Category Archives: College

Everything You Need to Know About Zell Miller and HOPE Scholarships

LydiaZermuehlen, Editorials Editor

As acceptances from colleges start to roll in, every senior in Georgia has the same question to contemplate: Should I stay in-state? The state of Georgia makes this a difficult question to answer because they have sweetened the pot with the Zell Miller and HOPE Scholarships.

But, are the Zell Miller or HOPE Scholarships a good enough reason to stay? Since I will personally apply for the Zell Miller Scholarship, I wanted to do some more digging.

For years, and I specifically mean from freshman year to junior year, I have heard that the Zell Miller Scholarship is a full-tuition scholarship and that the HOPE covers 80 percent of tuition. Apparently times have changed, because now, for some schools, Zell doesn’t even cover half of tuition. In fact, both scholarships now apply at an hourly rate, which means both scholarships only covers a certain amount for how many classes you take. Three credit hours are equal to taking one full course, and the max amount of hours these scholarships cover is fifteen hours, or five classes per semester. Still, when I say “cover” I do not mean “completely cover,” because both scholarships only give so much now.

If you are a senior in Georgia and are dreaming of starting next fall at the University of Georgia (UGA), make sure you double check your finances, cause neither Zell nor HOPE cover as much as you thought. If you apply for the Zell Miller Scholarship and you are taking five classes, you will only receive $4,776. Since in-state tuition is $11,622, you still have to pay $6,846, not to mention room and board, books, and the meal plan on top of that. And UGA is a public school, so the numbers are even worse for private schools.

The award amounts that the Zell Miller and HOPE Scholarships give for each school is on the GAfutures website. Check the numbers and compare them to other scholarships from out-of-state schools. Your research now can save you from being thousands of dollars in debt in the future. Don’t fall for the prestige of the college or for the information you’ve heard about the Zell Miller and HOPE Scholarships from the past.  


Moving from Senior to Freshman: Continued

LydiaZermuehlen, Editorials Editor

The jump from high school to college is bound to come with some unexpected shocks. My sister, a current college freshman and Alpharetta High alumni, has been through many shocks herself and was kind enough to share her experiences at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Something many high school seniors fret about is going into a new environment with practically no friends. I was tempted to ask Audrey how she handled this stressor, and she merely commented that, “every time I met someone new at college, we automatically exchanged numbers and social medias. Here people actually put in a lot of effort to get to know each other…To be honest, I already have more friends here at college than I ever did in high school.”

Sounds like an amazing community! This may be something unique for Audrey and other students at smaller colleges, but most colleges value community, so this may be more common than believed. But while you are making those new friends, you may start to lose touch with the old. When I asked Audrey what she missed most from high school, she disclosed, “I miss my friends from high school. After you graduate you do not keep in touch as much and may never see some of them  again.”

While colleges hype up the idea of their super close-knit communities, they also create other expectations. Whether it is the quality of the food, Greek life or professors, there are certain things students expect from their college. Audrey told me her expectations and let downs saying, “I thought that I’d be able to have more down time in college, but sometimes I am even busier than I was in high school…In three weeks we will be required to work on film sets and crew 12 hours a day on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.”

Looks like the stress doesn’t go away when you step onto the college campus. But the workload spreads itself out according to Audrey: “the workload is different for every class and it also depends on your professor. Some of my friends are taking the same classes, but have different professors that either give more or less homework than others…Some classes will have homework assignments and then the midterm or final and that’s it.”

After receiving a healthy dose of fear from her words, I decided to ask her some less anxiety-inducing questions. I was curious if the food at college was any better than that served at high school. The good news is that the food is great, the bad news is that it is so good “you have to have some will power while being in the cafeteria or you will gain that freshman fifteen.” But it is a great time to meet up with friends and catch up; Audrey noted, “a lot of us make plans to meet up for breakfast and lunch, so that no one has to eat alone. Our meals are not placed on a set schedule. You eat when you can eat.” No scheduled meals and no more third period lunch…sounds like a good deal.

