A C I F I C L U T H E R A N U N I V E R S I
I N T E R 2 0 0 1 - 2 0 0 2
I became a Lute
By Chris Jensen '05
As a senior
at Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) High School last year, Chris Jensen
'05 wrote a journal for the American College Testing Web site on
his college application experiences. The following are some highlights
of his journey.
Chris Jensen, '05
Senior Year-The Grand Finale
I'm excited and a little nervous.
I'm not sure
where I'll be going yet, but I have a pretty good idea of what I'm
looking for in a four-year college. I don't want to go to a big
college where the student-to-teacher ratio is high
I like having
someone I can go talk to who knows what's going on and who knows
who I am.
I go to has to have a strong education program. You see, I want
one of the most under-appreciated jobs in the world: I want to be
a teacher. Even if I can just touch one student, just one person,
and help him or her find a dream and achieve it, well, then, it
will be all worth it.
visited one of the schools I'm looking at-Pacific Lutheran University-and
even met with the football coach.
I feel like our house is becoming College Central. Everywhere I
turn I run into reminders-college brochures, financial aid forms,
drafts of my résumé and scholarship forms.
In most cases the applications have to be in before December. That
will be here before we know it! It's kind of scary because the choice
I have to make ultimately will be with me for the next four or five
years. There is a lot riding on this one.
The pressure is starting to get to me a little. I'm dealing with
homework, sports, my job, and-oh, yeah-finding a college.
I'm trying to
meet with the college representatives from my top schools. Recently,
I talked with PLU during their visit to my high school. Their representative
did give me some good inside information on the application essay.
She told me the same thing my mom has for years: less is more. Another
thing I learned is that with the financial aid and scholarships
they are generally able to offer students, the actual out-of-pocket
cost for tuition is about the same as for public schools. That was
good news for my parents and me.
I've also been on the phone a lot with colleges. PLU has called
multiple times. I like being wanted!
The hard work is done
all my applications are in. By now I
think I know everything by heart-I can tell you what college my
parents went to and when, the year they graduated and with what
degree-you name it, I know it! I've written about how I spend my
summers, academic experiences that significantly influenced my life,
who I am, special circumstances on why I should be selected, and
I applied to
Central Washington University, Western Washington University, Eastern
Washington University, Pacific Lutheran University, and University
of Puget Sound. This has got to be the worst: just waiting.
PLU is where it's gonna be! They've got the most to offer: a great
campus, a great program, lots of options, and everyone I've talked
to has been extremely nice. They actually care about who I am and
what I want to do. It's going to be my home for the next four years.
I'm really looking forward to it.
June 18, I was officially enrolled as a college freshman at the
fine institution of Pacific Lutheran University. Now that my college
planning days are over, I'll tell you what I learned:
- Keep your
options open. Apply to more than one or two colleges, and apply
to both public and private schools. This will give you a better
idea of which school "wants" you the most. Present yourself
to those colleges the best you can. Don't play to them-just be
- Work hard
the entire four years of high school. I wish I had. Good grades
and a good GPA translate into more financial aid dollars from
the college. A good GPA also helps you earn scholarships.
- There are
so many scholarships out there. I was dumbfounded at just the
ones our school brought in.
- Get involved
in community service. Many scholarships ask about community service
in the applications; the colleges like to see it, and it's a good
way for you to help out and learn about yourself. I challenge
all of you to go out and donate a few hours of your time each
week or every other week to help a cause that you believe in.
- Start saving
money for college now.
about the next four years of my life, and I believe that I made
the right choices. I know I picked the right college. It's time
now to prepare for the rest of my life.