High school marks the start of college process

Junior Courtney Kushnir of Colts Neck checks out the college visiting.

Audrey Mannion

Junior Courtney Kushnir of Colts Neck checks out the college visiting.

Senior Jenna Cohen of Freehold took her first college visit in the beginning of junior year.

“I visited six colleges. I found it very beneficial,” Cohen said. “I think it gives you the perspective of actually being a student there.”

Still, Cohen said she didn’t start early enough.
“I wish I started the college application process over the summer because I would have had my applications done. It makes me feel overwhelmed because it’s a lot of work, a lot of essays, transcripts and grades,” Cohen said.

For some, the college application process starts in middle school. For others, it all starts in junior year.

Senior Tom Campbell of Freehold began visiting colleges last year.

“I started maybe about six to eight months ago,” Campbell said. “Late junior year is a good time.”

Junior Sara Cole of Matawan is just starting the process.

“I plan on visiting this year,” Cole said. “I feel like I’ve started thinking about it because I definitely got some letters in the mail from colleges.”

Cole said that people are definitely visiting colleges earlier.

“I know seventh-graders that are wrapping up things and scores for different college events or things that might look fancy on a resume, just in case, and it’s a little ridiculous but they are like, ‘What if a college likes it?’ And I’m just sitting here, eating a pretzel, thinking ‘eh, maybe if they send me a letter,’” Cole said.

For junior Timothy Weisel of Marlboro, the college process is “just beginning.”

“I still don’t really know, and I haven’t written anything down just yet,” Weisel said.

For sophomore Nicole Molnar of Rumson, the process is starting, too.

She’s been “thinking about it and writing down colleges I’d like to visit,” Molnar said. “I have a whole list but I haven’t told my mom or anything so she doesn’t know where to bring me.”

Freshman Jack Hester of Long Branch said he hasn’t started visiting colleges yet.

“I looked at what I want my career to be, and I’ve looked at the colleges that fit that,” Hester said.

The college application process can take months or years, depending on the student. As a senior, Campbell understands the stress.

“You’ll be fine applying to colleges, but at the same time, it’s terrifying,” Campbell said.