Helpful information for college applications


Image courtesy of Hector Gomez

The California Scholarship Federation (CSF) is a club that seeks to help students apply for scholarships while earning community services points.

Mauricio Herrera Cruz, Staff Writer

Following chaotic school years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and online school, the Class of 2023 is finally experiencing its first normal year of high school this fall. As many seniors prepare for the next chapter in their lives, many are lost and do not know how to apply or create the best possible application that will appeal to colleges. At Segerstrom High School, the administration provides many resources to help students in their journey to college that are available in the Higher Education Center and library, which will be shifting their hours in October and November to accommodate and assist students in their application process. 

Unbeknownst to many seniors, many colleges and universities have begun their application processes, such as the Universities of California and Common Applications. With many other applications opening as soon as October, high school seniors should be on the lookout for deadlines, as doing this can ensure as much time as possible to work on strengthening applications and essays. 

“It’s important for our students here at Segerstrom to start early, as many UCs and private schools have different requirements when applying. Depending on the school, students may have to write one to four essays along with supplemental questions. Students should give themselves a month minimum to draft their essay for revisions and give themselves plenty of time, as these essays are not something you should be doing the night before,” said Mrs. Huezo, the Higher Education Center coordinator. 

With the essays being such a crucial aspect of these applications to make students stand out to colleges, some additional tips given by Mrs. Huezo included being genuine on college essays and taking time to reflect on the student as the subject. 

“When applying to colleges, the essays should be centered around the student, as colleges are looking to see how you faced and overcame challenges in your life. They want to see how are you resilient, and the best way to show this is through examples from your life that you have experienced. Make sure the subject of the essay is you, as many students often deviate and make it about other people in their lives when colleges want to see what you, not your family, have to offer,” she advised.  

Further recommendations for college applications included revisions, such as double-checking essays by asking English teachers or Simon Scholars advisors.

“The Higher Education Center will be changing its hours in October and November to help out senior Jags, staying open from fifth and sixth period to around six o’clock. Students should come and talk with the staff here at the Higher Education Center and take advantage of all the resources available to them. These are multiple great opportunities we offer that can help our Jags reach higher,” mentioned Mr. Huezo in an interview Wednesday. 

As the school year continues, students should have their personal information handy for applications, the most crucial being their legal name, real address, personal email, social security, and taxes. It is important to make sure all the data is accurate to ensure that no issues arise further into the application process. Important deadlines to keep in mind include UCs and private school applications, which are due November 30th. CSUs, community colleges, and financial aid open on October 1st. Students who need help with their financial aid applications can attend the Financial Aid Meet on Saturday, October 8th from 9 to 11:30 AM. Mrs. Huezo gave some important advice and warnings to all soon-to-be graduating seniors.

“We know this is a very stressful time for our seniors in their path to college, so they should make sure to turn in their applications when they have reviewed everything to make sure it is one hundred percent accurate and as strong as possible. However, it’s equally important to keep your grades up this year to make sure you graduate high school as strong and successful as possible.”