Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati is a public high school for grades 7-12. Ranked one of America's Best High Schools by U.S. News, it is open to any student in Cincinnati who tests reasonably well. Walnut Hills is culturally and ethnically diverse, and some 95 percent of its graduating seniors go on to four-year colleges. We asked eight seniors to talk about applying for college.
Lindsey wants to double-major in illustration and graphic design, but she's looking for a challenge. "A lot of art schools don't stress the intellectual component, and I am looking for a school that has both," noted Lindsey, who whittled her choices to Parsons the New School for Design (New York City) and Rochester Institute of Technology (upstate). Lindsey opted for RIT because of the mix of scholarships and aid it offered her. Lindsey gets her wish: RIT will challenge her both intellectually and artistically.
SAT/ACT scores: 700 math, 760 critical reading, 650 writing/31 composite
Extracurrics: Recreational soccer, rugby, job at ArtWorks (a city nonprofit)
Essay topic: Dehumanization of the college application process
Automatic no-nos: Hot climates/places you don't want to be with allergies
Lesson learned: Don't procrastinate. Submitting her Parsons app with moments to spare nearly cost her the chance to turn it down.
Do-over: Overwhelming focus on northeastern schools
Extra credit: Making the most of her mom's organizational abilities
Biggest annoyance: Lindsey applied for at least 30 scholarships; she was still waiting to hear from many of them weeks after picking her college.