If you go
A financial aid meeting takes place at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Moffat County High School library, 900 Finley Lane. Seniors and parents are encouraged to attend. For more information, call Paula Duzik at 826-6610.
Craig As an editor at Moffat County High School’s newspaper, the Postscript, Alex Selan is no stranger to writing.
But, when she came to the personal statement part of her college application, the senior was stumped.
“It’s the hardest part,” she said. “I hate writing about myself. I’m good at writing fictitious things, but it’s hard having to write about myself and just not knowing what they want to hear.”
When high school seniors return from holiday break, the reality of life after school hits hard, with looming college application deadlines, the pressure of financing college and major life decisions.
High school counselor Paula Duzik said she had several students in tears in her office Monday from the stress of applying to college and the realities of what the future holds.
“They’re just worried because it’s second semester,” Duzik said. “They come in and ask questions about their schedule, and I ask them if they did the things we talked about last time, and they’re like, ‘No.’”
She said many students and parents are worried about finances, so Duzik is hosting two financial aid meetings to go over processes for applying for aid and scholarships.
A meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Moffat County High School library, during which Duzik will explain federal financial aid forms and local and school-specific scholarships so students and parents can be educated consumers.
“It’s really all about the money,” she said. “I think kids are feeling the pressure. The price of school is really high, and there is a lot of fear.”
She said throughout the process of applying to colleges and scholarships, her job is to be there for the students and provide the tools they need to make their choices become a reality.
“The kids do need some guidance on this,” she said. “I tell them how they need to do it and give them tools. But once it’s completed, I send them on their way. I say, ‘You’ve got to talk to your parents about it.’ They’ve got to have parental support.”
She said many seniors have finished college applications, but deadlines for most schools are in the next two months.
Selan said she hopes to have her application sent to Colorado State University by the end of the week.
She isn’t sure what she’s going to do as a career, but she wants to double major in art education and English.
The excitement about moving to a new town and meeting new people is equaled by her apprehension about her classes and leaving her comfort zone.
“I’m so used to hanging out in (Tom) Duncan’s room and helping kids with their sketches and stuff,” she said. “At college there’s going to be a lot of kids that are going to be like, ‘Wow,’ and I’m going to be sitting next to them.”
But she said with the help of counselors and her dual enrollment courses, she will make it to Fort Collins to start her undergraduate degree.
“I think I can do it,” she said.
While Duzik knows this time of year can be difficult as seniors plan for college or the work force, a lot of the fear can be eased by focusing on getting through the application process.
“The whole thing is not that difficult if you know what you need to do and if you do it just one step at a time,” she said.