BMHS PrideTime Reporter
The college process can be both tiring and stressful, as it should be. Between lengthy applications, standardized testing, and financial aid, the typical high school senior is overwhelmed this time of year. However, it can be significantly easier when the right resources are utilized. Here are seven steps you can take right here at McMahon to make the process a little easier:
1. Talk To Your Counselor
Regular visits with your counselor can be very beneficial for both you and your counselor. By clearly communicating what you need done and when you need to do it by, your counselor is able to plan ahead and make sure you’re staying on track. The automatically-scheduled senior visit isn’t necessarily enough; you should schedule follow up visits after that.
2. Visit the Future Project
The Future Project is a fairly new program offered at McMahon. It can be especially useful for students who don’t know exactly what they want to study in college. The Future Project tries to help students identify their interests, which can lead to an understanding as to what you might want to major in and career choices. This is done through fun, mind-stimulating tasks rather than boring questionnaires. Check them out in the old ISS room.
4. Use Naviance & College Board!
Students are required to set up accounts on both Naviance and College Board. Naviance is a portal each student has had access to since middle school and it serves as a platform for students to make transition from student to applicant. This is where you get your recommendations from teachers and guidance counselors. College board is another portal; where students can keep track of their SAT scores and colleges they’re interested in. These can be two of your most useful resources in the application process. They’re very useful in discovering or finding out about colleges that are a good fit for you specifically. They also give you two central hubs to quickly access information necessary for you to apply.
5. Ask Your Teacher's for Recommendations Early!
Many schools require one or more teacher letters of recommendation, and it’s important to give the teacher enough time to write it for you. After all, teachers often have multiple students they’re writing letters for. Typically, you should ask your teachers three weeks in advance. The best letters of rec. are the ones that come from full year classes with a teacher that you bonded with. You should also remind the teachers of things you did in the class that made you stand out. It’ll help them to develop a strong letter for you.
7. If You’re Not a Legal Citizen, Seems. Kimmich or Mr. Castelluzzo for Application Tips
Undocumented students often run into trouble during the college process. They aren’t eligible for government funded financial aid, so they’re forced to either pay out of pocket or apply for privately owned scholarships- anything from a local business to a non profit organization. While it may seem like getting to college is impossible, please know it’s not. There are various programs out there that intend to help undocumented students apply to college. To learn more about these programs, don’t hesitate to visit Ms. Kimmich or Mr. Castelluzzo in the guidance office.