College Prep 101

The College Application process is in full swing at Brook Hill this year and as we look at it
realistically, we realize that the process truly began when the Seniors of 2022 were just starting 9th
grade. While applying for college can be overwhelming at times, we find that starting early can totally
reduce stress levels for all involved. Take a breath and keep reading because at Brook Hill we have stress
reducers already in place.

The Senior Class of 2025 just returned from a trip to Dallas Baptist University to tour the
campus, eat lunch in their cafeteria, and experience Chapel while building relationships with each other
and networking with college administrators. Our Class of 2024 had a similar experience at Stephen F.
Austin State University, and our Senior Class of 2023 enjoyed the Texas A & M experience by hearing
from the admissions office, touring, and visiting with many Brook Hill alumni while in College Station.

Our 9th-11th graders took the NMSQT PSAT several weeks ago and our 12th graders had the
opportunity to sit for a School Day SAT administration. With college prep coursework and opportunities
for test prep, our students are more than prepared.

Already this year we have had over 30 college admissions officers on campus with 26 of those
each presenting up close and personal in a “Lightning Round” for our entire senior class. The
presentation was full of questions, answers, laughter, more questions, laughter, bling, and prizes.

Our Senior Class has been immersed in Senior Seminar since the beginning of school. Senior
Seminar is like the huddle before each play on the football field. Seniors know the process—they have
been preparing for years—they come together as a group to be reminded about the details—and then
they break the huddle and execute.

This year in Senior Seminar we have taken an in-depth look at the “College Application To Do
List”, paying very close attention to the fact that the “To Do List” is a series of tasks that, when
accomplished, can be checked off of the list providing an ever so brief moment of celebration before
moving on to the next item.

We have listened and learned about scholarships and financial aid with college representatives
providing assistance with the Federal Aid process (FAFSA) and local scholarship administrators guiding us
through the scholarship maze. What seniors heard over and over is that local scholarships can definitely
add up and pay for those ever so necessary textbooks and more. Basically, seniors know that the words
“scholarship” and “I will apply” need to always be said almost simultaneously. When said in unison they
are guaranteed to make a parent smile. We know for a fact that students will never ever be awarded
scholarships of any kind if they choose to not apply, so all together now—“scholarshipiwillapply”…$pell
check is trying its’ be$t to tell me that I need to u$e the $pace bar with that long word…but I know

In Senior Seminar on “So you want to be a Super Hero Lesson Day” Brook Hill super men and
women were filled with questions. Because seniors at Brook Hill are totally Super Heroes in our eyes, it
was a day we focused on individual personalities and interests. Choosing a major that will lead to a job
that will lead to a fulfilling career is what college is really all about and looking at resources to help make
informed decisions is the best way to prepare. Students spoke directly with college admissions officers
from TCU, Samford, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, and Baylor—just to name a few. The colleges were happy to
answer questions about how to choose a major, how to change a major once declared, and career
services offered on their campuses. Seniors took a deep breath after visiting with the reps.

Before we break the Senior Seminar huddle for the year we will hear from financial literacy
experts, experience a “Reality Fair” (yes, parents, we need volunteers for this day in early December),
check and double check applications that students have been working on, hear about how to stay strong
in the faith in college, and celebrate success.

In the very near future Seniors 2022 will be checking the last item off of their “College
Application To Do List”, breaking the huddle, and driving down the field for a touchdown while our
Seniors 2023, 2024, and 2025, are planning ahead.

When our seniors walk across the stage it will be a time to celebrate.
…and also a time to shed a few orange and blue tears…