IvyWise Scholars Spotlight: Benson

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

A stone arch hallway at a university with unidentified female in the distance

IvyWise Scholar Benson Shares His Top Tips for Students Applying to College

As part of our IvyWise Gives Back initiative, IvyWise Scholars is our pro bono college admissions counseling program for high-achieving, low-income students. We caught up with IvyWise Scholar Benson, a gifted student from Louisiana, to learn more about his college admissions journey, what it’s like to work with IvyWise during this process, and get some of his college prep advice for other students.

Tell us about your background and interests.

Hey there, everyone! My name is Benson, and I’m a senior at Haynes Academy, taking classes like:

  • AP Calculus
  • Computer Science
  • Literature

Aside from working at my family’s restaurant, I like to hang out and play soccer with friends. Some of my favorite courses to take would have to be anything math-related because I think it’s a fun subject to learn.

One of my favorite teachers is my AP Literature teacher. She is an advocate for no homework and really tries to get everyone involved in the class. She has been extremely helpful in giving us advice on the college application process and sharing insightful resources for students.

What aspect of the college admissions process are you most excited about? What are you nervous about?

I think the most exciting, yet nerve-wracking, aspect of going to college would be getting the chance to live on my own. It’s a totally new experience and a type of freedom that I haven’t really explored before.

I’m mainly interested in private universities as they generally offer better financial aid. I prefer a medium/small size school because I want to have the chance to get to know the people in my classroom. My IvyWise counselor has recommended some great universities for me to consider.

As of right now, I plan to major in either economics or business. I feel like learning more about the economy will help me better understand the environment we live in. After college, I hope to become a consultant for small businesses to help people reach their business goals.

What are your top college prep tips for other students?

My top tip for freshmen and sophomores would be to focus on the relationships you build with the people around you. Developing a strong social circle in school is valuable as it helps to make school more enjoyable. Enjoying homecoming and prom with your friends will be very memorable, and you shouldn’t be afraid to reach out to new people since they will probably want to be your friend as well.

Lastly, be kind to and understanding with your parents, as high school is just one step away from adulthood for their child. It might be difficult to share the same amount of time with your parents while you’re in college, so be sure to spend quality time with them while you still can!

Learn more about Benson by watching the video below.

For more information on families’ experience with IvyWise, check out our testimonials page, and meet some of our other IvyWise Scholars. Want to learn more about what you can be doing now to prepare for the college admissions process? Tune in to our Just Admit It! podcast for top tips from admissions experts!


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