Seniors Wrap Up College Planning


Collegedale Academy seniors have devoted a large amount of time—for some, starting from their freshman year—planning for their education after high school. Many have taken their last standardized tests, written out their college applications, and are considering their financial aid options.
This year’s senior class has shown more of an interest in a variety of colleges than other classes in recent years.
“I applied to 10 schools in total,” says Connor Strawn. “Thankfully, the only expense to me so far is the seventy dollars I spent in sending my scores to the colleges of my choice because, since I’m a QuestBridge finalist, the organization allows me to apply to a lot of schools for free.”
For students hoping to attend schools that use the holistic approach in making admissions decisions, the Common Application website has been a part of their application process; unfortunately, the website has had many technical difficulties due to a significant increase in students using the site this year.
“I’ve applied to the majority of the colleges I desire to attend,” Alissa Coleman says, “but I feel like the process could have been smoother because the Common App site messed up a few of my applications. Luckily, I’ve cleared up those problems to the best of my ability.”
Even without technical difficulties, the college application process still presents students with challenges that come in the form of difficult essay questions and perplexing writing supplements. “I hated doing college applications, but my dad’s guidance helped to ease the process,” says Jill Klinvex. “He knew how to help me, what websites to go, because he had gone through the process just last year with my older brother.”
As for deciding where to apply, one key factor for seniors is the distance each college is from home.
“I’ll be going to Southern in the fall,” Olivia Londis says. “I applied to one other school, but I’m excited about my decision. Southern’s close to my family and friends; it has a positive, Adventist environment and a solid pre-med program.”
Kristi Wilson says, “When I started my application process, I didn’t know where I wanted to go. Right now, I’m planning on UTC. It’s not set in stone, but it’s good school, close to home.”
Of course, with the average student loan debt in America looming around $29, 400, the cost of higher education is definitely another element for students to consider when they choose where to attend. Jim Fine, who is planning on starting his college career at Chattanooga State Community College, says, “I don’t want to be instantly in debt. At Chatt State, I can pay each semester with cash and get my generals out of the way. I’ll probably transfer to UTC for its personal training or physical therapy program, or, for Adventist schools, I’d go to Andrews.
All of this year’s senior class’s efforts and deliberation in their college application process has already started to pay off. “I have an acceptance from my first-choice school,” says Jill Klinvex, and it’s worth noting that Babson College has an acceptance rate of 34%.