The Search

What goes into finding the “dream” school


Photo by M. Beyer

Ellen Fields (12) excited about receiving her acceptance letter from Clemson, a school she applied to.

Matthew Beyer, Co-Editor-in-Chief/Centerspread/Columns Editor

Every year, juniors and seniors are on the look out for where or what they want their post-high school career to look like. Whether one wants to go to a higher institution, step foot into the workforce or join the armed forces, one’s decision is important and has an ever-lasting effect.

The college search can be a stressful time for many high school seniors.  While the SAT and ACT are not required at all schools, they are still tests that are taken annually by students. Benefits of taking the SAT include merit-based scholarships and helping a student’s application stand out. On the other hand, a benefit of going test optional is that plenty of factors, such as GPA, college entry essay, achievements and extracurriculars will stand out to admissions counselors.

Abigail Furrow (11) still holds the SAT in high regard, since she plans to go pre-med and study gynecology in medical school.

“I have completed the SAT twice now, and I believe that it is a great representation of a student’s academic level. This can be helpful when planning for college, and there is always the bonus of potential scholarships,” Furrow said.

Before choosing a school, common practice is to visit multiple schools. Visiting a school gives a potential student the insight into a campus, its facilities, how students and staff interact and what amenities may be offered at the school.

Caris Mitchell (12) has been on numerous college tours, and her most recent one had a lasting effect on her.

“One of my favorite college tours was at Wofford College. It stood out to me because I got to meet prospective Wofford students and learned a lot about the school that I didn’t know,” Mitchell said. “The tour guides were Wofford students and provided a very personable experience. I got to tour academic buildings, dorm rooms and apartments. The tour guides were so nice and they even wrote me a note thanking me for touring. My college search experience has been so exciting. I would not change a thing.”

National decision day, May 1, is an important date that seniors look forward to. While this day may be the most favored to choose a school, some seniors decide even earlier.

Miguel Junco-Saenz (12) has already decided where he is going and is optimistic about his future.

“My plan post-high school is to attend Converse University and major in History. My search for college has been very varied when it comes to my options of schools that I applied for,” Junco-Saenz said. “I would suggest for underclassmen to start looking into colleges before their senior year, so they have a clear idea of what steps need to be taken in order to go to their ideal school. Senior year goes by very fast and the application process for schools can be very stressful if not prepared in time.”