This concerned Sonoraville High graduation coach Trace Vaughn.
Vaughn knew the college deadline had already past for many colleges in Georgia, and also knows the process of applying to college can be overwhelming.
“We want them to have a plan and we want them to set one in action,” said Vaughn.
In helping students plan ahead for college, Sonoraville High School seniors took part in a state-wide program known as Apply to College Week last week.
Nearly 45 high schools across the state participated in the event, which started Nov. 9-13. Volun-teers from Georgia’s colleges and universities were able to help students do their paperwork through Gacollege411.org, a Web site designed to help streamline the process of applying to college in Georgia.
Volunteers focus on students whose parents did not attend college. Online application fees were also waived for more than a dozen colleges and universities, including Savannah State University, Shorter College, Waycross College and Dalton State College.
Vaughn organized the applying for college day at the school inside of the school’s library for 211 seniors Friday.
Our goal is 100 percent,” Vaughn said.
Each senior was assigned a meeting time, where they could ask college recruiters questions, ap-ply online and set up times to visit the school.
“For us, it’s giving an impetus that you’ll be ready for college by this time,” Vaughn said. “We looked at transcripts ahead of time and we are pushing them to be aware and to learn about col-lege.”
Senior Chase Starkey already attends college. He’s a part-time joint enrolled Dalton State Uni-versity student.
When he begins college next fall, he’ll enter school with more than 25 credit hours.
University of Georgia, Berry College, Kennesaw State University, Shorter College and Auburn University are a few options, among many schools, which Starkey is considering.
But, he remains undecided on a school and major.
“I want to have a dorm experience, but I’m not so focused on Greek life,” said Starkey.
The ambitious 17-year-old senior met with Matt Warren, a Berry College recruiter.
Warren encouraged Starkey to come tour Berry College.
“When a family or individual comes they are given a guided tour of the campus by a freshman,” Warren explained. “Freshman give an accurate view of the campus and they have to stay on cam-pus.’
Warren also shared Starkey that he could spend the night in Dana hall, the men’s dormitory on campus, and see what the dorms are like first hand.
“We have freshman volunteers who host students over night,” Warren said. “It’s not to doctor it up or showcase a room, but students go out, attend club meetings and eat on campus and see what it’s like there.”
In addition, he learned he could sit-in on a college class.
“We usually put them in a freshman level course of their choice like English,” Warren explained.
Sabrina Wilson, his mom, sat in the library alongside Starkey and Warren, and learned about Berry College Friday.
“I’ve done a lot of research, but I like the idea of having counselors on hand,” said Wilson. “The availability is nice.”
“Money is the biggest issue, and with so many children it has to be a priority,” said Wilson.
While Auburn University has accepted Starkey, money is a concern.
“Money will probably be the deciding factor,” said Wilson.
Teacher Vaughn explains the difference between first generation college students and those who aren’t are the questions they ask recruiters and teachers.
“The difference is that first generation are the ones asking where will I go, if I go to college,” said Vaughn. “Students who have families that have went to college will look all over the place and it’s about where they are going.”
Vaughn was a first generation college student. He’s a Mercer University grad, and says he aims at helping students find a career goal.
“Once a student has a career goal then they figure out they are able to connect what they do into school,” Vaughn said.
The school tries to help students form opinions about colleges early on in their high school ca-reer. The next college-focused event will be on Feb. 28 for freshman.