If I Knew Then: Ginger Sprong

Ginger Sprong

Getting into college takes a lot of work and support, but plenty of students have done it before. We asked five current students to share their experiences throughout the application process as well as information they wish they knew before starting it.

Sometimes what makes you different makes you stronger. After being homeschooled her entire life, Ginger used her unique experiences to start a new adventure: college.

Meet Ginger Sprong, a freshman majoring in environmental studies at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas. She went from homeschool for high school to a private university for college. And the process wasn’t easy.

Ginger had to find a way to make her college application stand apart from the others. In her admissions essays, she wrote about what it was like growing up homeschooled and the difference her education made. She explained how being homeschooled made her unique and gave her a different perspective from her peers.

She may not have liked writing about herself or trying to get people to like her without even knowing her, but it paid off. After getting into most of the schools on her list, Ginger decided on SMU. But, she couldn’t have done it without the support of her mother, who encouraged her to apply to SMU, and her dual credit professors from the local community college. She even got some advice from her brothers to “show who you are in the best way possible.”

Ginger began preparing for college long before writing her college essays. During her junior and senior years of high school, she attended a local community college for dual credit classes to get a leg up on her college education. In fact, Ginger worked hard to stay well-rounded and involved throughout high school. She volunteered at the Perot Museum in Dallas, was active in youth leadership at her church, and even held several jobs.

It isn’t hard to see why she was so successful, but once she got into SMU, she still had to pay for it. She had to sift through an overwhelming amount of financial aid information and jargon before she applied for and won numerous merit- and financial-based scholarships.

When asked what advice she had for her past self regarding the college application process, she said, “Don’t worry too much. Everything works out. It doesn’t really matter if you get into your dream school or not. There are many other schools that have awesome programs.”

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