Applying early for college pays off for Take Stock Nassau senior

October is National College Application Month, the kickoff time for high school students all over the country to submit their college applications for the following fall semester. There are some great incentives, however, to applying early, and one of those incentives includes peace of mind about one’s pathway to college. Just ask Take Stock Nassau County senior Hunter K., who was accepted to the University of North Florida at one of their “Apply in July” events this summer. 

Growing up in Jacksonville and relocating to South Florida, Hunter showed interest in UNF when hearing about their esteemed nursing program. With support from family and Take Stock, the senior student decided to participate in UNF’s Apply in July event. 

“My mentor, Thomas Jenkins, helped me out so much,” Hunter said. “I brought the idea to pursue nursing to Jenkins, and I got confirmation that this was the way to go. My mentor was in secondary education and helped me explore the different career routes I can do.” Jenkins, also called “Mr. Wayne” to Hunter, has been a dedicated, valuable, and helpful Take Stock mentor in Hunter’s life since the seventh grade. 

Another help for Hunter’s decision to take advantage of this opportunity was Phyllis Sipes, Hunter’s College Success Coach at Take Stock Nassau. “Ms. Sipes is who encouraged me to apply to UNF early,” the student shared, crediting the College Success Coach for reassuring Hunter that the application would be less time-consuming, and that early application would allow for early access to scholarships in the fall.  

Apply in July is an opportunity provided by the University of North Florida for rising high school seniors to learn more about the institution’s offerings, meet with a local admissions coordinator, and receive a non-binding, on-the-spot admissions decision. Hunter shared that the application process was easy to complete within one afternoon without assistance.  

Not too long after completing the application, Hunter drove to Orlando for an appointment with a UNF for students who applied early and confirmed acceptance to the school. Along with a certificate of acceptance, Hunter received forms for scholarships and talked with the Dean of the school’s honors program. Hunter is applying to several other Florida colleges and universities this month, but he’s leaning towards UNF, where the Jacksonville campus is conveniently under 20 minutes away from his family. 

The future nursing major has some big ideas for his career. “I want to eventually do travel nursing, work in and outside of the country before I settle down and get my master’s to become a Physician’s Assistant.”   

Hunter’s advice for fellow Take Stock in Children senior students on applying to college is, “Don’t be scared, don’t put it off. Most colleges do have early acceptance. Applying early will put you in a better position and keep doors open for your future.” 

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