The Survival Guide to the College App

Edition 55: Class of 2017


Layla Asgar

From left to right: Ellis, Hurst, Grubb, Rangel.

Folders flying in the air, transcripts running around, applications have arrived and are ready to swallow the Class of 2017. Procrastination runs through the veins of many teenagers, so guidance is a necessity to venture off into the pleasure and rigor of college. To some students’ dismay college essays or personal statements won’t be completed in one draft or become a done deal. Personal statements are crucial and have to be nearly perfect; they’re not like a literary analysis essay — something a student can whip up within an hour. Unfortunately, the curriculum within public and private schools does not emphasize creative writing because of this the college application process may be arduous to others. College counselors play the objective role as editors and advisors. Ms. Ellis, Ms. Hurst, Ms. Grubb and Ms. Rangel gave more insight into the world of college applications.

What are some misconceptions regarding college apps?

All applications are due on November 30, and they all require letters of recommendation and multiple essays. Some students thought everyone was on the same application and they thought all of the college applications cost the same, they don’t.  

What should students (not) stress about?

Seniors should never stress. Stress comes from poor time management. For everyone who’s applying to colleges, there will be a place for each student, no matter which school it is. Also, things that can’t change, such as grades, they have no control over. Students are worried about competition with other students. Students should know they are only competing with themselves.    

They should never stress but just manage their time wisely during the application process. Be concerned about making the best grades possible (in senior year), but students should not stress about that either. Please don’t stress about Ivy’s, everyone who applies is admissible. Don’t worry about where your friends are getting into in your friend group. Don’t let where others get into stress you. In totality, don’t stress about the entire college process as a whole.

What are some key elements to implement in a personal essay?

Strengths and weaknesses. Make it about you. Follow the prompt exactly.

How dire is it to edit your personal essay?


What is one thing you have learned from your experience at Pali (about students)?

There is no such thing as too much communication. Diversity is enlightening. All students are unique. All students can reach their goals, but they may have different pathways.

As the college application continues (for seniors), students are beginning to formulate interpersonal relationships with their college counselors. Counselors are here to encourage and provide prospective college students with creative energy to develop key messages and application themes. Going through college applications may be a daunting task, but college counselors will devote their time and energy to ensure every student’s’ application is above par. Unfortunately and converse to the desired effect, many students find themselves overwhelmed by the number of options available. To take advantage of these application methods and their benefits, it is critical that the students communicate with the counselors for them to answer their burning questions. By the end of the process, the student and counselor should build a trusting relationship. College Counselors are the unbiased third party who act as an aide and critic.