Since Audrey is attending a competitive art school, I wanted to know more about her schedule. They don’t have the usual balance of classes like a liberal arts college, and they rely more heavily on art classes. The unique makeup of Audrey’s class schedule consists of nine classes: one core class and eight film classes. If anyone is interested in getting a Bachelor of Arts in Filmmaking, expect to be immediately immersed in film knowledge.

High school is a very different environment than that found on a college campus. Audrey’s words assure me she is adjusting with some struggles, but she is having the time of her life.

Here come the leaves

ClaireBunnell, Staff Reporter

This is it seniors! This is the last and final year of high school. This year is the time where you are given more freedom, a flexible schedule and faced with the excitement that comes with graduating. Chattahoochee High School has been our home for four years, but it is now the time to create a new home for ourselves where we can pursue the rest of our life.

There are so many different emotions that come with being a senior. Everyone is eager to start a new chapter of their life not realizing that this is it. This is our our final chapter of high school together. There will no longer be those 5-minute chats with your besties in the halls or the occasional smile you give to your other classmates.Our life has consisted of school with the majority of the same people, which can make saying goodbye very difficult. We have all developed a routine in seeing the same people every single day, but after high school, it won’t be like that anymore.

Aside from all the sappy emotions that come with leaving high school, there is also a sense of enthusiasm that comes along with it. Many seniors like Samantha Podhouser (SR) are excited to be able to “experience the real world, meet new people and set goals for themselves.” It could be a great experience meeting new people and expanding friend groups considering we’ve all been with the same people for four years. However, Ansley Parks (SR) also stated that she can’t wait to start living on her own and providing for herself, she states that “all the hard work I’ve put in for four years will finally pay off.” Iman Aytac (SR) is thrilled to follow and pursue his dreams of stardom. While unlike most students, Christian Alvarado (SR) is flabbergasted at the thought of having to provide for himself and not being able to rely on his parents anymore.

High school treated us well, class of 2019, but it’s our time to move on to be successful individuals. High school has given us a place to grow, learn and make connections with our best friends. However, college has a lot in store for the class of 2019. Chattahoochee High School will always be our first home, but seasons change, and it’s time to start a new, fresh start. Senior year comes with a few goodbyes, but a lot more hellos.

Roommate Roulette

GraceSassaman & NadiaDowlatkhah, Staff Reporters

Most first-year college students who have to live on campus face the dilemma of choosing a roommate. It seems like the easy way out is to choose your best friend as your future roommate, but many graduates warn against this. Still, others say that going random is basically just a year-long blind date, and we all know how bad those can turn out.

Let’s examine the worst possible outcomes of choosing a roommate. Ask most people and they’d answer something along the lines of uncleanliness. Perhaps their roommate is too loud, annoying, keeps odd hours and parties too much. Maybe it can all be chalked up to incompatible personalities. Now, how many of these traits can you gauge through a few cursory conversations? That’s right, absolutely none. People can misrepresent themselves, and they certainly will if they believe you’re the ideal roommate, whether or not they are.

So, essentially, unless you’re rooming with a friend you’ve known for a long time and can bully into keeping the room clean or being quiet, you know very little about your selected roommate. You can schedule a hangout, but the facts you’ll learn about your future roomie are frankly irrelevant. You can get generic answers to general questions that most people will answer the same way anyway. Sure, it may be important for you to know their intended major, but that’s not exclusive information that you’re getting. You’re just getting that knowledge earlier than someone who opts for a randomly selected roommate.

It’s established that the only possible advantage of selecting a roommate based on a few characteristics they’ve chosen to represent themselves with is finding a roommate with a similar taste in decor. Now, let’s take a look at the various and titillating advantages of going random.

Really, if you’re going random, just tack on some more exhilaration and nail-biting suspense in the summertime lull before freshman year. You’re essentially starting over: new school, new friends, new classes. So start the first step of your adulthood with a new outlook too! Don’t try to exercise control in a lame attempt to soothe anxiety when you truly have very little power over the situation. Whether you and your roommate end up being best friends or totally incompatible isn’t something you can inherently decide. The same goes for life in general. Trying to control situations that are out of your control is futile. Instead, you can approach the outcome with optimism and take things in stride. That will determine your experience.

