A Long Process

Seniors undertake challenging task of college applications

Staff Writer

In preparation for college, many Haas Hall seniors, such as Jack Rossi, visit various universities to get a feel for their campuses. Rossi has visited many schools over the years, including the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.

“I like schools that have culture, that are very embedded in their history,” Rossi said.

College is the next step for Haas Hall scholars after their senior year of high school, and it’s a step that requires much planning and advice. Seniors must learn how to build effective resumes and craft the perfect college essay, among other things, so some seniors decided to break up the process into steps in order to give every part its due attention.

Senior Gaby Davidson said the biggest factors in her evaluations of campuses involve size and location.

“I really like the University of Washington because it has beautiful architecture,” Davidson said.

Other seniors, such as Elizabeth Johnson, consider factors such as program ranking more important. Johnson wants to pursue a major in astrophysics, leading her to examine schools with a higher program ranking in that area.

“I really like University of Tulsa and Vanderbilt University,” Johnson said. “They have really good research programs.”

For more athletically inclined scholars, sports are important. Senior Martina Thomas visited the campuses of Vanderbilt University, the University of Nebraska and Villanova University before deciding on the Naval Academy. Thomas had the opportunity to stay at the campus with a host student.

“I was able to get a better idea of what the college experience is and what I want mine to be,” Thomas said.

Excluding state schools, most universities use the Common App, which allows students to submit a college application and only have to type it once. Davidson said she uses the Common App and finds it useful, though filling in information such as academic and testing history is difficult for her, mostly since students can only list up to 10 activities.

“Listing my activities is definitely the hardest part for me,” Davidson said. “It’s difficult to describe them in about a sentence.”

Senior Ana Estrada said she struggles with writing the personal essay. Estrada said she sometimes finds it difficult to stay on topic.

“It is easy to accidentally talk about something or someone else in your essay instead of yourself,” Estrada said.  “It’s the first time I’ve been required to write a lot about myself while trying not to sound boastful.”

College is a big part of what Haas Hall Academy stands for, and its seniors are finally able to apply their knowledge of essays and resumes to the application process. Haas Hall seniors are trying to live up to their school motto: “Every Scholar, Every Day — College Bound.”

Haas Hall Fayetteville senior Gaby Davidson, left, discusses her college application with Jodi Northcutt, executive director of college and academic advising in Fayetteville.