Meet the Class is an opportunity for parents, educators, and admissions professionals to get a look at individual seniors and what they go through to find their college.
It’s updated each month from September to May. Each month will feature an interview about both the facts and the feelings of where the student is in the process.
Interviews may be edited lightly for clarity and grammar.
This is the fifth interview with Grace. Grace is a senior in the Houston area. She attends a public magnet high school.
You’d sent off all your applications by the beginning of December. Have you heard anything yet? I believe U of H has rolling admissions, but I don’t know how quickly things turn around during the holidays. Did you submit your CSS profile?
I haven't heard back from any schools yet :(. It's very nervewracking and I find myself checking my mailbox almost every day for a letter. Three schools are regular decision (Lafayette, Trinity, Bryn Mawr), and I expect to hear around March. I have not turned in my CSS profile, and it's been slipping my mind to complete it.
You said that the University of Houston is your safety school. How happy or unhappy do you think you’ll be if that’s where you end up?
Honestly, I will be happy to attend UH. I have already received merit aid, and it covers half of each year, and including my FAFSA, I may be going full ride. The idea of UH has become more and more of a real possibility as I start looking at finances and graduate school. I do have hesitations and that's mostly due to the stigma against UH at [my high school]. People tend to look down at the acceptance rate, but for many UH is a good option, especially since they give a lot of aid to [our] students. I think it's a really dumb stigma to have, especially since we could potentially go for free, and have time to work, relax (we need it after 4 years) etc.
What, to you, would be the best scenario? A full ride to Lafayette and denials everywhere else so there’s no more decisions to be made? An ego-boosting competition between Lafayette and Bryn Mawr to get you? What would be the perfect ending to the the college application season to you?
I think the hardest part about college admissions is the decisions, I would rather prefer the decision to be made for me. The goal of free colloge has always been something that I prioritized during my college search. While I would be dejected from not being accepted into other schools, I think being able to go to Lafayette for free would be an amazing opportunity and give me that push I need to get me out there.
Are you doing any college-related things while you wait to get responses from everyone? Were you able to do any tours over the break like you hoped? Are you applying to any scholarships or summer programs? What does the “down time” actually look like to you? Is it less busy or anxious?
I have applied to an Asian American scholarship program after finishing my applications because I felt so excited. While I haven't done any tours over the break, I feel a little more comfortable with being pushed out of my comfort zone. As for summer, I might just want some downtime with my family and friends especially if I leave for Pennsylvania. My downtime has been more like work time. I have been tutoring longer hours, and more sessions (which is great for my bank), and working at my church to prepare the students for retreats and such. I have been volunteering more and more, and I think my constant action is due to the workload at school. During the first week of break, I felt so anxious to do something that I had to go out every day because I felt like something needed to be done. By the second week I had mellowed out and regret not being able to sleep more :(
Have you done any reflecting on the application process yet? How do you think you did? Is there anything that, in hindsight, you’d do differently? Any advice for sophomores and juniors?
I honestly should have applied early action for all of my schools. I feel so nervous for these letters and I honestly want to start making decisions and be sure of where I want to be.
What does your spring semester look like? Do you have any changes to your scheule?
I have no changes in my schedule, I have a lot of mandatory classes as well as an extra elective, and science class. It feels very nice to have a set schedule and still take the classes I like. Although I would like to leave early to go home, I do want to take advantage of these classes while they are still free.