September

Meet Diana

Meet the Class is back for a third year! It’s an opportunity for parents, educators, and admissions professionals to get a look at individual seniors and what they go through to find their school. Below you’ll meet Diana. Diana is stressed and feels like she’s at the very beginning of the process. Read her full first interview below.

Meet the Class gets updated each month from September to May. Each installment features 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. Names may be changed to protect privacy. 

Diana ATTENDS A Public HIGH SCHOOL IN Texas

Tell me about your high school. Is it a "normal," comprehensive high school, or a magnet or charter? How many students does it have? Have you been there for all your high school years, or have you moved there?

My high school is.. different. It’s a normal public school, but it’s very different from other public schools (I think). We’re very technology oriented, every classroom has a promethean board, literally everything is done digitally. We have around 3,000 students now, however my senior class only has about 550 because we are the first graduating class and half of the kids stayed at the school I went to my freshman year.

What is your sense of how many of the graduates of your high school go on to college? I don't need the official numbers, just your estimate of the percentage. What kinds of colleges do they go to? When it comes to going off to college, what's "normal" for your high school?

Since my class is the first graduating class, I don’t really know how many kids usually go off to college. But I do know that most kids in the area go to college after high school, or stay at the local community college to do their basics.

Is college preparation a big deal in your high school? Do people talk about college a lot? Is it assumed that you will go to college?

College prep isn’t talked about at all. Like seriously, nothing.

How much direct instruction about college applications or choosing a college have you got from your school, either from teachers or counselors?

I have NO earthly idea what I’m supposed to do or how to even start, so I have been putting it off. Nothing about essays. Nothing about how to apply. I had to do research on my own but it’s so overwhelming that I just don’t even want to look at it.

Can you think of any good advice you've received about college applications from anyone at your school?

I can’t think of any advice because I’ve seriously been told nothing by anyone.

Are there any colleges that you're already sure you'll apply to? If so, what are they? Is one of them your "dream school"?

I really want to apply to the University of Oklahoma. I don’t know why. I visited there in May and I LOVED it. It’s a beautiful campus, I really liked the vibe, and I liked the amount of support that they give every student and the resources available to help them succeed.

What other colleges are you thinking about applying to, even if you're not sure you'll actually apply?

I will probably also apply to a lot of Texas public schools because I know that they will for sure take my dual credit hours, whereas Oklahoma may not.

What colleges, if any, have you visited or toured? Did any of these tours stand out as being especially good or especially bad?

Like I said before, I visited Oklahoma in May. I’ve also visited Baylor and UT Arlington. I haven’t really done many college visits because it’s difficult to make time to go and visit places. None of the visits were bad, but I definitely enjoyed Oklahoma the most because it felt more like home than the other two.

What are the main things you're looking for in a college?

I really just want to go to a college where I feel like I could thrive and be supported by everyone around me instead of being just another number.

How involved is your family in the process? Do you have people in your household who went to college, or are you the first?

My family really isn’t that involved, but that’s probably because I haven’t really started anything. I will be the first in my household to go to college which is probably why this is so difficult and confusing.

Have you talked with your family about money? Do you know how much you can afford to pay per year? Do you know how college will be paid for?

I’ve talked to my parents about the money and they told me I will be on my own. They said they’ll cosign loans (what does that even mean) but they will not be opening their wallets to help a girl out. All I know is I am majorly stressed about it.

How are you feeling about college applications? Anxious? Confident? Confused? Explain what you're thinking and feeling as you get ready for this endeavor.

I am STRESSED. That’s all. I’m sure it will work out but I’m really just putting it off because I don’t want to deal with it. Which is super unhealthy and will actually end up making this significantly worse for me.

What do you not know about this process that you wish you did? What would you change about the past few years to be more prepared for this?

I don’t know anything about this process because my school has not told us ANYTHING and I just haven’t asked anyone any questions. That is all.

Thanks for reading! If you have college admissions questions for Diana, leave a comment or email me. You can find other Meet the Class responses here. Please send this to someone who would like to read it, or share it on your social networks.

Apply with Sanity doesn’t have ads or annoying pop-ups. It doesn’t share user data, sell user data, or even track personal data. It doesn’t do anything to “monetize” you. You’re nothing but a reader to me, and that means everything to me.

Photo by Angela Elisabeth.

Apply with Sanity is a registered trademark of Apply with Sanity, LLC. All rights reserved.

