Student Profile: Ryan B., Class of 2014
Grady High School
Major: Computer Engineering
Aspirations: To become a Software and Hardware Engineer working at a leading technology company, such as Google, Apple, or Microsoft.
|What type of college did you want and why?
No matter what the circumstances, I knew I had to attend a school that is renowned for academics and alumni support. Personally, I wanted to attend a large college in a new environment from what I was used to. I have thrived most when I have been surrounded by people from diverse backgrounds, so I wanted to attend a diverse university. Lastly, one of the most important factors in my college selection was school spirit as I love to be around people who love their school and who enthusiastic in supporting the sports and events taking place on campus.
|What type of support did you receive during the college admissions process?
I received an outstanding and overwhelming amount of support throughout the college admissions process. My mother stayed on me every single day to do something progressive. Every one of the counselors at Grady High School suggested scholarship opportunities on a daily basis. My church family gave me advice, and I had a great deal of support from Mr. and Mrs. Wynn for everything from building my résumé, editing and rewording my college and scholarship essays, and throughout the entire process.
|What was most stressful about applying to colleges?
The most stressful part of applying to colleges was trying to manage completing college applications while continuing to manage and apply for scholarships. Balancing both of these while managing a hectic school schedule of extracurricular activities was extremely stressful. It pushed me to the threshold of time management, dedication, and patience. However, I was constantly reminded that I was not alone. I found comfort in knowing that all of my peers were going through the same struggles.
|What did you learn?
I learned that everything you do truly counts for something. It pays to have a genuine interest in meeting new people and establishing good relationships with your peers, teachers, counselors, and administrators. I also learned to try new things. Every time I expanded my boundaries, I gained new insight and had amazing and unforgettable experiences.
|The Money Factor!
Being selected as a 2014 Posse Foundation Scholar, which provides a full-tuition scholarship to Syracuse University made my college decision that much easier. However, there are so many other costs associated with attending school far from home and in a different climate such as housing, transportation, the meal plan, books, and personal experiences. The additional scholarships I have received have helped tremendously in offsetting a great deal of these additional costs. Since my family’s income is too high for me to qualify for need-based financial aid, I had to work hard in identifying leadership and merit-based scholarships.
|What do you wish you had done differently?
I wish I had taken a few more classes for college credit in high school. When it comes to developing the perfect college schedule, those high school classes, taken for college credit, can go a LONG in reducing your overall course load!
|What is your advice?
Make sure you know how to manage time and stay organized before you get to college, because it will make your entire life so much easier and greatly reduce your stress level. Find the rings you are truly passionate about, and pursue them. Never stray from the things that bring you joy. Try something new, and don’t be afraid to talk to people. Talk to your professors and make sure they know you, because that could be the difference between a ‘B’ and an ‘A’ in a course grade. Go to office hours, because most professors love to have students come and talk to them. Don’t buy all of your textbooks, because you can save a lot of money by renting or buying used books. And lastly, never be afraid to ask for help.