Senior Spotlight: West, 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 West seniors Adesola, Eliezer, Chit, Keidy, Kelly, and Ranferi 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.

West seniors
Back row: Kelly, Keidy, Adesola Front row: Eliezer, Ranferi, Chit

Adesola Apetuje

What schools did you apply to?

Stephen F. Austin, University of North Texas, Sam Houston State, Texas State, Texas Southern, Prairieview, Blinn College, University of Toledo, and University of Houston-Victoria.

What’s your current dream school?

University of North Texas and Texas Southern. They both have sorority life and are involved in their communities. I’d like to join Alpha Kappa Alpha.

What was the process of applying to schools like?

It was hard, but then it got easier toward the end. It’s just repeating everything over and over, and it was nice when some schools didn’t need essays.

Any big news yet?

I got accepted to Texas Southern, Blinn College, and U of H Victoria.

Any advice about the college process for younger students?

Eliezer Ibarra

What schools did you apply to?

I ended up applying to ten different schools. I applied to Davidson, Rice, University of Houston, Texas A&M, Connecticut College, Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Boston University, and Harvard.

What’s your current dream school?

Harvard. There’s this quote I follow: you never know how tall you are until you’re in over your head. Harvard is a place where I can find out how tall I am and how much I can achieve. I want to serve as an inspiration. If I accomplish something like going to Harvard, I can show others that it’s a choice for them as well. Boston University is my second choice. It’s one of the top research schools in the nation. I want to be part of that progress. I also really want to be in Boston– ever since I visited last February for a spring trip. I also did a fly-in at Harvard this fall and stayed overnight. I was able to connect with other freshmen from Texas.

What was the process of applying to schools like?

I’m first generation and no one in my family had done this before, so it was hard to know where to start. Once I got the hang of things, it seemed really simple.

Any big news yet?

I’m still waiting to hear back from a lot of the schools. I got accepted into U of H and I’m waiting for an acceptance letter from Texas A&M. I applied for the Belk scholarship for Davidson. They’ll be informing me around early February for that as well. I’m also waiting to hear about IMPACT schools.

Any advice about the college process for younger students?

Chit Khin

What schools did you apply to?

I’m a Questbridge scholar, so I ranked ten schools and got matched with Carleton College in Minnesota.

Why did you select Carleton?

In Minnesota, there are a lot of Karen communities. That’s my ethnic group. I grew up in Thailand in a refugee camp. My family moved here when I was young and I’d like to have access to the Karen community and be around that support system.

Was Carleton your first choice?

Swarthmore was actually my top choice. Although Carleton was not my first my first choice, it was one of my top schools because I knew I wouldn’t mind spending four years there.

 

What was the process of applying to schools like?

It was a lot of asking teachers for advice and help. I was also a finalist for Posse, but I had to commit to one school through them– whereas with Questbridge, I could rank ten. At the time, I wasn’t ready to decide on just one school.

Any advice about the college process for younger students?

Keidy Leiva

What schools did you apply to?

I applied to University of Houston-Downtown, LeTourneau University, University of Texas-Austin, Iowa State University, Texas A&M Corpus, University of Texas-Arlington.

What’s your current dream school?

Corpus Christi because it’s very beautiful. It has my second major: marine biology.

What was the process of applying to schools like?

It was very hard and frustrating because I could only apply to Texas schools. It was hard to know that some of the schools that I wanted to apply to wouldn’t give me enough financial aid.

Any big news yet?

I got $52,000 from LeTourneau for my grades. That was really exciting. I’m waiting for the award letter.

Any advice about the college process for younger students?

 

Kelly Liu

What schools did you apply to?

Rice, Emory, UCLA, University of Southern California, Trinity, Texas A &M, and Claremont McKenna.

What’s your current dream school?

Rice because it’s near home and set up well. Claremont McKenna is my second choice.

What was the process of applying to schools like?

It was simpler than I thought with the common application. Apply Texas was also helpful because you could reuse a lot of essays. The questions weren’t as difficult as I thought.

Any big news yet?

I got accepted to A&M and UT. I just got the award letter for A&M today. I did a fly-in to Claremont McKenna in October. That’s why it’s my second choice. The campus was really nice and the people communicated well. The professors cared about their students.

Any advice about the college process for younger students?

Ranferi Sierra

What schools did you apply to?

Texas A&M, University of Houston, University of Houston-Downtown, Claremont McKenna, Pomona, Swarthmore, Northwestern, and Rice.

What’s your current dream school?

Claremont because I like the location and campus. It was very outdoorsy and felt like a well-rounded place. You weren’t far from the city, but you weren’t in the city either.

What was the process of applying to schools like?

It was stressful because I didn’t know how to start. But after I started, it felt repetitive.

Any big news yet?

I did Questbridge and was a finalist but didn’t get matched. I’ll be considered for those schools for regular decision. I got into A&M and both University of Houston campuses. I have to wait to find out more about financial aid though.

Any advice about the college process for younger students?

 

Video web content titled: Ranferi Sierra, YES Prep West senior

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