Article By: Mayako K.

Edited by: Woosuk K.

Graphic by: Elena D.

For the ISM seniors, college application season is well underway, with many students beginning to finalize their university lists and preparing to send in their various applications. However, the college application process is only beginning for the juniors, which will be prompted by the Junior University Kick-Off event that will be held on Thursday, October 25 in the FAT, Lofthouse, LT, and AMR.

Deciding on which college to apply to is arguably one of the most stressful decisions a high schooler has to make. Thus, the Junior University Kick Off (more commonly known by the acronym JUKO), was designed to guide juniors through this demanding time. It is an annual event where students and parents move in between different sessions which are each dedicated to a different aspect of college– anything from different types of recommended external testing (SATs and ACTs) to understanding which college may be the right fit for students. Not limited to the Philippines, JUKO will also host sessions for universities in different countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand.

A very important factor in deciding which colleges to apply to is the student fit. Many students tend to overlook this aspect of the application process, looking towards universities they may consider famous when in reality there are different colleges which would be a better fit for them. Ms. Tao, an HS counselor for 11th and 12th grade, expressed her concern for such, stating how “some students only look at colleges in the US because it’s the most popular for students in ISM, but there are so many different colleges in other countries that offer different programs that could be a better fit.”

In order to help students find the right college and find success in their applications, JUKO helps juniors plan an ideal timeline for the next two years. Many students will be applying as soon as October or November of their senior year, and their preparations may have started even earlier than that. Therefore, JUKO will help students identify the different college options available to them and prepare them for each option they may choose to take.

Considering that college applications can be a daunting task for students, Ms. Tao offers some advice for staying on the right track. First of all, she says, “building good relationships with your teachers are very important for letters of recommendation. These can give an insight to the college what type of student you are in the classroom.” Another important thing to do is to “constantly meet with your counselor to discuss a timeline for senior year.” Counselors are a huge help in suggesting where and how to apply to certain colleges. Therefore, it is important to enter the college application process with a flexible mindset, open to various suggestions.

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