The Pressures on for Seniors


It is that time of the year when seniors have to start making crucial decisions. The big decision: what to do after high school?  For those who are going to college the application window for the CSU system opened on Oct 1 and the UC window starts accepting applications on Nov 1.  It’s a big decision for a senior to decide if they want to go to a CSU or UC.
Both colleges admission process has to be filled out online with the student’s personal information, A-G courses, SAT scores and other miscellaneous information. The major difference between the two is that the UC system has personal insight questions that have to be completed by the student. In order to make sure that you get into the college of your dreams colleges review your transcripts to ensure A-G and verify the student GPA. As a senior make sure to check the school requirements to make sure you meet the GPA minimum for that campus. If the campus of your choice is impacted Sal Garcia, Head Counselor, states, “The colleges typically provide information to incoming students about the program’s entrance requirements on their website.”
When applying to colleges Garcia states that seniors need to be aware of which colleges offer their major they are interested in and if they have higher standards for that major or for students who live outside the local admission area.  He adds, “Because of the number of students who apply, several campuses have higher standards (supplementary admission criteria) for applicants.” Garcia stated that students should not apply to more than five to eight colleges because in some cases, “Applying to too many colleges can make the final choice quite difficult.” He adds that he encourages seniors to visit the campuses that they are interested in to see and feel the environment when classes are in session. “A visit during the weekend will allow you to see the place and the building but not the student atmosphere,” added Garcia.
Ridgeview High school counselors are here to help seniors who need the extra help during this stressful time. The counselors will be available in the library with a CSU representative on Oct 23 and Nov 20 for those students who signed up. For those wanting to apply to Bakersfield College the date for the workshop will be Nov 13. For those who are interested in private colleges check your email and google classroom as dates will be posted.
Many seniors have started to make the decision on where to go and others are waiting to see about sports offers to come in. Alex Cuevas, cross country runner states, “That I am still receiving letters.” He has received offers from schools such as Yale, Army, and West Point. He wants to apply to Cal Poly- SLO, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Portland. His number one and two schools at this point are the University of Portland which he is still talking to the coach and UCLA. Cuevas is the number one runner right now for the team. Another senior Victor Andrade, states that he is looking at applying to Cal State Pomona, Cal Poly- SLO, CSUB and UC Irvine. Andrade adds, “I am still looking at colleges that have good engineering programs.”
Another deadline that will start to approach is the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the start date to fill out the application opened Oct 1.  If your FAFSA qualifies you for federal grants, loans or work-study programs, that money is disbursed directly to your school. With grants or loans, your school will apply that money toward your tuition, fees and (if you live on campus) room and board. Ridgeview High is having a workshop to help seniors and their parents with the FAFSA application process. Those dates are Oct 23 from five to eight in the evening and on Jan 29.
With all these dates to keep in mind seniors will start to feel the crunch of deadlines and the stress. Andrade adds, “Yes it is stressful because it is time consuming and if you make a mistake you have to redo the application.”