Arellano answers seniors’ frequently asked questions


Heba dalu

Seniors attended the University of Houston college rep visit in the CCC on November 4 and learned about admissions, campus life, and financial aid offered by the university.

Heba Dalu, Editor-in-Chief

The Eagle’s Eye asked Arellano to answer some frequently asked questions that seniors may have about college applications and financial aid.

Eagle’s Eye: How do students get their transcripts?

Claudia Arellano: Log into Naviance and then go to “Colleges I’m applying to” and then pick out your colleges.

EE: How do scholarship offers and FAFSA work?

CA: FAFSA needs to be completed by January 15. It’s the priority deadline for it. I will say that the earlier you sign up, the more money you will receive. I don’t know if every senior knows, but FAFSA or TASFA is a requirement for graduation. So we are working on trying to get every student signed up before the break, just so that way, when everybody comes back, we don’t have just those two weeks before. And for scholarships, there’s just different deadlines for each and different requirements for each one. We do have a list on the CCC website or on Instagram for students to go to and see. EE: Are there separate scholarship applications when applying to colleges? CA: Depends. Some colleges do have separate scholarships. FAFSA goes to every school that you apply to and then each school rewards you differently. Some schools reward you more, some schools have more scholarship money that they’re willing to offer. Typically, private schools offer more scholarships, since they don’t depend on public funds. That is why sometimes private schools have more money to be able to offer you.

EE: What are some of the major upcoming deadlines?

CA: The biggest one that we have right now is UT, which is December 1. I know that a lot of students here are interested in UT. We have a couple of scholarship deadlines coming up at the end of November. The Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship is due November 18 and the Dell scholarship and Forty Acres Scholarship for UT is also due December 1.

EE: What does the college application process look like today?

CA: It is a little different. ApplyTexas switched their platform and now they’re GoApplyTexas. I know that there’s been some confusion. Now, Naviance makes it really easy for students as well. So I suggest that 11th graders start checking in with their Naviance as of now and add their schools on there. That’s how you request transcripts, how you request letters of recommendation. And luckily CommonApp and GoApplyTexas have similar essays, so students have just needed to alter some short things on their essays, but everything’s online.

EE: What would you advise juniors and seniors?

CA: I would really love juniors to start looking at colleges and start thinking of some schools that they want to research and research requirements on it. A lot of students get surprised by GPA and ranking requirements. Also, just keep your grades up because our transcripts that we send out are from ninth to eleventh grade. Begin thinking about your essay. Topic A is about challenges or obstacles or opportunities that you’ve taken advantage of.

EE: Are there resources here for students trying to obtain DACA status? How do you plan to help undocumented students?

CA: Currently, there is not. But I really think that anytime a student comes in here and there’s no answer to something, I always say that I don’t know it yet. Or I haven’t gotten to that yet. Because I’m always really determined on finding a way or finding an answer to it and making sure that we have a plan for each student. We do offer help with TASFA. For every student, I’m currently working on trying to get my notary so we can also make that easy access for students that are undocumented or that need help with TASFA as well and making it easy on them where they don’t have to go to different people and I can do all the steps with them.