October: College application month

Natalie Mander, Editor-in-Chief

Among all of the fall activities, October marks the start of college applications, letters of recommendation, and extensive scholarship searches. With all the commotion of football games and adjusting to school, it can be hard to focus in on our future, but graduation and college are coming sooner than you think.

“The rate of admission is often higher for early applicants (although colleges do not typically disclose the early admissions rates). However, the pool is typically very strong because many high schools encourage their top students to apply early,” said Mr. Plechaty. Plechaty is one of six upperclassmen guidance counselors at Joliet West. In the beginning of September, seniors were given a presentation in their English classes on college, applications, and life after high school. This intimate session allowed students to receive answers to their questions, while gaining knowledge on upcoming deadlines.

October is the primary month to submit applications. When choosing which university to apply to, it is encouraged to narrow your choices down based on tuition, location, athletics, and academic turnaround. With application costs ranging from 20 to 50 dollars, it can be a heavy cost just to apply to your favorite schools. Luckily, some colleges offer application waivers for students on free or reduced lunch. Also, some universities, like Carthage College, located in Kenosha, Wisconsin may offer application waivers as a promotion to apply. Take advantage of these offers to limit your application fees.

Scholarships are important to apply for early in the school year as well. Most scholarships are competitive, so applying early gives you a head start on what to expect. Websites like Collegegreenlight.com are great resources to find scholarships that are fit for you. Whether it is 50 or 5,000 dollars, scholarships are given based on your ability to “sell” yourself; meaning you meet all of the requirements of the application and show exemplary skills deserving of the money.