Senior Spotlight: Southeast, College Application Season

In our Senior Spotlight Series, we follow YES Prep seniors as they set goals for their futures, apply for colleges, and make one of the biggest decisions of their lives. In this post, you’ll read where YES Prep Southeast seniors Cesar, Crystal, and Andrea applied to college and how they felt during the college application process. When we first spoke to the seniors at the beginning of the year, they were still deciding where to apply.

Southeast seniors on pajama day
Crystal, Cesar, and Andrea on pajama day

Meet Crystal Cerda

What schools did you apply to?

Washington & Jefferson, University of Houston, University of North Carolina, University of Texas- Austin, Sam Houston State University, Texas A&M- Corpus Christi, and Abilene Christian.

What’s your current dream school?

Washington & Jefferson. I also like Abilene Christian and University of Houston.

Any big news yet?

I got acceptances for all. I did a fly in to Washington & Jefferson in December and I really loved it. I’ve visited most of them at this point, and I’m just waiting to hear more about financial aid.

What was the process of applying to schools like?

It was overwhelming and a lot of pressure. Some of us got through it faster than others, and it’d be stressful when someone else had already heard back. Also, they’d said that you’d be able to use the same essay for more than one application, which wasn’t completely true. A lot of the applications asked different questions, so you could only use part of the essay.

Any advice about the college process for younger students?

Meet Andrea Montiel

What schools did you apply to?

University of Houston, Austin College, University of Texas-Austin, Lewis & Clark, University of Chicago, Vanderbilt, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, Vassar, Lehigh University, and Bucknell.

What’s your current dream school?

Austin College is at the top of the list because they’ve offered the most financial aid so far. They’ve been really nice and have called me a few times. I also like Lewis & Clark because they have a strong education and counseling program.

Any big news yet?

I got into all the Texas schools. For the rest, I’ll have to wait until spring to find out.

What was the process of applying to schools like?

It was rough. There were so many application questions and a lot of different essays. Like University of Chicago asked “what do you think is square one and how do we go back?” It was also hard financially to send out all your scores and pay the application fees.

Any advice about the college process for younger students?

Meet Cesar Regalado

What schools did you apply to?

Stanford, MIT, Texas A&M, Embry-Riddle, and George Washington University.

What’s your current dream school?

Stanford.

Any big news yet?

I got into Stanford and got a scholarship that would cover like 50 grand. I’m almost set on going there. I’m doing a fly-in to visit the campus in April.

What was the process of applying to schools like?

Overall, I felt excited and proud of everything I’ve done and accomplished throughout high school. It’s all paying off in the college applications–especially with some of the essays. For example, for MIT, you had to provide a portfolio of projects that you’ve made or research you’ve done outside of school. I liked that because I was able to express my passion for engineering and building things through the application.

Any advice about the college process for younger students?

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