Counselor offers college planning tips before year flies by ‘in the blink of an eye’

On the first day of elementary school, teachers warned, “School will fly past you in the blink of an eye.” We never really believed them and continued to goof around. Several years later, we’re approaching the period we’ve all dreaded: preparing ourselves for the future. College admission counselors all across Iowa have been visiting the high school in hopes to recruit seniors, currently scoping out schools. 

Local colleges such as the University of Northern Iowa, Hawkeye Community College, Wartburg College, Iowa State University and The University of Iowa will visit the high school and interact with students that are interested. Counselor Erin Gardner said that college reps come throughout the entire school year; however, you must check Schoology regularly to see when each college visits. 

Meetings with admission counselors can be either in person or online. Typically, the counselors connect with students in the library for a single class period. Gardner said around 50 to 100 students attend the meetings. The counselors talk for 20 minutes about applications, available majors, opportunities on campus and housing right before answering students’ questions for the rest of the period. 

Community colleges hand out applications to students for free. However, private universities’ applications usually run between $50 to $70, including an essay question. “It will depend on where you’re applying to. Community colleges are just a basic application—when would you start, where’d you go to high school, what programs are you looking into, classes and GPA—stuff like that,” Gardner said. 

Gardner said she highly recommends seniors attend college admission meetings in the fall so they get the opportunity to ask insightful questions. Juniors interested should look into attending spring semester meetings to enhance their preparation for next year.

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