High School Seniors Apply To College While Younger Students Take PSAT’s

MCALLEN, Texas- It wasn’t a normal day at McAllen High School. It’s PSAT time for sophomores and juniors. So instead of other grades just waiting in home room all day, McAllen ISD runs a Leap to College Program where seniors can take time to apply for colleges.

In just one period, Senior Bryan Canchola applied to three schools.

“I have applied to the University of Houston, STC and Pan-Am, but that is just like for my back-up,” said Canchola.

Every chair is full and the sound of typing fills the room.

It’s an opportunity not to be wasted, because not every student has a parent that is able to help them at home.  So the time in the lab is very important for students that do have questions about the process.

Canchola said his parents weren’t quite sure how to help him when it came to applying, so he came in today with questions.

“It is really new for them, so I am doing most of it on my own. And that makes them proud because they didn’t go to college,” said Canchola.

He is one of many first generation college students in the room, but being this first often can be challenging.

“There is a lot of support from the parents, but they may be don’t have the computer at home, they don’t have the access, so having access here at school for them and doing programs like this really helps. And as you can see, we have pretty good attendance,” said Cynthia Olivarez, College Admission and Scholarship Specialist.

Over 1,400 Seniors are doing this today between three McAllen high schools. Many of the seniors said the process is stress relieving.

“I was really worried about my scholarships and what websites to go to and they actually gave us a packet that had hundreds of different scholarships,” said Canchola.

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