Student Profile: Janeil S., Class of 2015
University of Richmond
Washington & Lee
Xavier University of Louisiana
Major Scholarship Offers:
Total Scholarship Offers:
|What type of college did you want and why? |
During my college research I focused primarily on highly selective liberal arts colleges, and universities that were small or moderate in size and who were known for being financially generous. According to the research these institutions tend to provide competitive financial aid packages. Also, I did not want to go to an institution where I would be just another number. I wanted to be in an environment where I could have access to my professors, where I can get to know them and they can get to know me.
|What type of support did you receive during the college admission process? |
I was truly blessed to be able to participate in the Turner Chapel AME 2015 COHORT, where I received tremendous help and support from Mr. and Mrs. Wynn. They were able to help perfect one of the most challenging areas for me in this process, which was the essay writing, for not only college admissions, but also Scholarships, especially the Gates Millennium Scholarship. The Wynn’s and the members of my COHORT group were also there to offer me advice and guidance in exploring different colleges, educational paths, and opportunities that could assist me in reaching my career goals. My parents were also very instrumental in my success, especially when it came to keeping up with dates, deadlines, and being a source of inspiration when it came time to write essays.
|What was most stressful about applying to colleges? |
The most stressful part about applying to colleges was the time frame. This was very stressful for me because I applied to 11 colleges and it seemed like all the deadlines were around the same time. This meant I spent weekend after weekend doing almost nothing but writing essays and answering questions. Keeping up with what was due and when it was due was very stressful because many of the scholarships for various institutional aid had separate deadlines from the actual admissions deadline. At times it was overwhelming.
|What did you learn? |
I learned how important the written essays are. As a college applicant the essay is the best and sometimes only opportunity you have to share your personal story, gift, or talents. Many times it can be difficult to identify and compile them. The college admissions process is the prime opportunity to share who you are, so you should try your best to make it count. The personal essay could make the difference between being accepted or denied.
|The Money Factor! |
Through my hard work and the support of the COHORT, the Wynn’s, and my family I received multiple scholarship offers from the colleges I applied to totaling over $800,000. Ultimately my parents will have to pay for part of my college education, but it is a very small portion of what it actually costs to attend the institution. It is also important to add that the small part that my parents will have to pay is without having any loans. So, prayerfully I should be able to graduate with zero dollars in student loans.
|What do you wish you had done differently? |
I wish I would have been a little bit more organized, and had a better idea of how stressful and time consuming the process would be, especially when combined with the academic and social stress of senior year.
|What is your advice? |
My advice is to be open to exploring all avenues and all types of colleges because you really don’t know what you want, or what the best fit is for you unless you try it out. Even if you do not end up wanting to attend a particular type of college that experience or exploration could open your eyes to new possibilities, opportunities, and standards. Also, start early and be realistic with yourself about where you can and can’t go. This will save you time, resources, and trouble in the end. If you plan on going to an Ivy League or highly selective institution, just know that you cannot just wake up your senior year and decide to go and think you are going to get in. It takes preparation and commitment from the very first day of high school and honestly before then. You have to take the right classes, do well in them, and serve your school, or community, whether it is through community service or leadership in clubs or sports.