The difference between opting for a random roommate and essentially choosing a random roommate is peace of mind, which is personally a feeling long forgotten and, frankly, no longer chased.

Roommate Must-Haves

CarolineKurzawa, Staff Reporter

You’ve done it! You have conquered the college application process and decided where you are going to attend school next fall, but now, the real challenge begins: finding a roommate. You find yourself wondering, “What do I want in a roommate?” Fortunately, I have laid out some of the traits you should consider when looking for a roommate.

Common interests:

Once you find someone that may make a good roommate, take a look at their profile. If some of their interests align with yours, send them a message. If you see that they are completely different from you, this may not be the best choice for a roommate. However, you never know until you get to know them, so send them a message if something about their profile peaks your interest.


Once you begin messaging someone, take note of how often you have to be the one to start the conversation and how often they respond to you. This is not a huge factor because some people just don’t really text. However, if you see that you are always having to start the conversation or that your potential roommate rarely replies or replies with one-word answers, you may want to start messaging other people to see if you click more with their personalities.


When you are further along in talking with a potential roommate, start asking them questions about dorms where they may want to live and offer your preferences. See how flexible they are when presented with someone else’s opinion. If there is a discussion and your thoughts are considered, this is a good sign. If there is no discussion and your thoughts are disregarded, this roommate may not be the best fit.


Ask your potential roommate what their studying style is. You may find that they could be a great study partner, or you may see that their study preferences are different from yours. The only red flag in this situation would be if they said that they were not all that into studying, and college is just a time to have fun. If you are a very serious student, having a more laid back roommate may not be for you.


Everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to being social. If you are more introverted, it would behoove you to not room with someone who is overly social. Although, you may be looking for someone to push you out of your comfort zone. This can be tricky. Often times, it is safest to room with someone who is as social as you are.


Make sure your potential roommate understands your expectations for how clean the room should be, whether you like it extremely neat or don’t care if it’s a little messy. This is very important to communicate to each other, so you can have accurate expectations of cleanliness before rooming together.

These are just some of things to consider when looking for a roommate. While you may have specific things you want in a roommate (athlete, specific major, etc. ), this is a solid list. Additionally, remember that even if you and your roommates are not the best of friends, the two of you will be going through some of the same experiences and will be able to help each other through them.



HannahKornegay, Features Editor

*No names have been changed. Jessica actually won’t text me back.*

My roommate hates me.

As I type this article, I’m sure she is emailing every housing representative and pleading for a new room assignment. I’m not exactly sure what I did to offend her, but in every conversation we’ve had, she’s evaded answering any questions that would allow me to get to know her or simply hasn’t responded to the text message at all.

It was made very clear upon our first interaction that our personalities were not similar. To me, she appeared soft spoken and quiet while my personality borders on outgoing and periodically manic. My mother warned me to pick a roommate beforehand, but now that I haven’t listened and officially regret it, here are a few things that I’ll have to do to coax Jessica into liking me.

Be Myself: Being yourself, is always the best path to take, but I was myself with Jessica and she won’t text me back.

Pinterest Boards: I texted Jessica a link to a Pinterest Board I created so that she could get a sense of my style in dorm decorations. She logged in and has not made any additions.

Orientation: The college that I will be attending has hosted three different orientations that would provide the perfect opportunity for prospective roommates to meet one another. I asked

Jessica if she wanted to meet up at one of them so she could put a face to the name (even though I told her she could follow me on both Instagram and Snapchat), but she declined.

From my perspective, it seems as if my entire college experience is dependent on this first relationship. This roommate, whether it be Jessica or someone else, is who I am going to be sharing a living space with and it would be more than convenient if we were best friends. But that’s an unrealistic expectation. It would be nice, yes, if we met and ran slow motion into one another’s arms, and I realized that my whole life had been incomplete without her–but the probability of that happening is microscopic. I have been assured by many people who have endured the college experience, that it’s okay if you and your roommate aren’t best friends. There’s an entire college full of people who will be more than happy to be your slow-mo bff.

Update: I wrote this article on April 23. In an attempt to reach Jessica one last time, I texted her again on April 24th, she did not respond. Text me back Jessica.

