Seniors face difficult college decisions, weigh options

Kathy Yoo, staff reporter

Choosing a college can be a difficult time for some seniors at South. For some, it takes a long series of applications to be filled out by certain deadlines. Many seniors face financial problems or simply do not know what to do during this process.

According to senior Lauren Benson, the process of choosing a college starts in the summer leading into senior year, where seniors are supposed to write college essays through Common App questions. Common App is a system of organization that most large colleges use.

“Usually, [there are] two essays for college, but usually you can adapt one essay,” Benson said. “You don’t have to write new essays every time; […] there are multiple due dates for applications so you fill out the application other than the essay, which is personal information.”

According to Benson, she didn’t really know what college she wanted to go to since she applied to nine schools and was accepted into seven, so her options weren’t narrowed down as much as she thought they would be.

“I had to take a longer time to visit each college and really decide what I wanted and what I was looking for and it didn’t help that much,” Benson said. “I didn’t really know what college I wanted so I applied for some really tiny colleges and some really big universities, […] and then some schools in the middle.”

Senior Grace Yang said that she had a hard time choosing a college based on its location. Yang also mentioned that the possibility of homesickness and tuition were the two things she was concerned about when she was in the process of choosing a college.

Senior Jane Park is currently enrolled at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a biology major planning to go to pre-med in the future. Park had hoped to go to Saint Louis University but ended up going to University of Illinois due to her financial award summary.

“Well, in the end, it was really between two schools: Saint Louis University and University of Illinois,” Park said. “Honestly at first I was set on going to St. Louis and that was the school that my family [and I] agreed on, but then I got my financial awards summary from University of Illinois and they offered me so much money that it was impossible to say no to University of Illinois,” Park said.

According to Park, thinking about the future had been something she thought of as she started to decide which college she would go to. Yang and Park both mentioned that saving money on the tuition was one thing that they had thought about when making their decisions. According to Yang, she is still concerned about her tuition cost.

“I just had to accept it and swallow my pride a bit,” Yang said. “I’m struggling with it, that I can’t go to Saint Louis but I guess you [have] to think about the long run and what’s more important.”

Benson, Park and Yang are some of the many students here at South that had trouble deciding a college. As seniors start the process of having to choose a college, they hope to find the perfect place that is suited for them.

“People say there’s a feeling you get when you find the right college, when you […] can tell from the atmosphere,” Benson said. “I was just kind of hoping that eventually I would visit a college campus and I would get that [same] feeling.”