College App Season

SHINE Students Prepare for the Coming College Application Season

Last Friday was the fourth weekly SHINE cohort lunch in which SHINE students take time out of their busy lab schedules to eat lunch together and engage in stimulating activities. Past cohort lunches have featured an engineering design challenge in which SHINE students and their Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering (SURE) mentors teamed up to build a box out of nothing but pipe cleaners and pasta, a literature workshop where SURE mentors helped SHINE students understand their assigned scientific paper, and a visit from SHINE alumni.

Program Specialist in the USC Viterbi Awards Office and high school teacher Branka Cevjic with the winning pasta-box design challenge team.

During last week’s fourth cohort lunch, SHINE students were visited by USC Viterbi Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions Rebecca Beiter and SHINE parent Morgan Kim to discuss choosing and getting into the right college. Among the list of topics covered in Ms. Beiter’s and Ms. Kim’s talk were choosing reach as well as safety colleges, understanding how the college application process works, working the essay questions to represent one’s best self, and finding ways to pay for college.

College is a few years away for a handful of SHINE students, but for a substantial 3/4th of this year’s SHINE student cohort the college app season is just around the corner. Even then, it’s never too early to start thinking about the college application process.

Viterbi Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions Rebecca Beiter during Friday’s talk.

SHINE parent Morgan Kim presenting to SHINE students.

While the fields of study in higher education are nearly infinite, science and engineering related fields are the favorite choices for the 26 high school students in SHINE. And it makes total sense, seeing how much math and science they learn to apply in their labs. For a few SHINE students this extensive use of math and science has pushed them to advance their current ability in those fields. Whether it’s to better understand or further the research they are working on, these SHINE students are making themselves comfortable with the tools they’ll use to solve science and engineering’s most challenging problems. It seems that Ms. Beiter’s and Ms. Kim’s advice to pursue a major that they truly feel passionate about rather than for the sake of pleasing someone else is already taking effect.

This sense of independence carries over into the college application process. As the SHINE incoming seniors will soon figure out, college apps mark the end of one’s high school era. Very soon, the last day of following a schedule made by someone else and being reminded of deadlines by teachers and family will finally come. As students work to complete their essays and meet all their deadlines, they are being transitioned by these college apps to self-sustainability and sovereignty. Friday’s talk has definitely helped these students understand how to make the best choices to get the most of what they want from their next four years of education.

Published on July 18th, 2017

Last updated on March 23rd, 2018