Stephanie, UCLA, Class of 2023

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

My goals for college admissions were basically to get accepted to my top schools and get as many scholarships as I could. I did accomplish both my goals (I was accepted into my top 3 choices!) receiving more financial aid from colleges than I expected.

What was most helpful about working with Hughes College Prep?

Going into the application process, I had no direction or any idea where I should apply. I found it incredibly helpful for someone to help guide me through applying overall. I applied to a lot of schools so it was really nice to have someone else paying attention to upcoming deadlines for me so I could focus more on essay writing and other things rather than housekeeping details.

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

I didn’t expect to have to write so many essays! I knew I would have a main essay and then a couple of others, but I just didn’t realize how many total essays I would end up writing.

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

I felt incredibly supported throughout the application process. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing at the beginning of the year and felt pretty overwhelmed. However, Elizabeth always calmed me down and matter-of-factly told me exactly what I needed to do. I wouldn’t have successfully applied to the majority of the schools I had if not for my tutor. 

What surprised you most about working with Hughes College Prep?

I was most surprised with the amount of work the tutors put into each student. I always had at least two or three different tutors look over each essay. My mom and I had checklists made by Hughes of all the things we needed to accomplish, including all of the deadlines. I was happy that the college prep went past just studying for the SAT or the ACT and even past just the actual application process. We worked on scholarships, built my resume, and discussed different possible majors and career paths. 

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.?

Hughes helped me narrow my focus on what I want to pursue in the future. It helped me realize what I was passionate about and hoped to continue in college. It also showed me the benefits of being organized and staying on top of things. 

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

For parents, I think it’s very important to be super supportive of your child as they’re applying, but also remember that it’s their application process. It’s equally as valuable to them to be able to make their own decisions regarding their futures. It’s a really good way for them to become more independent and realize what they personally want from their futures and life in general.

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

Definitely start your essays and everything else early. It’s so much easier to get the standardized test and some essays done over the summer - that way there’s much less stress during your senior year. Also, trust your tutor. They’ve done this countless times and are pretty spot-on with colleges they believe you’ll succeed at.