HC’s CCR coach mentors students through college application project

college visits available to HC juniors and seniors

caroline costich

college visits available to HC juniors and seniors

Caroline Costich, Editor

One of the most important decisions made in high school is deciding what you are going to do after it. During this stressful time, it is common for students to feel confused, overwhelmed, or just completely lost. However, students at HC have someone who can help them through every part of the process. Vincent Bingham is the college and career readiness coach (CCR) here at HC, and his job is to help students prepare for what comes after high school.

“I am here to get students post-secondary ready,” Bingham explained, “which means anything after high school.”

Whether students want to explore the college route or go into the military, Bingham is able to provide them with advice and resources. Bingham is also highly qualified. He has been working as the CCR at HC since the fall of 2016. Prior to that, he worked for Transylvania University for 12 years in their admissions department. After leaving Transylvania, he continued on to work on the policy level in Kentucky. Through a grant, he started helping kids work on college readiness. 

“I have over 20 years of education experience,” Bingham said.

Through that experience, he gained useful insight into the college process. He explained that an essential part of looking for colleges is the fit. Many students look at unimportant factors such as if they have a successful football team or if their friends are going there. Bingham recommends that students go and spend the night on campus, try the food, look at the dorms, and really get a feel for the school and the campus itself. 

“There are so many elements to college, and the fit is so important,” Bingham said. 


College is both a financial and time investment, and Bingham stresses that students really get a feel for the school before making such an important decision. It is also crucial to figure out what your main factors are when deciding your future college. Bingham recommends that students look at everything from demographics to student-to-teacher ratio, to the number of students in the classroom along with you.

Seniors who are currently in the application process have many important deadlines coming up. The free application for federal student aid or FAFSA opened on October 1st. While the FAFSA application form is open until June 1st of 2023, it is important that students finish it promptly. Bingham explained that FAFSA is extremely crucial, he does not recommend that students wait until May, due to the overwhelming amount of events and deadlines during the 2nd semester of senior year. 

Other major deadlines coming up are for merit scholarships, early decisions, and early action. Most of those deadlines are on November 1st, November 15th, December 1st, and December 15th. Some schools, however, have different deadlines, so it is critical for students to keep track of the deadlines for each school.

“I always encourage seniors, if you know what college you are going to go ahead and apply and get everything finished,” Bingham explained.

Bingham stresses the importance of staying on top of deadlines and application requirements. Avoiding procrastination and using proper time management skills is key. Not waiting until the second semester of senior year can help students steer clear of stressing or missing deadlines.

One of the most important pieces of advice Bingham gave for seniors in the middle of the college application process (or even for juniors starting to think about college), is to get a mentor who went through the college application process themselves, whether it be a teacher, counselor, parent, a college counselor, or even Bingham himself, it can be extremely helpful. Bingham explained that this helps keep students accountable and can help them answer important questions during the confusing process of applying to college.

Applying to college can be an extremely stressful time. It can be frustrating when your plans don’t work out, but Bingham wants students to know that finding out what does not work for you is just as important as finding what does. 

“I just want students to know there is something out there for them and you just have to take the time out to see what it is,” Bingham said, “if you never think about it and it’s not on your radar, and nothing is going to come up.”

Bingham wants to encourage students to really explore their options. If students are feeling overwhelmed, confused, or would just like to discuss what comes after high school, they can email [email protected] or sign up through the counseling office QR codes posted throughout the school or on the counseling office website.