Seniors Begin the College Application Season


Alex Macias

Yahir Solano (’22) | Photographed by Alex Macias

The class of 2022 have officially begun the college application season. Seniors first learned about the season through an event known as the “college kickoff,” which exposes them to the procedures for applying for financial aid, scholarships, and educational services that will help them on their road to college.

“Our first big step was to do the college kick-off so we could [inform seniors] what the expectations for this year are [and] help [them] start gathering important information and documents,” explained Counselor Erin Patrick.

The application process lasts from October to January next year. Throughout the semester, seniors are to apply to four types of educational institutions. High school counselor Ms. Carrillo explained that Seniors apply to California State Universities (CSUs) in October, University of California institutions (UCs) in November, and private universities through December and early January.

For the University of California institutions, seniors must choose four topics to write about out of the eight proposed by the UC institutions and the Common App. These personal insight essays reflect who a scholar is not only from their resume, grades, and GPA and present who they are as a person and their life through school and eventually into college.

Ms. Patrick added that some seniors are applying for early decision, where students turn in college applications by late November and find out about admission by early January next year. If seniors do choose for early decision and get accepted into their desired college, they have to withdraw their other applications from other educational institutions.

Preuss has dealt with the costly price of colleges by encouraging seniors to apply for student financial aid services such as the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), and the California Dream Act for dreamer students. Seniors are also highly encouraged to apply for as many scholarships as possible.

Senior students learned more about financial aid programs and the college experience through college-related field trips. This year, the class of 2022 visited the San Diego State University campus from October 11th, 2021 to October 12th, 2021, and learned more about the services provided by EOP on their campus.

The college application process has not been easy for some seniors.

Jose De La Torre (‘22) expresses that the college application process is “too much work” and adds that managing work from core classes and applying for colleges is “too much”. De La Torre explained that he will be applying to community colleges because of his low GPA.

University Prep teacher, Ms. Ackerman explained that students with a GPA lower than a 3.0 can still apply to any educational institution because they come from low-income backgrounds and are the first scholars in their families to attend college.

Ms. Ackerman advises that all seniors should “shoot for the highest college [they] want to go to,” and added that “there is no harm in [applying].”