Handling college application havoc

Handling+college+application+havoc

Illustration by Daniel Stewart

Nicole Burkoski, Reporter

Rolling admissions offer a large application window for students ranging from six months or longer and the colleges respond to applicants as the applications come in instead of waiting until after a deadline.

Early Decision is an application plan where your acceptance comes with full commitment on your behalf. If you plan on applying with early decision, it’s vital that that school is where you want to attend.

For students who are anxious to find out their acceptance status it is worth noting that early action applicants are not notified as quickly as early decision applicants.

Whether it is deciding which school to apply to or completing applications, the stress can be quite overwhelming. It is important to remember that college admission isn’t as competitive as one might think.

Close to 500 four-year colleges accept more than 75 percent of applicants and open-admission colleges accept all or most high school graduates.

“The most difficult part of the college application process is trying to make everything perfect before submitting all of the essays, but you just have to be confident in yourself and your abilities,” Jenna Tognola (’17) said.

Every student is going to have different priorities when it comes to deciding where to attend college.

“I think [students] should look at colleges they feel would be the best fit for them as a learner, not ‘which school has the best parties,” Science department chair Jean-Paul Bibaud, said. “The problem is that most students don’t make very wise decisions in [this] point in their career.”

When it comes to improving one’s chance to be accepted, teacher recommendations are one way to get an upper hand.

“The teacher should be approached in the time that they have no class or students,” Science department chair Jean-Paul Bibaud, said. “It should be personal it shouldn’t be an email, it should be face to face.”

Although students may not think about the process teachers use to complete the letters of recommendation, it is their job to create a well written letter that lets the college know they are a good source to learn more about the student.

“I usually need at least two weeks to gather the information that I need and [think] about the letters to really get a good recommendation done,”

It is difficult to know exactly what colleges are looking for but as competition increases, they are looking for students that stand out and offer something they have not seen.

“Business owners talk a lot about how they are looking for college graduates who are creative thinkers and work well in teams and create new initiatives,” English teacher Meg Hamilton said. “I would assume that colleges are modeling what they are looking for off of what businesses are telling them that they are looking for in their graduates.”

If you are an athlete or lucky enough to get a full ride, the application process is a little different than usual.

“It is much more streamlined, you have someone that really wants you to be there because they are recruiting you and they kind of help you cross your t’s and dot your I’s,” guidance counselor and former girls varsity basketball coach said.

For the freshmen being overwhelmed with the constant advice to “start looking at colleges now”, it is important to remember you still have time!

“I would encourage underclassmen to take advantage of the fact that they can explore colleges in a fun way right now,” Hamilton said.