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.
It was before Christmas, and as most seniors finished applications, William Ash already knew that he was going to the Colorado School of Mines, his dad's alma mater, to study metallurgical engineering. With that settled, "my main concern was getting the finances for school." A School of Mines scholarship covers one year of tuition. (He was crossing his fingers on further aid.) "The worst part of going to college is filling out [forms for] scholarships."
GPA: 3.8 unweighted
SAT/ACT scores: 610 math, 650 critical reading, 590 writing/26 composite
Extracurriculars: National Honor Society, French National Honor Society, People to People International
Eye-opener: An unenjoyable stint in his junior year shadowing a pharmacist ruled out that career path.
Regrets: None. "I got into my dream school."
Most helpful: "Taking the time to make a résumé," which pulls everything together in one place
Frustration: "People expect you to know what you want to do while you're in high school," Ash says. "The pressure is ridiculous."
Smartest move: Sticking with the demanding International Baccalaureate, or IB, program. "It's a big sense of accomplishment."
Advice: Zinch.com is a useful resource for finding scholarships.
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