Reality sets in for seniors as college decisions roll in

Greer Gerney

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Spring is an intense time for high school students across the country when finals and summer excitement compete for attention, the days get longer, and the end of the year looms closer. For the graduating class of 2019, the intensity of these last two months is exacerbated by finally receiving those ever coveted college acceptances. We spoke to Ms. Marin in the College Office about the statistics and need-to-know information in relation to acceptances here at Curtis.

This year, the College Office reports that the number of students who applied was at an all-time high; of the 543 graduating seniors, 95% have notified the school about their plans following graduation, whether that be higher education, military service, or joining the workforce (as of Apr. 18, 2019). Most of that 95% submitted applications to colleges, even if they have a different intention for their plans next year. Ms. Marin told us that after graduation, it is more difficult for the school to firmly discern students’ plans. Curtis no longer has daily contact with graduates and plans change throughout the summer.

In terms of financial assistance for what is an astronomically expensive endeavor, the class of 2018 received a combined $19.7 million in scholarship money. This number has fluctuated throughout the last several years, but it can be assumed that this will be the ballpark amount for the class of 2019. Ms. Marin says that just having completed CUNY, SUNY, or private college applications makes a student eligible for grants from certain schools. Many students are offered money by the institutions they apply to in order to encourage acceptance of the school’s offer. Assistance is awarded based upon SAT or ACT scores, extracurriculars, and other credentials.

Five students this year were offered full scholarships from the Posse Foundation.(Kaitlynn Franks, Jacob Krah, Makayla Holder, Madison Mushnick, and Cierra Hinckson). Students with distinctive applications can be and have been in the past offered full rides based solely on the merit of their time in high school. More likely than not, these opportunities are given by private institutions because public state colleges (CUNY and SUNY) are less expensive overall. Vassar, Notre Dame, and the University of Rochester are examples of schools who have given full scholarships in the past.

The school Curtis students apply to most is the College of Staten Island, which has more benefits than one might initially believe. Hesitance to apply to CSI is common because it is thought of as a community college (which it is not) and due to its location on Staten Island, but the College Office strongly advises the application to a safety CUNY such as CSI. Schools that are a part of the City Universities of New York offer a great deal of opportunity for not as much money. Sometimes students will opt to go to a state or city school because they want to pursue a degree beyond an undergraduate education. Similar to high school application, a less well-known institution that provides opportunity equal to that of a well-known institution can put students at a greater advantage for graduate program application.

As we approach the last weeks of the 2019 school year, congratulations are in order for those whose time at Curtis is coming to a close. Whether attending college, taking the path less traveled, or dedicating your time to our country, we wish you the best of luck.

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