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Caitlin, University of Montana Law, Class of 2019

What were your goals for college admission? Did you accomplish them?

My primary goals for college admission were to get into a school that offered a great education at an affordable price. When deciding where I wanted to go to college, it was important for me to look for schools that would provide me with an
excellent quality of life, accessible and knowledgeable professors, and a desirable area to live. I accomplished these goals by attending Montana State University, an affordable school with an outstanding agriculture program, accessible professors, and plenty of scholarship opportunities.

What was most helpful about working with Hughes College Prep?

The most helpful part about working with Hughes College Prep was the organization and structure it provided for the college admissions process. Kelly was consistently informing me about scholarship opportunities and making sure I had my application materials ready to go at all stages of the process. Hughes College Prep also allowed me to adequately prepare for the ACT, which would have been very difficult for me to do without a structured program. Working with Hughes College Prep allowed me to stay focused on doing well in high school while I was receiving assistance with preparing for my collegiate future.

What was the biggest surprise, good or bad, about the admissions process in general?

The biggest surprises about the admissions process were the school application costs and the cost of out-of-state schools.

Were you accepted to one of your top three school choices?

Yes. Although I did not end up going to any of my top three choices for college, I got into two of my three top schools. In the end, I was very satisfied with going to Montana State University, although it was not initially my first choice.

What difference did your scholarships make when attending college?

Scholarships single-handedly impacted my ability to attend college without taking out student loans. The combination of in-state tuition and scholarships for Montana students helped me fund my college education at a more than reasonable price.

Did you feel supported by Hughes College Prep during the admission process? If so, how?

Absolutely. Whenever I changed my mind about where I wanted to apply, Hughes College Prep was very encouraging about my change of heart. If there was something I was interested in, and I expressed it to Kelly, she would accommodate my interests and give me the most up-to- date information on the subject. I never felt hesitant or unsure about expressing my interests with
Hughes College Prep.

What surprised you most about working with Hughes College Prep?

The level of engagement in the process is what surprised me most. I came into my time with Hughes College Prep thinking it would be mostly about SAT/ACT prep; however, it was so much more than that. Hughes College Prep continuously provided me with information about schools that fit my personality and interests, scholarships I qualified for, and editing/feedback on my application essays. I was pleasantly surprised at how engaged and in-depth Hughes College Prep was in my application process.

Are there any aspects of your time with Hughes that stick out as having carried through to other elements of your life, beyond college admissions, such as college, jobs, etc.? 

The attention to detail and level of thoroughness in the application process Hughes College Prep provides has carried through into other elements of my life, including applying for graduate schools and internships. Hughes College Prep taught me how to make myself stand out in an application, and the amount of time and effort required for getting into both undergraduate and graduate programs.

How quickly were you employed after college? 

After graduating from Montana State University with a degree in Agriculture Business, I immediately started law school at the University of Montana. Thus, I will not be fully employed until 2019.

What is one bit of advice you would give to parents of college-bound students? 

I would encourage parents to be supportive of the decisions their children want to make. Although it is necessary to have the advice and support of your parents, it can be daunting as a student to be persuaded to apply to schools your parents may be more interested in than you are. I would suggest that parents stay involved in the process, but also allow the student, through Hughes College Prep, to determine their needs and interests in colleges.

What is one bit of advice you would give to the students themselves?

I would encourage students to apply for anything/everything they think they are interested in. I ended up changing my mind several times throughout the process, and am glad that I applied to a wide-range of programs in numerous states. I would recommend students take advantage of as many opportunities as possible.