Congratulations to the College Raptor Scholarship recipient, Reina Sausedo! Her compelling essay earned her $1,000 towards her higher education. I got the chance to chat with Reina about her experience in searching for colleges and preparing for the next step in her education.
Here’s what she had to say!
Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Reina Sausedo. I am a senior at Ripon High School. During my time at Ripon High, I’ve gotten myself involved in basketball, track and field, and Link Crew, while also maintaining over a 4.0 GPA all 4 years. I am very invested in my academics as well as getting involved with my school and different activities at school.
What do you plan on studying in college?
You mentioned an interest in UC Davis and CalPoly SLO. What drew you to these schools?
My top schools at the moment are UC Davis and Cal Poly SLO. Both of my parents attended UC Davis and have become very successful, while also enjoying their time there. I visited Cal Poly SLO over the summer and I loved the atmosphere of the school and the surrounding location.
Did you apply to any other colleges? How did you narrow down your choices?
I applied to CSU Sacramento, CSU San Diego, CSU San Marcos, Cal Poly SLO, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, and Boise State so far. I narrowed my choices based on location. College Raptor helped show me if a college was located in an impacted city vs a modest suburb. I am leaning towards more of a suburban location.
You seemed surprised by our in-depth questions in the Match Tool. Did they help you rethink how you considered schools?
The in-depth questions on the College Raptor questionnaire made me rethink a few of my college choices based on location. An example is when College Raptor showed me all the crime rates at certain colleges after I made it clear that safety is extremely important to me. After seeing that, I changed a few of my college choices.
Since the site helped you save time, what did you use your extra time to focus on?
I used my extra time to focus on finding good scholarships that would help me pay for school. I also focused more on basketball and getting a part-time tutoring job for elementary kids.
What was the most challenging part of the whole college search / prep process?
My most challenging part was picking one specific major. I am very indecisive and I have a lot of strength in multiple school subjects, which makes it harder for me to pick just one. In addition, deciding on where to go to school has been extremely difficult. In addition to location, the cost of the school is a big deal. That is why looking for any type of financial aid has also been at the forefront of my mind.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to students going through the college prep process?
One piece of advice I would give students going through the college prep process is to keep an open mind. Applying close to home and far from home is smart just in case you are unsure about the location of where you want to go as well. Also, apply for all scholarships. College is extremely expensive and any type of financial aid can help.
Congrats once again, Reina! Everyone at College Raptor wishes you luck on your college journey.
Interested in becoming a College Raptor Scholarship recipient yourself? Be sure to check out our scholarship page for more information.