Seniors Apply to College


Tommy Miller learns about the UW Madison application by looking on the UW website during study hall on September 15th, 2016

High School Seniors are writing applications to get into college. Deadlines for early decision can be as early as November first. This includes filling out the application questions, writing college essays, getting letters of recommendation, and sending their transcripts.

Two Arrowhead seniors, Clayton Nevill and Spencer Papandrea, say they are familiar with a stressful senior year. They are both applying to 10 or more universities.

Nevill has finished 10 applications to universities such as Texas A&M, USC, and Georgia Tech. Papandrea is the process of applying to 12 schools including Georgia Tech, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and University of Pennsylvania.

Papandrea said, “[Applying to college means] lots of stress, especially with trying to manage all my courses as well. I worry I won’t have the time to get everything done…What I decide in the next couple months will decide the next four years of my life.”

Papandrea says the most stressful part of applying is the essays. He said, “You have to make them superb if you want to stand out amongst so many applicants. Also, letters of recommendation. You want to ask the teachers you had the best experience with. And then you have to deal with your transcripts.”

Even with a 4.0 grade point average and a 34 on his ACT, Papandrea says he feels the pressure of making these important decisions.

Applying for Nevill went differently. He said, “I don’t feel very stressed. I got all my applications done during the summer. All I have to do now is turn them in and wait for a letter.”

Nevill was proactive and applied during the summer when he didn’t have school to worry about.

Nevill said, “The essays were the hardest part. It was the only new thing on my application, everything else was already finished. Some of the topics are hard to write about. The hardest one was how could I make their school better. I’m not sure what I want to do at their schools and how my interest will change from now until then.”

There is an Arrowhead College Essay Workshop for seniors looking for help. It is open to seniors only. Students must bring their own device and the workshop takes place in classroom N199 at Arrowhead.

The dates for the workshop are Wednesday, September 21 from 2:20-4:30pm; Thursday, September 29 from 5-7pm; Sunday, October 2 from 8-10am; Sunday, October 16 from 8-10am; Monday, October 17 from 5-7pm; Wednesday, October 26 from 2:45-4:45pm.

According to a flyer emailed to students, the workshop will “help students understand what college admissions officers desire in a college essay. The workshop will focus on the principles of good writing, including the components of a compelling narrative. Students will plan, draft, write, share and receive feedback from multiple teachers and students. They will learn about creating an application with purpose and consistency through example essays and readings.”

In order to receive letters of recommendations from teachers and other adults, Arrowhead recommends filling out a Senior Profile which helps your references write their letters. The Senior Profile tells your references about your history as well as your plans for the future. It also tells them about your character. To find it go to and click on “counseling” where you will find a link for the Senior Profile under “college/career.”