For many high school students, summertime means sleeping in, pool time and hanging out with friends. For those about to be seniors, it can include deciding on a college.
Oklahoma State University opened its application for admission and scholarships for the high school Class of 2015 on July 1. And students who get an early start are rewarded.
Students who apply in July and have their official transcripts and test scores sent to OSU in time to be admitted by the end of August 2014 will earn an orange T-shirt that says, “First. #okstate19.”
There are many benefits for seniors to apply early to OSU. Taking care of the application process during the summer means less stress and more free time for the full force of senior year activities.
Incoming OSU freshman Jaclyn Shirley’s experience is a prime example of why completing the application process early is a good idea. The Coalgate High School graduate will enter OSU in the fall.
“I’m so glad I applied in July,” Shirley said. “The rest of my classmates were stressed out in January because they hadn’t applied to colleges yet, and I was finished. I got all of the information I needed about where I would live and financial aid much earlier than others. I didn’t have to worry about any of it.”
Students who are admitted early can be first in line for scholarship consideration and housing choices. They can also begin talking with future classmates and building relationships with other students, faculty and staff who will be instrumental during their college career.
“It really benefits the student to start the college application process as early as possible,” said Kyle Wray, OSU vice president for enrollment management. “By applying early, it allows our admissions counselors to work with the student throughout the year to make sure they have everything in for a complete scholarship file. It also allows students to begin working with OSU’s Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to see how they can make it work financially.”
In addition to applying early, seniors are encouraged to spend time in the summer and throughout the fall visiting college campuses where they’re considering enrolling. Wray said a campus visit is the best way to see if a college is a good fit for the student.
“Many students assume they know everything they need to about a campus, but when they get here and walk around and meet current students, their perspective can change dramatically,” Wray said. “You’re going to spend some of the most important years of your life at this place, and it is going to change your life, so it makes sense for you to spend time visiting and getting to know the people who are going to be a part of that process.”
Students can begin the application process and schedule a campus visit to Oklahoma State University online. For more information, visit admissions.okstate.edu.
For more information on the OSU application process and available scholarships visit the Office of Undergraduate Admission's website.