Perez offers advice for seniors


Katherine Palacios, staff writer

January was our seniors halfway point in finishing their last year of high school. Many seniors are prepared by already applying for colleges and signing up for scholarships.

There are several seniors who are unsure on what to do after graduation or have not even started their college plans in their first semester. Are you one of those seniors? Well fret not. Y.A Perez, our College Admissions Coordinator, offers some advice and tips for those who are stuck.

Q: What are the steps to start your college plan? 

A: :It all starts with doing some research to determine your Reach, Match, and Safety schools. Once you have selected 5 -7 schools you intend to apply to, you need to consider the following:

  • Are SAT/ACT required OR optional?
  • Do you need Letters of Recommendations?
  • Are essays required to apply?
  • What are the Application Fees?
  • APPLY: Common App OR Directly to the Institution

Once you have determined what you need to apply to your selected 5 -7 schools, you need to submit your applications before the November 1st priority deadline. You will need a finalized/proof essay, letters of recommendation if required, Pay the fee OR contact your counselor to see if you qualify for a NACAC waiver and request your Transcript in Naviance.” 

You can see a more detailed step by step college application process here

Q: Is it too late due to many college applications closing? 

A: “Most major universities have an established deadline. Once it is past, they may consider late applications. You will find that out specifically when doing your research. In addition, there are also many colleges/universities that operate on a rolling admission basis and continue to admit students for a given term as long as space is available. They will stop accepting applications when space is no longer available. So, if you want to apply to Uindy or Ivy Tech, just to name a few, it is not too late to apply.”

Q: Are there still any opportunities for seniors who haven’t started their college plan? 

A: “Yes, there are countless opportunities. Due to Covid, most colleges/universities understand the traditional admissions application timeline has shifted, students are applying later than usual, and they are adjusting accordingly. Through your research, you will find out which college/university is still providing opportunities to those seniors who thought college was not an option before and changed their minds.”

Q: Is there any advice and other choices for seniors who don’t want to go to college?

A: “College is not for everyone. Students can choose to go to the military route, find an apprenticeship in any trade area, go the entrepreneurial route or simply find employment. I suggest that if a senior is considering a trade area, or even going the entrepreneurial route to find ways to upskill their current knowledge. For example, any senior can receive training in any on-demand area for free through the next-level jobs program.”

More information can be found here

Q: What are some ways for seniors to keep track in their final semester?

A: “Senior’s final semester is the culmination of many years of hard work and also the beginning of a new phase in their life…  pursuing enrollment, employment, or enlisting. Regardless of their pathways, many changes will arise. Here are some helpful tips every senior should know:

  1. Every choice you make will impact your future. If you are thinking of deferring your admission for another year, make sure you find out more information on deferring your enrollment from the college itself. Some schools even offer credit for taking a gap year if you choose to participate in certain programs. Make sure you are pursuing the right pathway for yourself.
  2. Check your email OFTEN and collect all notifications. It’s a good idea to create an email folder for each college/university you are considering. Pay close attention to communication that comes from their social media accounts as well. Add dates and deadlines to your calendar to help keep track.
  3. Make sure your contact info is up to date on all of your accounts, including changing all of your contact info from your school email to a personal email. You won’t have a school email after you graduate!
  4. It’s common for questions to arise, so ask for help
  5. If you have questions about a financial aid package, don’t hesitate to contact the college itself.
  6. Applying for scholarships can be a daunting task. So daunting that you may not have the time to apply. But now, you may already have an idea about your pathway, and have more time available, so why not use it to find more money for college? Check Mr. Perez’s email and apply for more scholarships.”