A big “Congratulations!” is in order for Katelyn Vandergoot, the winner of the College Raptor $2,500 scholarship award! I had the chance to talk with Katelyn and ask her about her college search process.
Check out what she has to say!
Tell us about yourself!
In the fall, I will be a sophomore at the University of Toledo studying Nursing. After my Bachelor degree, I hope to go on to obtain a Master’s degree. I am currently working as a lifeguard at the local pool. I enjoy getting outside and helping out with yard work, taking bike rides, and reading classic novels.
What was the transition from home-schooling to a high school like?
For me, the transition from a home-school setting to a public high school was very difficult at first. I was not prepared to deal with the wide variety of students in the public setting. Unlike myself, many of the students did not value the opportunity to learn as I did. I was overwhelmed by the severity of language the student used and their lack of respect for the teachers and staff.
I also struggled to pay attention during class because the pace of the material was much slower than what I was used to and most of the first few lessons were review material. However, I soon learned to adapt to my new surroundings and eventually was able to excel despite my reservations at first.
You were frustrated with other college search engines, what made College Raptor different for you?
College Raptor’s primary questionnaire was very straight forward and did not take long to complete. Many other college search engines asked for a lot of information, and by the time I finished these questionnaires, I was so frustrated and tired I did not care about the results. I also found that College Raptor provided a lot more information about my college options, majors, and financial advice.
What inspired you to pursue becoming a Nurse?
I always knew I wanted to enter the medical field but had trouble finding where exactly I belonged. It was not until I shadowed an OB/GYN nurse and witnessed the miracle of birth. I was amazed at how much the nurses knew scientifically but also how to comfort the patients. I look forward to using a mix of the scientific knowledge I crave as well as showing compassion to patients and interacting with those around me.
How much did majors/careers play into your college choice?
My choice of college was very dependent on the major I wanted to pursue. For my first year, I was still not sure what I wanted to do, so I attended a satellite campus near me to save money. During this time, I settled on nursing and spent hours researching the best nursing schools near me. I found the best schools, then visited each one and settled on my favorite campus out of the selected schools.
In what ways have you found College Raptor’s articles helpful?
Unlike other search engines, College Raptor had many articles that provide valuable advice for the future. I especially liked the one that details how to write an effective resume. I will need advice like this not only now, but later in my career. I also appreciated how the articles cover advice for a wide variety of majors and careers.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to students in the college search process?
To other students searching for the perfect college, I want to encourage them not to stress out too much. I spent most of my senior year convinced I would make a terrible mistake. I endlessly searched colleges, even though I did not know what I wanted to do. I did not feel confident in any of the choices I researched, I found a temporary solution: a local satellite campus. It was after I decided what I wanted to do and found the college that best suited me, I realized I should not have stressed myself out my senior year and trusted my intuition that I was not yet ready to move away. Trust your gut and never be afraid to wait until you are sure about decisions such as college decisions.
Congratulations again, Katelyn! Everyone at College Raptor wishes you the best!
Interested in winning a College Raptor scholarship award like Katelyn? Check out our scholarship application here.
Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!