsure of what you want your future to look like (not that you should necessarily know what you want to do with your life at 16 in the first place). If you have time over the summer and your parents are willing to take you, it might be a good idea to try and tour some of the schools you’re considering submitting an application for.