Help! I’m Applying for College

Alex Yupa Chimborazo
Alex Yupa Chimborazo

I’m a 17-year-old senior in high school struggling to get into college. And I’m not alone. Why? Students, like me, need more support when looking into getting a higher education.

You don’t know what you don’t know. Me and other students do care about applying for college, but the main issue is that we haven’t done it before. We need guidance.

Across the country, 47% of high school seniors haven’t started applying for colleges, according to the Inside Higher Ed website. The percentage is higher when looking at students from low-income households.

I recommend more school counselors. Extra information meetings could ease the anxiety we face when applying for school.

I also suffer from this because college is a big goal.  I only have the counselor’s help and they have multiple kids to help as well. I’m not the top priority. It stresses me out because I fear that I won’t make it to college on time.

Another thing I recommend is that the school help us with Federal Student Aid more. College is expensive. It is more concerning for low-income families. Getting a loan isn’t always an option whether for cultural or religious reasons. I like cheaper options for college. I am looking forward to scholarship suggestions. Getting a loan is one option, but it makes me uncomfortable to pay back the money after I graduate. I want to be a free man. Give me the free money.

Money and guidance aside, another thing the school needs to focus on is mental health. Students are experiencing stress, anxiety and fear just about graduating. Now add getting accepted into college to that. Or once accepted, paying for college. Across the country, 92%  of students reported experiencing fear or anxiety when it came to paying for college according to the Inside Higher Ed website. Wellness consultants would be helpful for this issue.

I know I’ve been stressed. And I’ll continue to be so until I’ve been accepted into a school I can afford, but until then, I’m just hoping I can get some additional help that doesn’t get me stuck through this maze for eternity. Help students not feel so alone. Our hope will strive for a better community.

 This story was produced at ThreeSixty’s Op-Ed Workshop in fall 2023. Alex worked with retired Pioneer Press reporter Bob Shaw and Sahan Journal reporter Alfonzo Galvan to finish his story. Click here to read more stories from the workshop.