College Readiness

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A picture of Sylvea Koolhof in the guidance office reading the college guide and workbook book to look for more scholarships that she can apply to. Photo Taken By: Andrea Abney

Andrea Abney, Writer

For the whole school year, seniors have been working on choosing the college that has the best programs of their major. That may be the easiest part of the process, but there are many more things to come such as looking for scholarships, completing FASFA, taking the SAT and ACT, do they want to go to a school that’s public or private, how large do they want the classes that they apply for to be and more.
In Virginia there are seventeen public universities and twenty-six private colleges. Universities tend to be cheaper than colleges most of the time. The prices for universities usually range from $20,000 to $40,000 while the prices for college are from $20,000 to $60,000. SAT and ACT scores for both universities and colleges can range from 700 and can even go up to 1400. Early decision deadlines can be as early as November of the year before you graduate. Regular decision deadline is usually around the beginning of March. There are also many financial aid programs such as the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant Program, Workforce Credential Grant, Soil Science Program and Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership.
A student said “The counselors made us go on Naviance and click on many scholarship links and made us apply for almost all of them. We had to write essays, letters of recommendation and have various qualifications to get awarded the scholarship. It was very stressful because they were on your back every day about staying up to date with college related stuff.”
One of the guidance counselors said “When I was in high school I didn’t have any guidance at all, No one at my school told me anything about applying to college financial aid nor college. Due to that reason I try my best to help the students succeed into getting their college of their choice and helping them with college related stuff. I feel that work that I have done with the students at Spotsylvania High has helped greatly, but I was not that hard on students to get their FASFA nor scholarships done because we have a career coach here who is more helpful when it comes to getting ready for college. I also feel that Naviance make looking up scholarships and colleges easier for kids to access. In the past, every Monday on the announcements the guidance department would advertise something called “The Scholarship Lab”. Any child could sign up and receive help with anything dealing with Naviance.

Once you break down all of the aspects of  what you need to do to get into the college of your choice, you’ll have a better grasp on how important it is to do your research, meet deadlines on time, fill out scholarships, fill out FASFA and more. At first it can be very stressful and difficult to balance the time you have to get all of those things done, but at the end it will all pay off.