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.
Edgar Javalera has been a Golden Gloves boxing champ and coach and has worked in construction and roofing. A bright student, he also got into three of the four schools he applied to. "I knew right off the bat what I wanted to do," he says, so he's headed to Kansas State to study architectural engineering. "I like putting things together." He also put together a nice financial package for himself, including $13,000 in scholarships.
ACT score: 21 composite
Extracurriculars: Boxing, working, Latino Enrichment Awareness Program
Essay topic: Work
Eye-opener: Dropped by an opponent's punch in the ring, he rededicated himself to school.
Biggest help: His life skills teacher handed out a college app checklist in September of his senior year.
Do-over: "Would have started in ninth grade" applying for scholarships. "There are thousands of scholarships out there."
Advice: "Call and ask [colleges] what they need, and follow up" to make sure they received your info.
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