Seniors of 2015 take on college applications

Olivia Johnson as a child (left) and as a senior (right) the day she received a University of Tennessee acceptance letter. Johnson was born and raised a Tennessee Vol throughout her entire life.

Several college application deadlines have already come and gone this fall. Seniors have been busy for many months in an attempt to secure spots at their dream schools.

Some students are looking forward to finishing up their high school years and time in Raleigh, while others are more timid to move so fast. Olivia Johnson, who falls within the former, has grown up her whole life with hopes of attending the University of Tennessee.

Although she will be far from her childhood home, Johnson said, “I’m looking for a change of scenery because I’ve been in Raleigh all my life. I love Knoxville, grew up a Tennessee fan by going to the games and my dad’s from Tennessee, so I have family there as well.”

South Carolina, Kentucky and East Carolina are among her other top choices.

…most of Johnson’s parental pressure is directed at scholarships for her out-of-state schools.

As nice as getting away is, most of Johnson’s parental pressure is directed at scholarships for her out-of-state schools. Seniors must not only balance their focus on perfecting multiple college applications, but they also have to devote equal attention towards scholarship applications.

With a popular reputation as one of the star players on Leesville’s Women’s Lacrosse Team, schools have shown interest in Johnson throughout the past months.

“I may see if I can get…lacrosse offers closer to the season, but I will probably not take any because I’d rather go to a big school,” said Johnson.

Similar to Johnson, Daniel Nance has also had his school in mind for nearly his entire life.

“I am interested in North Carolina State University because it’s local, I’ve been a fan all of my life and I would know a lot of people going there,” said Nance. “It would be really cool going to the school that I’ve been rooting for since I was a little kid.”

Nance is also interested in Clemson, Alabama, South Carolina and East Carolina.

“I have personal connections to State and Alabama, while East Carolina University and University of South Carolina offer great honors college programs, especially East Carolina’s Early Assurance program in my case,” said Nance.

With an interest in Microbiology or Biochemistry because of his positive experience at Leesville, Nance has aspirations of medical school and a career in pathology after his undergraduate education.

“Those two majors would be great starting points for an application to medical school,” said Nance.

With a challenging future ahead, Nance explains his reasoning for picking two of the top honors colleges in the nation.

“I am applying for honors colleges at all five schools because of both scholarship opportunities and the actual honors college experience itself,” said Nance. “Any reduction of the cost to attend is awesome, and I have heard really great things about honors colleges in general.”

“I committed to Elon because I wanted to be somewhat close to home,” said Dipper.

Mackenzie Dipper, a four-year varsity player for Leesville’s Women’s Soccer Team, has had many great scholarship offers.

Like Nance, Dipper has also had her decision made for awhile. With interest from Elon, Appalachian State, Louisville, Kentucky and several others, Dipper verbally committed to Elon for soccer on July 29, 2013.

She will arrive at Elon with an amazing three-fourths of her total college tuition paid for.

“I committed to Elon because I wanted to be somewhat close to home,” said Dipper. “Also, the offer was too good to pass up. I know the coach; he has coached me before.”

With the stress of applications surrounding her, Dipper appears relaxed.

“I feel very relieved and stress-free because although I still have to apply, I am basically accepted,” said Dipper.

While not having to officially sign until February, she is still available to search and accept other offers.

However, with being committed comes responsibilities.

“Since I was injured last high school season and am still coming back, many of my coaches are hesitant on me playing my senior year for high school. I, personally, would like to, but I am going to have to talk to the Elon coach to see what is best for me and my career,” said Dipper.

With only a possible interest in soccer beyond her college years, Dipper also looks forward to pursuing a psychology and/or criminology major.

“I am not very interested in playing soccer after college,” said Dipper. “However, if there is an opportunity then I will.”

Despite the stress attached to the application process, all three students, along with the rest of the senior class, have been enjoying getting a head start on their futures.

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