Meet Jenna

Meet the Class is back for a third year! It’s an opportunity for parents, educators, and admissions professionals to get a look at individual seniors and what they go through to find their school. Below you’ll meet Jenna. Like a lot of seniors, she has some strong ideas about what she wants, but isn’t as sure about how to get it. Read her full first interview below.

Meet the Class gets updated each month from September to May. Each installment features 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. Names may be changed to protect privacy. 

Jenna ATTENDS A Public HIGH SCHOOL IN Michigan

Tell me about your high school. Is it a "normal," comprehensive high school, or a magnet or charter? How many students does it have? Have you been there for all your high school years, or have you moved there?

I go to a public school in a relatively small city. We don't have many students at our school mainly because there are other bigger and more well known schools around us. We have roughly maybe 800 students, which is fairly small compared to schools who have thousands. I have also been attending this school for all four years of my high school career.

What is your sense of how many of the graduates of your high school go on to college? I don't need the official numbers, just your estimate of the percentage. What kinds of colleges do they go to? When it comes to going off to college, what's "normal" for your high school?

I would honestly say about maybe 80% of the students here end up going to college while the other 20% maybe join the military, go to a trade school instead, etc. The students who go to college are pretty split between community colleges and universities. The "normal" here when it comes to going off to college is that usually a lot of students stay in Michigan. I only know a handful of students who have gone out of state and come home for the holidays.

Is college preparation a big deal in your high school? Do people talk about college a lot? Is it assumed that you will go to college?

The students here talk a bit about college but not a ton. It really just depends who it is because some will talk a ton about the subject and some will briefly touch on it. Most people assume I will be attending college which I do plan on doing come the fall after I graduate.

Here at my school, I would say that we have some guidance regarding college preparations but it is primarily limited to only juniors and seniors. My school offers the options to only 11th and 12th grade students to take an AP course that we might not offer but a nearby school does. These two grades are also allowed to begin meeting with college admissions officers that come to our school to give more information and answer any questions we have.

How much direct instruction about college applications or choosing a college have you got from your school, either from teachers or counselors?

I haven't received much direct instruction about college applications or choosing a college from my counselors who are typically in charge of that. Although I go back on September 3rd and within the following week the 2020 class is set to have a meeting with the schools counselors to receive more information.

Can you think of any good advice you've received about college applications from anyone at your school?

The only advice I can think of that I have received about college applications from anyone is to be open and honest but also apply as early as I can.

Are there any colleges that you're already sure you'll apply to? If so, what are they? Is one of them your "dream school"?

There are a couple colleges I am planning on applying to. They are U of M Ann Arbor, U of M Dearborn, Henry Ford Community College, Central, Michigan State, Madonna University and a few more I can't think of off the top of my head. My dream school is actually Stanford but it’s not exactly an easy choice. Where I come from, there aren't many who get accepted into an Ivy League, I wouldn't be able to afford to attend a University like that, my test scores aren't exactly where I wanted them to be and I’m not sure how I would feel about leaving home. I'm still very unsure of whether or not I should apply but it’s something worth trying still because the worst they can do is say no.

What other colleges are you thinking about applying to, even if you're not sure you'll actually apply?

I have visited a college in Toledo but I don't remember what it was called because I wasn't interested in applying.

What colleges, if any, have you visited or toured? Did any of these tours stand out as being especially good or especially bad?

I have also visited U of M Dearborn a couple of times because I helped a student there with a project that required me to visit every weekend but also I went on an official tour a couple of times.

Because I haven't been on a ton of tours, the ones I have been on were relatively okay. I didn't get that feeling that I absolutely needed to go there but it was just more of a oh okay type of thing,

What are the main things you're looking for in a college?

The main things I look for in a college is definitely prices because I won't attend a college I cannot afford, location is important because I prefer the city and being in busy areas, size of the school as well since I don't want to go to a huge school but also not a small one, what classes they offer in case I change my major, student to facility ratio is important too because I like to kinda get to know my teachers but also being in a bigger class makes it a bit tough to ask questions about whats going on, clubs offered also due to the fact I am in multiple different clubs now and I’d like to join some in college too, academic support services such as tutors etc. and campus safety too in case I'm in a dangerous situation, I know who I can contact.

How involved is your family in the process? Do you have people in your household who went to college, or are you the first?

