Scholarship Q&A With $2,500 Winner Josie Tarrell!

A big congratulations are in order for Josie Tarrell—winner of the $2,500 College Raptor Scholarship! I had the fortune of chatting with Josie about her future college plans, her current search, and her past struggles. Learn what she has to say in her scholarship Q&A!

Scholarship Winner Josie Tarrell

Tell us a little about yourself to start off this scholarship Q&A!

Hi! My name is Josie Tarrell and I am a senior at Del Campo High School in California. At school, I participate in AVID, Key Club, and Link Crew, and I was also on the swim and golf teams. I plan on majoring in Psychology next year at a four year university in California.

You mention that you’re considering several different majors. Which ones? Why?

The majors I am considering are Psychology, Environmental Science and Policy, and Education. I based these choices off of the classes I was most interested and passionate about in high school.

Psychology is a field with a wide variety of opportunities that can come from it, such as social work or education. I also am fascinated by environmental science and sustainability.

What drew you to the colleges in the University of California system?

I was drawn to colleges in the University of California system because I wanted the best education for myself that I could get, and I thought that UC schools were the best way to get that. When touring UC Irvine and UC Santa Cruz in particular, I loved the new buildings and research facilities that they had, and I could see myself attending either one of them.

Can you describe the feeling you got when College Raptor showed you your likelihood to be accepted at and afford a UC school?

When I saw that some of my favorite schools in the UC system were “match” schools instead of “reach” schools, I was shocked and excited. Attending those schools was always a dream I had, but I was not aware of how likely it was that it could become a reality. It gave me confidence going into the application process that helped me choose which schools to apply to. I also was surprised by how many loans and scholarships are available to help me afford a UC school.

You hadn’t heard of some of the schools on your personalized match list. What interested you about these schools that you considered them?

The school I hadn’t heard of before was Pitzer College. After looking into it further, I learned that it was a small Liberal Arts school that fulfilled all of my needs in a college, and was different from the larger schools I had been looking at before. It has an exceptional Environmental Science program and small class sizes. It was beneficial that College Raptor gave me a wide variety of schools to consider, since I may not have found this school on my own.

How confident do you feel moving forward in the application process now that you’ve seen your match scores?

My confidence has grown immensely after seeing that schools like UC Davis and UC Riverside are my match schools. I was much more motivated to make my college applications the best quality that they could be to make sure I was able to reach my goals of getting into the UC schools.

What are you most looking forward to doing in college?

I am most looking forward to getting an education on Psychology, a subject that I am passionate about. I am also excited about entering this new chapter of my life, meeting new people, and gaining independence!

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to students in the college search process?

Consider a variety of schools and narrow down the list until you find one that feels right for you. Websites like College Raptor combined with your own personal research is a great way to find schools that will fit your needs!


Congratulations again, Josie! And thanks for sharing your thoughts in this scholarship Q&A! Everyone here at College Raptor wishes you well on your college journey!

Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid—just like Josie did!

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