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PINCKNEY: Start your college, scholarship applications early

College and universities are changing their application process due to COVID-19. As a senior at Renaissance High School, I can attest to how challenging this process has been. I think it’s important to share some advice with the class of 2022 about the application process. Here are tips that’ll help you prepare for college, whether you're virtual or in person.

1. Apply early

Senioritis is that feeling 12th graders get during their last year of high school and trust me, it’s very real. I suggest that you apply for colleges and universities while you have the motivation to do the work. Renaissance gives a nice workload and adding that to the time it takes to fill out college apps can be stressful. Protect your mental health and apply for school early. 

2. Apply for every scholarship

Scholarships come from everywhere. Not only do colleges offer them, but a ton of organizations do as well. You might think a $15,000 scholarship is a lot, but according to US News the average cost of a public, out-of-state college or university is $21,184. You will also have to purchase books, a meal plan and parking, if you commute. Make sure you meet the criteria to get that extra money.

3. Research everything

One thing that is misleading is the cost of tuition, and colleges put that info in the fine print when you’re applying. Make sure you are familiar with how much your college education is going to cost. Also, check if the school had any previous incidents that shed a bad light on the institution, because they won't volunteer that information. This can help decide whether you want to apply or not.

4. Attend webinars

The global pandemic forced us to stay in this year. Colleges are holding webinars and Zoom meetings to talk more about the school. They might be boring, but you should attend them. This will show schools that you are serious about your education and it puts you on their radar. Webinars can also get you easy scholarship money, so sign up for a few.

To ensure you have a stress-free senior year, get the college application process out the way first, then have fun. Getting everything done early is a great feeling. 


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