I live with my mom, and she tries to be involved in the process which I appreciate because this does definitely get overwhelming but sometimes she gets over bearing with the questions that I don't know. For instance, FAFSA. I haven't filled out anything for it yet because I haven't started school for my counselors to talk about it with me and obviously this is the first time I have had to do this so i don't know the process and she expects me to have answers to it all.

As far as the rest of my family goes, none of them have gone to college or have dropped out. I do plan on going and being the first in the family to graduate.

Have you talked with your family about money? Do you know how much you can afford to pay per year? Do you know how college will be paid for?

My mom and I have briefly talked about money. I'm kept up to date always on our expenses so I have a relative idea how much a year we can spend a year. The plan to pay for it besides scholarships is my mom would have to help me and i'd need to get a job. I currently don't work because my mom wants me to focus on my studies for now.

How are you feeling about college applications? Anxious? Confident? Confused? Explain what you're thinking and feeling as you get ready for this endeavor.

As of right now, I'm honestly feeling a bit anxious about the application process. There's so many factors that play in that I have to consider and finding a happy medium will be hard. I'm undecided on what I plan on majoring in which makes things a bit harder. I'm glad I have many doors open right now but it’s also a lot to take in and where to start. I feel like as long as I focus on one thing at a time, it will definitely help ease my nerves during all of this rather than all of it at once and getting overwhelmed.

What do you not know about this process that you wish you did? What would you change about the past few years to be more prepared for this?

I wish I knew more about "The Common App." I'm not exactly sure what it is but I keep hearing a lot about it. I wish I got to know more upperclassmen that were going through this process so I could have a better understanding while watching them go through it all but also doing more research. I feel like through the years I wish I dug deeper into the college search and started doing internships at younger age possibly to have a better understanding.

Is there anything else you want to tell people that I didn't ask?

Something else I would like to tell people is genuinely explore your interests regarding classes in high school or at least start. I took a Mechanical Drafting class as a Junior thinking I'd enjoy it and could possibly be a career option in the future. Honestly the class overall was good but I would not consider it as an occupation after I took it BUT I am glad i figured that out now so I can try something new.

Thanks for reading! If you have college admissions questions for Jenna, leave a comment or email me. You can find other Meet the Class responses here. Please send this to someone who would like to read it, or share it on your social networks.

Apply with Sanity doesn’t have ads or annoying pop-ups. It doesn’t share user data, sell user data, or even track personal data. It doesn’t do anything to “monetize” you. You’re nothing but a reader to me, and that means everything to me.

Photo by Angela Elisabeth.

Apply with Sanity is a registered trademark of Apply with Sanity, LLC. All rights reserved.

Meet Katie

Meet the Class is back for a third year! It’s an opportunity for parents, educators, and admissions professionals to get a look at individual seniors and what they go through to find their school. Below you’ll meet Katie, who is quite ambitious—she plans to apply to around 25 schools. Read her full first interview below.

Meet the Class gets updated each month from September to May. Each installment features 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. Names may be changed to protect privacy. 

Katie ATTENDS A Private Christian HIGH SCHOOL IN Ohio

Tell me about your high school. Is it a "normal," comprehensive high school, or a magnet or charter? How many students does it have? Have you been there for all your high school years, or have you moved there?

I go to a private Christian school with about 200 students in the high school. I have been there since the beginning of sophomore year. Before that, I went to an even smaller private Christian school with about 60 students in the high school.

What is your sense of how many of the graduates of your high school go on to college? I don't need the official numbers, just your estimate of the percentage. What kinds of colleges do they go to? When it comes to going off to college, what's "normal" for your high school?

Probably over 90 percent of students who graduate from my high school go to college. Almost everyone goes to 4-year universities. Most people stay at home and commute to school after graduating, but there are always a few who go away either to Christian colleges or public universities a little bit further away.

Is college preparation a big deal in your high school? Do people talk about college a lot? Is it assumed that you will go to college?

I wouldn't say that college prep is a big part of my school. It is expected for pretty much everyone to go to college though. There is always immense pressure to become a doctor or an engineer, and I am constantly told that I should follow those fields. College is talked about a moderate amount, but not too much because it generally stresses people out.

How much direct instruction about college applications or choosing a college have you got from your school, either from teachers or counselors?

I would say that there is pretty much no direct instruction on college. It is something that everyone is expected to know everything about, and there is very minimal help given on it.

