PCHS Students take advantage of Utah College Application Week | ParkRecord.com

PCHS Students take advantage of Utah College Application Week

From left Alec Occon, Marta Vazquez, Lesley Ruiz, Evelin Arrieta and Thomas Occon are some of the students participating in Utah College Application Week at Park City High School. The event is designed to make applying to in-state colleges as easy as possible.

For Thomas Occon, a senior at Park City High School, it's hard enough to juggle working multiple jobs with schoolwork. Adding college applications to the mix makes for a stressful combination.

Fortunately for Occon and students like him, PCHS is participating in Utah College Application Week. From Monday, Nov. 14, to Tuesday, Nov. 22, representatives from every college in the state were set to visit the high school to walk students through their applications.

Occon, who planned to apply to several in-state colleges, said he was grateful for the help.

"The most difficult thing is actually finding the right time," he said. "I've applied to a couple schools already, and it took me a solid two days to do one of them. It's just this tedious process where they ask for tons of details, and you have to make sure you have it all right. It's really hard to balance it with homework for school. So I think it's a cool opportunity for us as seniors to have an extra gap time where we can apply to the schools we're thinking of."

Utah College Application Week is in its fourth year, but this is the first time PCHS is participating, said Dara Smith, an academic counselor at the school. About 60 percent of the school's seniors have already applied for colleges, and about half of students will attend college out of state, but the event assures that no students are left behind.

Smith said counselors were making a push to reach the "stragglers," as well as underrepresented students and those who are unfamiliar with how the application process works.

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"We want to reach those 40 percent of students who maybe aren't on top of it from the get-go, or maybe don't have the parental guidance at home to say, 'Hey, let's sit down and fill out this college application,'" she said. "I also think it's important to know that there is a college out there for every single student, whether it's a certificate program, or a two-year associates degree or four-year college."

Evelin Arrieta is one student who didn't know how to apply to college because she will be a first-generation collegian. Thanks to Utah College Application Week, though, she was set to file her applications to the University of Utah and Utah State University.

"It's hard," she said, adding that her parents don't know how to help her. "Just the thought of applying to colleges stresses me out. So I try to procrastinate as much as I can, but I know that I have to do it. I just get really worried, and I don't like that."

Park City High School was also gearing up to hold a senior night for Hispanic students and their parents on Friday, Nov. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event, offered in Spanish, will provide information on what college is like for students and their parents.