How to: Apply to College

CarolineKurzawa, Staff Reporter

It’s that time of the year: the school year is in full swing, and most seniors have realized that it will be a busy fall. Not only are high school students dealing with the normal school year stress, but also the stress that comes with the college application process. It’s staring you in the face, and the days of childhood are over. You must now decide where you will spend the next four or more years of your life. So, relax. Take a breath and sit back while I walk you through the minefield that is the college application process.

For starters, you have to decide where you want to apply. If you are still unsure, I like bigfuture, a website sponsored by College Board. You can go through and set preferences for things you’re looking for in a college, and it will compile a personalized list. Next, find out how you can apply. Many colleges are available on the Common App or the Coalition Application, but others will have individual applications that can only be found on their respective websites. Then, you must fill out the application. It is best to have a copy of your transcript, SAT or ACT scores, Social Security number, counselor’s contact information, list of accolades and student resume at hand while filling them out, as this is the basic information most applications will require.

Additionally, applications will ask for a list of your extracurricular activities but don’t panic if you haven’t started your own business or founded a country. List the activities that are the most important and have had the most impact on your life. Preferably, it is best to include activities only from your high school years. When you describe the activities, make sure to give enough detail, so the admissions officers can have insight into the activity, especially if it is something new or different. Congrats! You have made it through a good portion of the application process, but there is still much more to do. It is a marathon, not a sprint, after all.

Another difficult portion of the application is the recommendations section. Many schools will ask for counselor and/or teacher recommendations. For teacher recommendations, the school will most likely specify that it must be a core teacher from your junior or senior year. If this is the case, think of one or two teachers (dependent on the college’s requirements) whose class you enjoyed and who you think will be able to accurately portray your character. When asking for a teacher recommendation, be polite and explain why you think they would write you the best recommendation. This is important: DO NOT add them as a recommender before asking them. It is common courtesy. Most recommendation forms are electronic, so you will be listing your teacher’s professional email. Then, they will be invited to write a recommendation for you. It is always a good idea to check in with them to see if they have received the email notification. Additionally, if your deadline is quickly approaching, a reminder can help. Most teachers are busy but want to help you achieve your next step. This is not to say that you should wait until the day of your deadline to ask. It is best to give teachers ample time to write a quality recommendation.

Moreover, some schools will require a recommendation from your counselor. For this recommendation, follow the procedure that your school sets. As a student at Chattahoochee High School, all seniors seeking a counselor recommendation for a college or scholarship must fill out a senior profile (a student resume) and a recommendation request form. These materials must be turned in together, and counselors are to be given at least ten school days to fulfill the request.Thus, be mindful of any deadlines the counseling office establishes. You have made it through one of the hardest parts. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The next part of most applications is sending a copy of your transcript. Again, this is on a college by college basis, so check with the institution. Most colleges require you to send it electronically, which can be done via Parchment. It is a free service that will electronically send your transcript to the colleges you select. Other colleges will require a paper copy, and this can usually be found in the counselor’s office. Additionally, check with your counselor. He/she may already plan to send it for you. Another piece of information that must be sent is your SAT or ACT scores, and these must come directly from the testing institution, either College Board or ACT. The scores are about $12 a piece to send if you did not select the colleges before you took the exam. Colleges provide their testing codes on their websites, so you can be sure that your score ends up in the right place. Additionally, you can choose to send your AP scores now, which are $15 if you did not specify to have them sent when you initially took the exam in May. Lastly, there will most likely be an application fee upwards of $50. Once you pay this, you are free to click the submit button. You did it! You hit submit and bore your heart and soul to the admissions office of your chosen colleges. Now what?

Now, you must anxiously await the results. Hopefully, you are accepted everywhere you apply, but if not, no fear. Things will fall as they may. While you wait, it is a good idea to search for scholarships, whether they are sponsored by a foundation or the school to which you applied. Websites like Chegg help filter the thousands of scholarships available to the ones that are just right for you. Additionally, it helps to stay organized. Find a way that works, so you are able to stay on top of all your deadlines, whether it is housing deposits, honors college or scholarships. Keep calm and apply on, and may the odds be ever in your favor.