Can you think of any good advice you've received about college applications from anyone at your school?

I feel like I am usually the person who is giving others advice on college, so I can't think of anything at the moment.

Are there any colleges that you're already sure you'll apply to? If so, what are they? Is one of them your "dream school"?

Yes! There are a lot of schools I'm pretty sure I'll apply to. I solidified my college list near the beginning of the summer, and nothing has really changed about it. I'm planning on applying to like 25 schools which is pretty insane, but that is just how I am as a human being. My "dream schools" are probably Penn State and University of Hartford. The other schools I'm planning on applying to are Ball State, Central Washington University, Columbia College Chicago, Indiana University Bloomington, Minnesota State Mankato, Montclair State, North Dakota State, Roosevelt, University of Buffalo, Temple, University of Central Missouri, University of Montana, University of Minnesota—Duluth and Twin Cities, University of Oklahoma, University of Rhode Island, University of South Dakota, University of the Arts, Western Michigan, and Wichita State.

What other colleges are you thinking about applying to, even if you're not sure you'll actually apply?

The schools I am currently considering but not sure about are The American Musical and Drama Academy and Hofstra.

What colleges, if any, have you visited or toured? Did any of these tours stand out as being especially good or especially bad?

I have toured Cedarville, Grove City, Malone, and Kent State. The first three are all my family's choices, and I really didn't enjoy them. I am looking for a new experience after I graduate, and they were just more of the same. Kent State is a school that I really love, and if it was further away, I would definitely want to go. I want to feel like I feel on that campus and is kinda the bar I want every school I consider to meet.

What are the main things you're looking for in a college?

I am looking for a stellar Musical Theatre BFA program with an equal focus on acting, music, and dance. If a school is unable to deliver something like that, then it is definitely not for me. I want to be out of state for personal reasons that I would rather not go into. A progressive place would be ideal. Scholarship money is a concern, but it has not been an immediate concern.

How involved is your family in the process? Do you have people in your household who went to college, or are you the first?

My family has not been involved in the process at all. They have shared their concerns and such, but I am doing this basically on my own. My mom went to college, but it was very much different than how my experience has gone thus far.

Have you talked with your family about money? Do you know how much you can afford to pay per year? Do you know how college will be paid for?

I have talked about my family with money. I am going to be totally responsible for my costs after I graduate, and with pursuing a career in the arts, money is something that will definitely go into my college decision. The schools I am applying to all seem to be reasonable after scholarships and financial aid. Right now, I have just been applying to every scholarship that I possibly can because I need all the money I can get for college.

How are you feeling about college applications? Anxious? Confident? Confused? Explain what you're thinking and feeling as you get ready for this endeavor.

I am so excited actually be able to submit the applications I have been working so hard on! College is a major sore spot in my family, so it has come with a lot of unnecessary stress. I can't wait for this crazy adventure to begin. I just hope that I have enough time in the day to get everything done as well I as I possibly can. I am a bit nervous that I won't be able to get into a single program, but I try not to dwell on that and just put everything into all my application materials.

What do you not know about this process that you wish you did? What would you change about the past few years to be more prepared for this?

I wish I would have known how much time the actual applications were going to take. I have like 450 other things to be worrying about, and the applications are just so painstaking and meticulous. I was expecting them be something easy to just get out of the way before the real battle began, which I know is how it is going to go, but they are just so time-consuming. I am hoping to have them done as soon as possible. I feel like I have been as prepared as I possibly could have been for this year. I feel like I do have a good idea what I am doing, and I am as ahead as I could have been. Time is my biggest problem right now.

Is there anything else you want to tell people that I didn't ask?

The reason I am so stressed out about time is that musical theatre applications are all due earlier, and I also have additional supplements and performance elements that are due during application season. I have auditions for pretty much every school that I am applying to. Most of them are in January and February, but they are from November to March.

Thanks for reading! If you have college admissions questions for Katie, leave a comment or email me. You can find other Meet the Class responses here. Please send this to someone who would like to read it, or share it on your social networks.

Apply with Sanity doesn’t have ads or annoying pop-ups. It doesn’t share user data, sell user data, or even track personal data. It doesn’t do anything to “monetize” you. You’re nothing but a reader to me, and that means everything to me.

Photo by Angela Elisabeth.

Apply with Sanity is a registered trademark of Apply with Sanity, LLC. All rights reserved.