Lauren Wood – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Like the band Whitesnake once said, “I don’t know where I’m going, but I sure know where I’ve been.”

Testing is done, and GPAs have been finalized for semester transcripts. College applications, SATs, ACTs and campus tours have all been completed for life after graduation, but what’s next?

That is the beauty of not knowing. Seniors are young and spontaneous, but unexpected factors could change their mindset about college. Financial Aid may not have covered as much tuition as they thought, or the sudden fear of leaving the nest may have kept them from committing to a university.

For some, completing forms may have been the most stressful part about applying, but for most, it was harder coming up with the money to go in the first place. With time running out and unexpected deadlines arriving, the loaded question for seniors can be “What do I do?”

“I didn’t know when it was a good time to start or finish my application,” commented senior AmeliaBelle Dasovich.  “And in October, I didn’t know if I was running out of time or had enough and I felt like I wasn’t informed completely on the process.”

When the year first started, there were maybe a handful of people who knew which college they were going to and what they were going to study. But now? Minds are thrown into the mix of indecisiveness.

“I’m first generation everything, so I’m doing everything on my own. And the fact that I had to complete so many processes like FASFA and SSAR was very confusing. I didn’t know how to do anything up until the week before deadlines, which was November first,” stated senior Robby Rodriguez.

Forms like the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) were discussed in classrooms, but seniors were left oblivious when documents like the Self-Reported Student Academic Record (SSAR) began to appear.

Though these forms have been completed and (most) deadlines have been fulfilled, some applicants are still feeling stress. With graduation coming faster than anticipated, seniors are ready to finish off the year strong and start their new and independent lives as college students.

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