Students plan for college in variety of ways

February 6, 2023

Students prepare for their future endeavors after college in various ways

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College visits allow for students to have idea on what university they want to attend

By Submitted photo

Smiling for the photo, junior Ashley Makalous and her mom Stephanie Makalous pose for a selfie at Luther University while on a college tour.

College visits allow for students to have idea on what university they want to attend

A junior takes advantage of junior days in order to visit many different schools

A good way for students to prepare for college is by visiting the colleges that interest them. Junior Ashley Makalous has been taking advantage of this opportunity of visiting various universities.

“Currently, I have been on seven college tours and nine college visits where I have just been observing,” Ashley said. “So far, I have visited Luther College twice, Wartburg College, Simson College, Drake University, Valparaiso University, Creighton University, New York University and I will be visiting Butler University in the spring.”

Additionally, Ashley’s dad, Kevin Makalous, feels that going on all these college tours has influenced where Ashley would want to go to college.

While visiting Drake University, junior Ashley Makalous poses for a picture while on a college tour. (By Submitted photo)

“I had originally thought Ashley would find a small to medium size private liberal arts school in Iowa to attend. She looked at Wartburg, Luther and Simpson and we quickly realized they were too small for her to feel comfortable attending,” Kevin said. “She then started looking at more medium sized schools in major metropolitan areas and quickly felt much more connected with the community the school was located in.” 

Ashley believed that these college visits have helped her prepare for her future.

“Visiting so many colleges I know that when I pick my school it will be my place, where I belong, and where I fit in,” Ashley said. “I’m looking for where I can see a future for myself on visits and I want to go to a college that will allow me and teach me to have a great future. 

Similarly to Ashley, Kevin also thinks that going on tours will help her decide where she will attend college.

“I think visiting several schools has allowed Ashley to have a better sense of perspective of what she’s working hard towards while still in high school,” Kevin said. “She knows the goal is to attend a great private liberal arts college. Now she can visualize that when times aren’t always easy studying for finals in high school.” 

Overall, Ashley is thankful to her parents for taking her on these tours.

“My parents have been more than what I could wish for, they are so supportive in the visits and I know they will support me in whatever college decision I make,” Ashley said. “My parents observe things that I don’t notice in the moment, I would not be able to do this without them.” 

Standardized testing plays an important role in several student’s college decisions

By Casey Cunningham

Science teacher Chad Brown helps junior Shelby Kindt on her science ACT practice sheet.

Standardized testing plays an important role in several student’s college decisions

Two students describe how they prepare for the ACT and SAT in order to get high enough scores to get them into their desired schools

Around their junior and senior years, students start preparing for standardized tests in order to prepare for college. These preparations include taking practice tests, hiring tutors or attending ACT guidance classes. Junior Abby Warren explained why she chose to take an ACT Prep class offered at school. 

“I chose to take the ACT Prep class because my mom thought it was a good idea for me to take it, but I also knew that I needed to start preparing for college soon,” Warren said. “I also wanted to improve my ACT score from what it previously was.”  

Additionally, Warren described what the class has taught her about the upcoming ACT she will be taking in February.

Junior Kyla Newton works on her practice test for the ACT. (By Casey Cunningham)

“The class has taught me some helpful tips and tricks for picking out answers and has retaught me some stuff that I forgot that could also be on the test,” Warren said. “I plan on taking the free ACT offered at school in February, but I’m also going to take it again in April. So that I have two chances to do well on the test.”

Depending on the college, some universities favor SAT scores over ACT scores. After moving to Kansas from California, senior Abhi Raut described the preparations she took before taking the ACT after being prepared to take the SAT. 

“Living in California prior to moving here I had zero knowledge of the ACT and was solely somewhat prepared for the SAT. December of junior year, I decided to take both of them before I did any prep just to see where I was,” Raut said. “I took the ACT for the second time in March and prepared by attending as many seminars as I could and taking several practice tests to understand the wording.”

Typically after taking the ACT or SAT, students must start preparing their applications for college. Raut described her application process to the following schools of: The University of Kansas, Syracuse, Boston University and the University of Pennsylvania

“I applied to three out of four schools through the common app and did Kansas’s separately. I finished my personal application first, then created a folder for the multitude of short answers I had to write,” Raut said. “I also made sure to leave at least a couple of days between completion date and deadline date to look at my writing with fresh eyes.”

Warren hopes that these preparations will help her accomplish what she plans to do after high school. 

“I plan on either going to an in-state college or staying within the midwest if I choose to go out of state,” Warren said. “I want to study Forensic Psychology, and I hope that by taking these ACT Prep classes that I’ll be able to get into a good program or get enough merit based scholarships in the future.” 

Overall, Raut expressed the importance of preparing for standardized tests, and states her excitement for the next chapter of her life. 

“Preparing for the ACT or SAT may seem tedious and boring, but it really is so important to do so properly in order to better prepare yourself for the future,” Raut said. “Had I not prepared properly for either of those exams, I would not have felt as confident applying to schools I chose.”

Sports scholarships help student athletes to figure out where they want to go for college

By Casey Cunningham

Sports scholarships help student athletes to figure out where they want to go for college

A sophomore with ten offers shares his experiences of preparing for college due to offers

Like many other student athletes, being offered sports scholarships can be a great way for them to prepare for college. Sophomore Jayden Woods has been able to prepare for college by being offered scholarships for football. 

Currently, Woods has received ten offers total, the offers being from Mississippi State University, University of Southern California, Oregon University, Purdue University, Illinois University, University of Iowa, Baylor University, Kansas State University, Iowa State University, Bethel College and the University of Kansas. Woods described his feelings towards his future of playing sports while in college.

“Playing football in college has always been my goal since I was young,” Woods said. “I am glad for all of these scholarships because it means that my goal will be completed.”

Woods’s head football coach Joel Applebee described how the coaching staff helps players.

With his arms out, sophomore Jayden Woods goes to push back his opponent. (By Casey Cunningham)

“It’s a positive thing to have options for where you want to go in the future,” Applebee said. “Ultimately, we work with our players and families to find the best fit for academics, athletics and the community in which they will spend the next four to five years.”

Additionally, Woods is thankful for the people who have been helping him navigate all of his offers.

“The people who have been helping me with all the offers I have received have been my coaches and my family,” Woods said. “They have helped me by guiding me through the process and the recruitment process and by helping me keep an open mind about where I might want to play in the future.”

Additionally, Applebee explained how the coaching staff helps the players plan out their future.

“We have done what we do for all of our athletes, we promote them to schools through social media, emails and word of mouth,” Applebee said. “Our staff offers advice of our own personal experiences or of experiences of former players. We help them with ways of narrowing their list of schools by using a variety of decision making skills.”

Overall, Woods described how receiving all of these offers has helped him prepare for his future. 

“All of these offers have been helping me prepare for college because without them, I would probably not be thinking about college yet,” Woods said. “It has brought the idea of college into my family and my own mind”

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