College Preparation


Abriel Carrasco, Writer

College is one of the most important steps for high schoolers can take after graduation. However, not many students know how to plan for college the right way, and some students make a big mistake by ignoring the importance of their grades.


First: College seeking students.


By the time students decide to start looking into college, it often is already too late for them to receive many of the benefits available. Terry Starr, College advisor in the career center, said she had an instance where a student had waited until the last minute to apply for a scholarship that would have given her almost $17,000 for college, but had it denied due to the application hitting it´s deadline.


¨Students should always pay attention to events and scholarship deadlines,¨ said Ms. Starr. These are crucial to every student, regardless of if they are  going to a community college or a university, since colleges get more expensive over the years.


The best way for students to start planning for college is to first keep a good GPA, as it allows you to receive better scholarships. Keeping good grades is highly important, even for students going in for sports.  Then students should start applying for scholarships during their late junior year, or their first semester of senior year.


While choosing the perfect college is easy for some students, others find it very difficult. This makes college events all the more important. In Ms. Starr’s experience with helping students select colleges, she noticed that ¨money is typically the ultimate decision in going to that college.¨ If not the money, then it’s a family decision that decides that outcome. It is highly recommended to apply for as many colleges as possible.


Students struggling are not left behind though! Students should always seek help when they’re struggling. Students struggling to maintain good grades because of sports or personal issues should always seek help from their counselor.


Elissa Kool, Independence High School Counselor, said “don’t think we don’t care about you just because it’s our job to. We chose this job to help you.” Students often come in to Kool’s room for help, but most of the time, “they struggle with things that are often out of their reach,” informed Kool.


For those who simply slack off though, Koole commented, “Kids that come from 8th grade don’t understand how important grades are in high school.¨ A failing grade in a class results in a repeat of that class the next semester or year, on top of the next level class.

Now, for those students participating in West-Mec, not planning to go to college and going straight to work, transcripts are becoming the most important factor. In fact, West-Mec and advanced jobs look at students transcripts now to ensure that the employee is capable of work. West-Mec demands certain grades in order to continue the program, and that’s a lot of money wasted!


High school is extremely important. Students should stay on top of their work and schedules as they get closer to their senior year. Don´t wait until it’s too late!