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CHS offers help for students' college application anxiety

The college selection process can become stressful as graduation approaches, but seniors shouldn’t panic yet, said two Clovis High School advisors.

“Certainly it is never too late for one of our seniors to get help from us in the application process,” said CHS Head Counselor Jerry Odom.

As seniors approach their high school career’s end, Odom said students failing to plan for college admittance begin to unnerve.

“They are trying to finish their senior year and at the same time have everything ready for college,” Odom said. “I think the biggest struggle we face in helping the kids is they procrastinate. The number one issue is putting things off until the last minute.”

CHS counselor Pam Cornelison said ideally students should have all their applications to schools by Thanksgiving Day. She suggests students have in mind a “dream college,” a school that is reachable, and a backup school. She said the school is encouraging sophomores to begin looking at college academic requirements.

Cornelison said a key to selecting a school is knowing what the student plans to study.

“I think most of them have a general area. I am not saying they know exactly what they are going to do and obviously no matter how well you educate them, so many of them change in college,” Cornelison said.

Financial situations and location are other elements for choosing a school.

“We have seen a trend where students want to stay closer to home,” she said. “I do believe in the last couple of years that what happened in New York on 9-11 has had something to do with that.”

Application deadlines vary by college and Odom said the more competitive colleges have more strict deadlines, while schools such as Clovis Community College allow registration the week prior to classes.

Attending a community college or a local school such as Eastern New Mexico University is good option for students unsure about their career path, Odom said.

“We see so many kids in Clovis that will start out at a four-year competitive university and within a semester or a year they are back closer,” Odom said.

“You cannot underestimate the roll that the parents play in assisting these kids and getting things done right and on time.”