Preparing for college


EagleAir Podcast


BRYNN NELSON: –and Brynn–

KATY WILSON: — reporting for EagleAir. And on today’s episode, we will be in a deep dive with Ms. Horgan on the process of applying for colleges.

BRYNN NELSON: As a freshman just getting into high school, college is always in the back of your mind. You have the anxious feeling of not knowing what you want to do in your life and where you want to go, and it gets worse as you get older and the time for graduation seems to get closer and closer. College counselor Joy Horgan at the Nixa High School has answered your questions and has some tips for you about prepping for college.

JOY HORGAN: In any college, that prep starts your freshman year. Obviously, you want good grades, good attendance. You want to be involved. But to get into college, students should start thinking about applying in August right before their senior year. The Common App usually opens up August 1st, and a lot of students use Common App to apply to colleges. If they don’t use Common App, then they can start applying, typically the 1st of August for other schools.

BRYNN NELSON: College can be really expensive, and one way to help with that is scholarships. My co-anchor Katy Wilson talked to Ms. Horgan more about them.

KATY WILSON: Hi. For a scholarship, how long– how far in advance should you apply? Should you start your freshman year?

JOY HORGAN: There’s not a lot of scholarships available for freshmen. Most of those happen in your senior year, but the sooner you can start applying, the better chance you have at winning a scholarship. A lot of students will miss the deadlines because they start waiting until January or February. Some scholarships have deadlines as early as December 1st. So the sooner you start looking at them and start applying, the better opportunities you have for yourself.

BRYN  NELSON: So we know scholarships are an option but there’s so many out there, and it’s just a lot. How do you know which ones are good to apply for?

JOY HORGAN: I tell students not to – if they don’t meet the requirements for a scholarship, then they shouldn’t waste their time filling out the scholarship. So there’s not really one that I say, oh, you have to apply to this one. It really depends on a student’s personality, their GPA, their involvement, and what they’re involved with. But there isn’t just one specific scholarship that I say. Everybody has to apply for this.

KATY  WILSON: Now that we’ve established that scholarships should be about the student’s personality and that there really is no right one to apply for, when should we start looking to apply?

BRYNN NELSON: Yeah, I’m a freshman and just thinking about it stresses me out. And that four years of preparation just seems like it’s not enough. It almost has me wondering if I should be looking right now.


JOY HORGAN: And if you start in August, then you are not juggling your schoolwork and the added stress of getting your college applications in. Some colleges require essays, so if you start earlier, you just seem to have more time to spend on getting the college requirements finished.

KATY WILSON: I always hear my parents and teachers talking about GPA, but is it really that important?

BRYNN NELSON: Yeah. I always strive for that 4.0 and all A’s, but I don’t know what’s going to happen if I go below that. Is it really that bad?

JOY HORGAN: Just take into consideration-  a lot of them take in consideration your GPA now. A lot of schools have gone test optional, which means you to have an ACT. But the more rare classes, more rigorous classes you can take, a strong GPA of those things all will benefit you as you start to apply for colleges.

KATY WILSON: Just the thought of college can be a lot of stress. Just remember to start early, focus on what you love, and don’t get overwhelmed. Not everyone knows what they want to do right away.

BRYNN NELSON: It’s OK to explore your option  and discover new things. Scholarships are always an option, too. Start early so then you’re ready for the big day our principal announces you can move your cap tassel to the left. This was Katy and Brynn reporting for EagleAir podcast.