Good Stuff: Student Perspectives

Group of university students sitting on steps

Below is the narrative Vanessa D. a high school student in the NYC Public schools. I asked Vanessa to share her senior year college application experience. Below is her story:

I am a high school senior, living in New York. My college dream was going away to a university in Texas. This was on my mind right throughout my junior year. Even at the ending of my junior year, I still dreamed of Texas.

Senior year started and I was still considering Texas. Then the application process came around and I began thinking about the difference in Tuition and fees. I wondered if it was still possible to go out of state and I worried about paying back loans after college. This is when I began to consider staying in the state and minimizing my loans debt. I now realized that the whole college application process was more than I thought it would be. I had to consider tuition fees, traveling back and forth during breaks and if I wanted to dorm or commute. I started thinking about getting driving lessons to commute easier when the weather is bad. Especially since my whole reason for wanting to go away was based on commuting in the bad weather at winter time. After realizing that going out of state would cost me to spend more, I narrowed my choices down to in-state colleges. I began surfing the web for in-state colleges that had my major, had the college size I was looking for, had a decent tuition and also activities that I would enjoy participating in.

I finally narrowed my college choices down to six City Colleges of New York (CUNY) and four State Colleges of New York (SUNY). I applied to these prior to their deadline to ensure that I ended up in the first batch of students these colleges would review. Acceptance letters came around and I got accepted to five CUNY and two SUNY. Now, I had to decide which school,  I wanted to attend out of my seven choices. I attended a few orientations and after getting a feel of what the colleges were like, I narrowed it down to two colleges: one CUNY and one SUNY. After reviewing my financial aid package for both colleges, I decided that since I would not have to take out any loan for the CUNY, that’s where I want to go. 

Vanessa’s story is one that many students only begin to consider during their senior year: COST.

Most students have fantasized or visualized themselves at the one perfect school only to realize it may be out of their reach financially or academically. Instead of becoming paralyzed with fear or discouraged, Vanessa become practical and did her research. She knew that the right opportunity existed, she only needed to discover it!

Five points to take away from Vanessa’s experience:

  1. Do your research
  2. Visit your selected schools
  3. Be flexible
  4. Create a list of important factors to consider: distance, cost, on-campus activities, weather, commuting/living-on campus, etc.
  5. Do your research, don’t rely on any one opinion. 

If your still deciding send us a message, we may be able to answer your question!


Team yoU



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