For many the college process is a gratifying experience. Graduates carrying the torch, making the family proud by being the last to make their legacy at the same school.
For many, the process can be scary, anxiety filled, and painful. Many fret over due dates and deadlines, request forms and recommendation letters, they become consumed by a mountain of paperwork that they cannot get themselves out of.
For the first ones to begin this journey it can be scary, none of this taught during class, or done for homework.
The whole process can become an ordeal if it’s not handled quickly. Luckily, South has a great resource right here in its very walls.
Mr. Pecic, one of the advisors for Titans Connect, an advocate of reading and an all-around hilarious guy is always eager to help anyone in need.
Found in the heart of CB South in the library, Pecic can help you choose the perfect book, get your life in order, or more in-depth than most– with anything and everything related to college.
Mr. Pecic has been with Central Bucks for 25 years and with South for ten of those years. He’s attended every meeting at South on this topic, has helped students for years, read books and blogs about college admissions and listened to podcasts to further his knowledge.
He is well educated on this topic and well informed through experience, knowledge and always continuing to further his education on the process.
Naviance, or a senior’s most useful resource when applying to colleges, contains any and all information on college. Located on guidance’s website, through the South home page, anyone can find the link to Naviance.
Once logged in someone can keep their applications well organized, can stay well informed on requirements, and can keep up to date on any and all college information.
His best advice to applying students? “Have a plan,” he says. “Know the costs, and know the deadlines.”
As this process is a very tedious and very stressful, having a plan will keep things straight.
Mr. Pecic suggests knowing what has to be done, keeping a check list, and finishing everything before the deadlines.
Admissions offices aren’t taking apps forever, so knowing when which application needs to submitted by is the difference between going away next fall or staying home with mom and dad.
More importantly, as Mr. Pecic says, is knowing when things like FAFSA (financial aid) is due by finding it on Naviance or through the respective schools admissions office. In connection with FAFSA, “knowing the costs and how much debt you’ll be in after school” is one area of biggest emphasis.
Mr. Pecic focuses on costs because “you don’t want to be working your whole life to pay back those loans.”
Today, student loan interest is at an all-time high, coupled with the rising cost of college and price of daily goods making debt an unavoidable thing with college.
Giving the example of St. Joseph’s University, at a sticker price of $63,000, he observes that people “settle for a prestigious school or their dream school” and don’t think about the debt until after they graduate.
Mr. Pecic recommends understanding the value beforehand rather than realizing too late that the payments are too much.
“Lower the cost upfront by earning merit money and grants rather than taking out loans and accumulating debt and interest payments,” he recommends.
A solution? “Be the big fish in a small pond,” he exclaim. What Mr. Pecic means by this is that larger schools like Penn State University and Temple University aren’t for everyone.
Small ponds, or schools, like Ursinus and Muhlenberg are also beneficial and can be helpful when it comes to cost.
By being “in the top 10% of the school, you’ll be a big fish” Mr. Pecic, a Ursinus graduate notes, and by being a big fish, prospects will be given money and scholarships that wouldn’t have been gotten at a big school.
Mr. Pecic also notes that he doesn’t want students “to continue to put all their eggs in one basket” when it comes to schools applying.
“I see people way too often put all their eggs in one school and then wait to hear back,” the South librarian recalls.
He recommends putting out a few applications, a variety, to schools big and small. That way it will increase the chances at acceptance as a wide range of schools will be looking at a wide range of aspects.
“And once you’re in college,” he continues, “take advantage of the scholarships.” Mr. Pecic sees few too many people filling out scholarships that are available to everyone.
He says, “Every year there’s thousands of dollars that go unclaimed in not just big scholarships, but also those at the local level,” recommending that everyone take advantage of the scholarships on Naviance.
So whether it be a question about how much debt one will accumulate, how one can be successful, or how on can tackle the hard topic of college, Mr. Pecic is a great resource to ask.
Being the most well rounded and well versed on the topic, if Mr. Pecic cannot help with the question, he credits the guidance office as another good place to look for answers.