Senior Year Costs: College Applications
A chronicle of how one student is handling her senior year of high school.
“Welcome to the wonderful world of the application process” said my guidance counselor on the first day of my senior year when we met to go over my college list.
I laughed in reply, not knowing she said that with sarcasm at the time. I know now.
The college application process is the tedious, tiresome, and somewhat uncomfortable course of deciding how you will spend the next four years of your life. No pressure.
I have not started applying yet because I want to boost my GPA a few extra points to ensure I will get into college and not have to resort to becoming a mountain woman living in the deserted areas of the Appalachian Mountains for
the rest of my life.
Yes that may sound extreme to some of you, but I like to think of the worse-case scenario in these types of situations in order to properly prepare myself.
So in order to give a real take on the application process, I enlisted my friends Laura and Stephanie to help me by giving their points of view on their experiences.
Laura will be applying early-action to some colleges on her list, and will apply regular decision to the others. This is only because some of the schools she wishes to apply to do not offer early action, which is non-binding unlike early-
decision in which you make a promise to the college that you will go there if you get in.
“Honestly, I just want to get this ordeal over with” Laura told me over the phone.
Seniors everywhere understand. There is a website in which many colleges provide their online applications called The Common App. This is your basic everyday college application which asks you the most tedious and thorough questions to the point where if you do not like filling out applications, you will want to bang your head against a wall.
However, it has been a help to Laura regardless of the ongoing questions, only annoying her over the fact that there are only a few schools which do not provide their applications on the Common App.
In addition to the Common App, students applying to college will also have to write extra supplements for some schools.
Laura gave me some examples of what she has to write: “What is your favorite word?” “Tell us about a piece of literature that surprised or unsettled you?” and “Describe the world you come from.”
Luckily, Laura’s forte is in writing. What she has trouble handling at our school is how the girls are extremely competitive about who is applying the best schools.
Stephanie cannot stand the classmates who compete over this, “When did this become a competition? I just want to find out what I’m doing with the rest of my life,” she said. Stephanie too will be forgoing early action in order to boost her GPA up a couple of points so she is able to be completely sure of her acceptance/rejection to specific schools.
She will only be applying to a handful of schools because she is paying for the application fees. Stephanie’s list by the beginning of August contained roughly 16 different colleges she wanted to apply to, which is definitely too much for her to pay therefore she narrowed down her list to 10 and feels the need to continue to create a much smaller list.
Laura’s parents will be paying for her applications so she has a list of roughly 15 colleges that she may or may not want to attend.
The application process, to say the least, is super involved and takes up a lot of the fall and winter seasons for senior students everywhere. The girls at Ursuline are stressed from trying to write the perfect college essay and get the perfect grades in order to go to the perfect school.
It has consumed my senior class and we will all be thankful when it ends, and even more so when we receive our acceptance letters this winter or spring.