Seniors know key to gaining entry to competitive schools

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Andre January , Staff Writer

Before College Go Week began promoting college education and taking the journey seriously, seniors Kiersten Stowe and Joshua Salter were already on the grind. 

“I always kind of knew what I wanted to do,” Salter said. “So when I started looking for colleges, I looked with a major in mind, so top colleges in the computer science field. I looked at their programs … that’s how I determined where I wanted to go.” 

With top schools like University of Chicago and Cornell taking Salter’s interest, he has had to be active in the school and community. He dove into extracurriculars and classes that would not only help his college application, but also be things that he enjoyed.

Salter participates in Robotics, FCCLA, Orchestra and Quiz Bowl. He also takes a challenging course that relates to his future college major, AP Computer Science. 

Salter’s motivation to put forth his best efforts and be successful is sparked from the possibilities his future holds.

“Getting into college with a free ride [is the goal],” Salter said. “All of the schools that I’m looking at have the opportunity for need based scholarship grants, so I don’t have to pay back anything, so that’s what I’m looking into … that’s what’s driving me forward.” 

Like Salter, Stowe is also getting a head start, applying early action to selective colleges like Yale, Vanderbilt, University of Chicago and Northwestern. She has been very serious about her journey.

“I want to look for colleges with good pre-law programs and pre-law advisory programs,” Stowe said. “So if they don’t have a pre-law program, I’m going to look into their psychology program because that’s going to be the major I’m going to be using and the type of advisors they have, so I know that I’m guaranteed to get into law school after college.”

Stowe participates in Quiz Bowl, Spell Bowl, Academic Superbowl, FCCLA, Varsity Track, Jazz Orchestra and the International Thespian Society. She also takes challenging AP courses that relate to her future college major. 

“AP Lang is teaching me oration skills and how to write and analyze rhetorical speech, which will help me in my future career [as a judge] because I will be doing a lot of public speaking,” she said.

Stowe wants to go to top colleges, but she doesn’t want to pay full price. Preferably, she doesn’t want to pay anything. That’s why she is working on scholarships.

“[I’ve been] doing applications and looking at scholarships, [even though] I’ve already knocked out the full tuition scholarships, so now I’m just finding scholarships to fill gaps, like room and board,” Stowe said.

Overall, Stowe recognizes the importance of preparing for the future.

“This is a pivotal moment to my future, I need to decide how I’m going to pay for school, and where I’m going to go to school,” Stowe said.