Seniors Begin College Applications

Jasmine Fernandez, Editor-In-Chief

As with every year’s graduating class, the beginning of the school year brings responsibilities in the form of college applications, essays, scholarships, and financial aid forms. This is no different for the class of 2019, the next Downey High class to begin the application process.


Heavily emphasized by the College and Career Center, students interested in staying in California are applying to the 23 California State Universities and 11 Universities of California campuses across the state. Besides the lower tuition costs that come with remaining in-state, the proximity of these colleges to Downey and southern California appeal to those students grappling with the notion of moving away.


Included is Sage Ceja, 12, who plans on applying to six CSU and UC schools for their location relative to her home in Downey.


“I’m applying to CSULB, UCSD, UCSB, UCLA, UCI, and maybe UC Davis. I chose these colleges really based on location and the majors offered,” Ceja said. “I don’t want to move too far away yet. My dogs are older and I want to be there in a timely manner if something happens to them.”

However, while it is up to students to decide what schools they ultimately apply to, Downey High offers counseling and workshop services in order to help students round out their applications. While daunting to seniors planning their futures, counselors and teachers such as Mrs. Neria and Mr. Glasser have taken initiative to formalize the supplement drafting process.


Stephanie Castrejon, 12, believes that this extra outside push has helped her advance in her supplements for UCI, UCSB, UCLA and UCSC.


“I dreaded starting the process and if it wasn’t for [Glasser and Neria], I probably still wouldn’t of started because I’m [first-generation] and I don’t get help from my family,” Castrejon said. “Although still stressful, it feels nice to know I have some type of guidance now.”


Although those students hoping to remain within the CSU or UC systems such as Ceja and Castrejon have focused on the UC Personal Insight Questions and CSU submission requirements, others in the class of 2019 are pursuing private institutions in and out of state.


In the case of senior and Top 20 student Marcelo Martir, private and Ivy League universities weigh heavy on his list of applications.


“I am applying to Stanford primarily, some Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Yale, maybe Princeton, and some UC schools such as Berkeley, Irvine, and [Los Angeles],” Martir said. “I have a few safety schools, but I primarily want to focus on the others.”

With just under a month left before students can begin to submit their CSU, UC and Early Decision applications, seniors are organizing their academic portfolios now in order to commit to a school they wish to attend by May 1. The University of California’s and California State University’s application windows extend from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30 whereas most private institutions accept regular decision applications until early January. For more information on college, the application process, or available resources, see the College and Career Center in room A-201 before or after school.