Sumner Academy of Arts and Science in Kansas City is a magnet school for grades 8-12. Ranked one of America's Best High Schools by U.S. News, it is ethnically diverse, and some 92 percent of students participate in the school's AP or IB programs. We asked eight Sumner seniors to talk about applying for college.
Nubia Gomez got into all five Kansas schools she applied to, including the University of Kansas, Kansas State, and Central Christian College. Some offered hefty scholarships. But with her U.S. residency status pending, Gomez, born in Mexico, is locked out of traditional financial aid. So, Gomez is going to Kansas City Kansas Community College on a full scholarship. She plans to pursue an associate's degree in business administration and computer engineering and then transfer to KU or Emporia State University. "People with more degrees get paid more," she says.
GPA: 3.43 unweighted
ACT score: 26 composite
Extracurriculars: Key Club president, National Honor Society, varsity tennis, works 25 hours per week as a T-Mobile Limited sales rep
Essay topic: My life
Her approach: Look at the strength of programs and costs at in-state schools, then determine the value she'd get at each. Then, "I opened myself up to them as an honest, sincere, and responsible young woman."
Biggest surprise: Not having to write admissions essays for the five Kansas schools applied to.
Biggest hurdle: Ineligibility for FAFSA-related aid
Advice: Stay organized. Stored résumé, transcripts, deadlines on cellphone for easy access, and each day updated her college app schedule.
More Student Profiles:
Searching for a college? Get our complete rankings of Best Colleges.