Resources for seniors applying to colleges

Andrea Castro, Staff Writer

Seniors have survived the college application process and are now breathing a sigh of relief — until their acceptance or rejection letters arrive.  Now after months of filling out application packets, there are still scholarships and jobs to apply for and financial aid packets to fill out.

The College and Career Center is located close to the library and presentation room, and it is there that students will be able to find useful information on how to handle the last year of high school.  Students are provided with a “Bear Creek High School College Guide” that breaks down each step of the process.  This college guide which is updated every year, lists deadlines for what needs to be done during senior year, deadlines, and a college planning guide; it also explains how to apply to college, gives a list of admissions offices and information numbers and tips for completing scholarship application forms.

“Ms. Hobart has helped me by letting me know about the scholarships, grants, university presentations, and application due dates,” senior Chi Thao said.  “She also tells me what choices I have for the career I am going to and which seems more beneficial.”

Along with the college guide, students can pick up a packet on how to write a personal essay that provides information on what colleges are looking for and how to get started, such as reading through all the questions, taking time to reflect, narrowing the topic and reading samples.

Seniors can also pick up a paper with a list of useful websites that can help with career planning, preparing students for the college experience, finding the salary potential of future jobs and further research on college majors.  This sheet also provides free online resources for test preparations for the PSAT, SAT, ACT and ASVAB.

If students are worried about the costs of college then they can pick up “Per Year Estimated College Costs” that breaks down the cost of registration fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses.  It also has a section titled “College Student Financial Aid Programs for Undergraduates.”

Multiple college representatives also come and give presentations with college information for specific universities.  Between August 31 and September 25, Bear Creek held at least 20 college presentations.  Representatives from CSU Chico, CSU Fresno, Westmont College, Maryville University, UC San Diego, and other schools have visited Bear Creek campus to inform students about their programs and requirements.

A UC Info and Application Workshop was held on September 30, and a CSU Info and Application Workshop was held on October 1. There is also an upcoming Financial Aid Information NIght being held on December 9 in the theatre.  These workshops have been helpful to seniors during the tedious application process.

Students can also make an appointment with their counselor for additional help.

“Mr. Vue has been extremely helpful to me with workshops after school on Thursdays,” senior Victoria Castro-Chavez said.  ”I don’t know how I could repay him. He’s the reason why I was able to get everything done in a manageable time frame.”

“Mr. Tunnell has always made time for me no matter what and I appreciate him for that,” senior Michael Gomez said.  “He always goes above and beyond to help me with school or college in any way he can and always points me in the right direction.”

Resources are always available to seniors — one can schedule an appointment with a guidance counselor, see Ms. Hobart at the College and Career Center or talk to an AVID teacher for advice — but the best advice is to not wait until senior year to seek out these resources.