Tips for Applying to College

By Arianna Breindel

The college application can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Here is a collection of tips for high schoolers on making the college process easier.

The first tip is to have a plan. It may seem early, but starting freshman year, think of some things you would like to do when you are older. To narrow it down, ask yourself questions like “Do I want to help people?” or “Do I want to work with animals?”

Once you figure out what you want to do, you can look into those careers. After you find a career, you can see what schooling is needed. Knowing your options will definitely help you with the college process. Some careers only need an associate’s degree, which is two years of school, while some may need a bachelor’s degree, the classic four years of schooling. There are also graduate degrees like master’s and doctorates. A master’s may take two years to complete, for about six years of school total, and a doctoral degre can take up to eight years, for 12 years of school total. It’s important to see how much schooling you need, because if you want to go into a career that only requires an associate degree, you definitely don’t need to pay for a bachelor’s. You can also attend a trade school that provides a two-year program of study in a specific skilled trade. People like welders and cosmetologists choose this type of schooling.

The third thing is to find out what’s important to you in a college. Things such as location, cost, whether they carry your degree, and extracurriculars should be all be considered. Having certain priorities will help you pick a school and narrow down your options. Financing is probably one of the most important topics in the college process. Talk with your family about a good price for school and how you will pay for it. There are many options to get money for college starting with the FAFSA, which you’ll complete the fall of your senior year. Getting a job prior to college not only helps you save money but it does look good on applications and helps you learn time management. Scholarships are one of the best ways to earn money for college. Scholarships go towards your tuition, and you can earn a lot. Something that not many people know is that you can start applying to most scholarships as early as freshman year. It is an easy way to earn money for college and doesn’t take much effort. Some websites to go to are and Niche Scholarships. You can even just go into Google and search for scholarship websites to start the process. When application time rolls around, you can also fill out school-specific scholarship applications that are merit-based. You’ll need to keep your grades up throughout high school in order to receive the highest scholarships.

Lastly, here are a few general tips for the college process. See if your college requires an SAT or ACT and pick the one that will showcase your knowledge best. The SAT is more reading-based, while the ACT is more science- and math-based. Once you figure that out, start studying as soon as possible. Khan Academy has some great resources for that. Next, participate in extracurricular activities throughout high school. Not only is it fun, but being involved makes you stand out to colleges. Juniors, as you approach your senior year, start looking into the deadlines and looking out for the essay prompts. Go on tours for your college if you can, as well, because that will also help you pick your college. If you spread the process throughout your high school years, it won’t be as stressful when senior year rolls around. You will also be prepared and confident when decision time is here.

Family Statement of Faith

  • The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs.  The Bible itself, as the inspired, inerrant, plenary, and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe.  For purposes of CUSSD’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, Shadow Mountain Community Church is CUSSD’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
  • We believe that there is one God eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, and His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through the shedding of His blood, in His bodily resurrection on the third day, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and In His personal pre-millennial return to rapture His Church before the Tribulation and His glorious appearing to set up His Millennial Kingdom.   
  • We believe that salvation is by grace alone through faith, apart from works by the merit of the shed blood of Christ, and that the born-again believer is eternally secure in Christ.
  • We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  • We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life, and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  • We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • We believe in the individual priesthood of the believer.
  • We believe life begins at conception.
  • We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning; the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen. 2:18-25.)  We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a biological man and a biological woman who are married to each other. (1 Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4.)  We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
  • We believe that the Scripture dictates standards of sexual behavior. The unique roles of the male and female are clearly defined in Scripture. Any promiscuity, homosexuality, gender identity issues or other deviations from Biblical principles is a sin that is offensive to God (Matt. 5:18-19; I Cor. 6: 9-10, 19-20; Eph. 5:3-5; 1 Thess. 4:3-8).


We expect our students to be:

Influential Christians who:

  • Accept the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior.
  • Apply Biblical principles as the foundation for moral and spiritual living.
  • Develop and maintain an informed Biblical worldview that shapes their lifestyle choices.
  • Demonstrate God’s love through acts of service and sharing the gospel.

Investigative Learners who:

  • Master a body of knowledge, vocabulary, and skills.
  • Understand, analyze, and order relationships among facts.
  • Assess their needs and apply appropriate strategies to learn concepts and skills.
  • Actively use the tools of learning throughout their lifetime.

Perceptive Thinkers who:

  • Identify, analyze, discriminate, prioritize, and apply information.
  • Have the ability to solve problems by thinking independently and logically.
  • Make responsible and well-reasoned decisions.
  • Actively seek and apply absolute truths.

Effective Communicators who:

  • Demonstrate the ability to accurately understand, interpret, and exchange information.
  • Communicate with eloquence, creativity, and persuasion in writing and in speech.
  • Develop and utilize artistic expression.
  • Proclaim and defend the gospel with wisdom, wit and respect.

Quality Producers who:

  • Demonstrate a growing knowledge of curriculum.
  • Develop their God-given talents and abilities.
  • Display standards of excellence in all pursuits.
  • Work well with others toward a common goal.

Responsible Citizens who:

  • Respect and submit to authority.
  • Actively protect and promote freedom and democracy.
  • Enjoy God’s creation and live as good stewards within it.
  • Recognize and contribute to meeting the needs of others.    

research links & INformation

Web Research Links:

Grolier Online (includes Encyclopedia Americana)
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EBSCO Host Research Databases – Full-text Periodical and Reference Articles Online
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SIRS Knowledge Source – Periodical articles online
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San Diego County Library Website
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