Central Oregon

'Tis the season for college applications

Counselor assures: College is within reach

November is college application month

In these times, part of your children's success depends on whether they go to college. Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber declared November as College Application Month, and there's still a little time to apply.

"I would start applying, figure out what you want to do and just apply anywhere you can," Josiah Develter, a Redmond High School student, said Thursday.

It's often easier said than done, though.

"I think a lot of my friends are, because they know what they want to do. But  I'm kind of still guessing around so I'm waiting out and seeing what's happening," said Zach LaCasse, another Redmond High student.

"Yeah, I have lots of friends who need to apply still, but I think most of them want to, to get a better career and better future," Develter said.

Some high school students aren't sure if college is within reach. But Kris Davis, an academic counselor, assures that it is.

"It's possible for a kid from Redmond to go to college and be successful," Davis says.

Still, many seniors doubt their abilities.

"There's a little anxiety, not knowing if they're going to fit into a college setting or if they are going be ready, so we have to talk them through that situation," Davis said.

Something that should ease some tensions is that the acceptance requirements are different these days. There is less importance placed on tests like the ACT or SAT.

"Colleges are going away from that and saying, 'Okay, what kind of things set you apart from other people?'" Davis said.

That means colleges are putting much more emphasis on the college essay and what extracurricular activities students are doing.

"Put yourself out there, make yourself marketable," Davis said.

Another issue many seniors face is the hefty cost that goes along with applying. Many application fees are upward of $50. Davis assured there are colleges that have applications, for free plus there are local scholarships for students.

"You've just got to keep trying,, and you'll get it," LaCasse said.

It is advice worth taking because it is a lot of hard work now for a big pay off later.

For more information: http://www.collegeboard.com

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