By Naya Singh, communications intern
As everyone knows, high school is a difficult time for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons high school can be so difficult is college. High school is known as the time to find yourself and figure out what one wants to do after school. Does one want to go to college? If so, study what? Does one want to pursue their dreams? Or are they more focused on other things? All of these things factor into the stress and difficulties of high school. The largest of those all is the application process.
Our district allows students to investigate colleges and career paths in multiple different ways before making a set decision. In high school, although it is a requirement, there is a course—Economics and Financial Literacy—that allows students to understand the finances that are to come in life and how the United States’ economic system works. The course has a section dedicated to having students take a skills test and interest test which would put them in a career cluster to allow students to have a better understanding of what they could do in their future. Along with that, it also allows students to investigate different colleges. There is another course, career choices, solely dedicated to letting students look into different careers and, colleges that align with what one might be interested in.
While, yes, our school does a lot to help with the process, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be difficult. Going through filling out an application can be time-consuming and confusing. The way certain things are worded can tend to get one’s mind jumbled up and the specifics it asks for, one doesn’t always know the answer to. Starting out with having parents near you or someone else who has already been through the process, or asking your guidance counselor or teacher questions—these are all things that will make the process less worrisome.
Another thing that our schools have begun to incorporate in the part they play in applying to college is a network called Naviance. Naviance is a website that allows students to have quick access to college and career information and aids them in being well-informed. But, that isn’t all it does. Naviance can connect with a site called Common App which is what many colleges now accept applications through—fill out one application, but send it to as many schools as one wants. Then, it can compile information about an individual and their application process into one profile, including what schools they’ve been accepted, their top choice, which one they enroll to, and more. It also allows students to request and digitally send other information colleges need like their transcript and enables them to request a letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor. Once all of this is done, it allows one to keep track of when the information requested has been sent out and given to different schools. Naviance is a confusing tool, but once one gets the hang of it, and the counselors walk students through how to use it, it becomes a wonderful tool designed to make the process easier.
College is a big deal and getting an application done correctly is something that is key. Even for those that are not planning to go to college, using a process similar to this to fill out an application for any job is beneficial. Our school has approached the headache of deciding a future in a manner that is helpful and beneficial to making the situation and decisions less cumbersome.