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College Corner: Navigate college applications

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[/media-credit] FC academic advisor Michelle Warkentin encourages seniors to get started on their college applications.

Application deadlines approaching

Tis the season for college applications! With just weeks away from the holiday season, seniors are knee deep in applications and college essays. And quickly approaching are the final exams wrapping up the first semester of senior year.

Having gone through the process, let’s just round down to a decade ago, I understand the stresses of senior students during this time of year!

I would like to think most seniors are ahead of the game, but as you can probably guess, many students wait until November to begin their applications. If you are a senior student in this boat, it is not too late; however, it is time to navigate college applications!

The first piece of advice in this College Corner, I encourage students to meet with your high school counselor. Map out a plan for which colleges you will be applying to and create a to do list by due date working your way from the earliest deadline down.

According to Alejandra Medina, a Fresno State Ambassador, it is important that students don’t wait until the last minute to fill out the application.

“The application process can be a very stressful one,” Medina said. “Over communication with the counselors is key. Don’t be afraid to ask for help–that’s what they are there for.”

Ambassadors such as Medina are on high school campuses weekly to help students with the application process from start to finish.

I would like to think most seniors are ahead of the game, but as you can probably guess, many students wait until November to begin their applications. If you are a senior student in this boat, it is not too late; however, it is time to navigate college applications! –Michelle Warkentin

“It can be difficult for high school students to find time for all of the applications with their already busy schedules so it is important to create a to do list,” Medina continued. “That way they can take each day at a time. This gives them a visual reminder about what is coming up next.”

According to CollegeBoard Big Future, it is important to stay organized. CollegeBoard urges students to create a real and a virtual folder for storing documents, then to print a checklist to track their progress on the applications. It is also helpful to gather the necessary documents before trying to complete the application.

Although it is easy to become overwhelmed throughout this time, it is important to stay level headed. As with anything in life waiting until the last minute can lead to critical mistakes. Medina went on to talk about the most common mistakes she sees on Fresno State University applications.

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[/media-credit] To make an appointment with Warkentin, visit the upstairs academic office in Building 6.

“Students often rush through the adjusted income section and add an extra zero to their parents income,” Medina said. “A mistake like this could be the difference between receiving a tuition fee waiver or not. Sometimes students get confused about the permanent residency question and answer that their parent is not a permanent resident because they were not born here.”

These mistakes and others can be easily prevented by slowing down and taking time to complete the application. It is important to check and recheck the form before submitting it. It can also be helpful to have someone such as a parent or guardian review it looking for potential mistakes.

And lastly, don’t wait until the last day to submit the application. In many cases, university websites are so overloaded during the last few days prior to the deadline that they shut down. And as stated earlier, please, please, please, do not hesitate to contact your counselors: Reggie Williams or myself.

Happy applying!

For the last edition of College Corner read, College Corner: New FAFSA application processing available, Oct. 1.

For another article read, Column: Thankfulness is a choice.

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