How To Pick the College For You: Junior College Planning Night

Kendelle Hung-Ino, Associate Editor

   Starting the college application process is never easy, and this year, it is especially challenging now that COVID-19 has altered some school’s application requirements.  What has not changed is the expectation that juniors looking to attend college begin the search process this year.  Moanalua High School College and Career Center counselors emphasize that at its  September 30 virtual Junior College Planning Night, which provides families with tips on how to hunt for the college that best fits the student.


Starting the search

   Donna Barsana, Associate Director of Admissions at Pacific University Oregon, suggested the following list of the characteristics to look for when creating a list of colleges. She recommended that the students should select a school that meets more than three areas that they value: 

  1. Large vs. small

  2. Private vs. public

  3. In-state vs. out-of state

  4. Major/minors

  5. Activities & clubs

  6. Student support

  7. Surrounding community


   Barsana also noted that the net cost should not be a breaking point, as students can receive financial aid from the school, loans, scholarships, and grants. The bottom line question to ask is: how does the college treat you and your family? 


   Here are some sources the counselors provided to begin developing a list of colleges:

   She added that students (not parents) should contact colleges they are interested in via email. As an admissions counselor, “I remembered the names of the students who contacted me,” Barsana said. It is beneficial to show colleges that you are interested in attending. 


Junior college timeline

   College and career counselors Tricia Apana and Rebecca Himuro, provided the following timeline for juniors to follow:





   Due to COVID-19 some colleges are becoming test optional. However, students may need SAT/ACT scores to apply for scholarships. Counselors recommend students do their own research to determine if the schools they’re interested in require testing. 

   Here are options to study for the two tests:

  • ACT Academy (free online)

   Mrs. Apana and Mrs. Himuro are always available to answer questions. Students can contact them via school gmail or set up an appointment with their designated counselor from the CCC Google Classroom.  Mrs. Himuro emailed juniors the full slideshow that was presented at the college night.

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