College Application Season

College applications. This phrase might bring chills to many but it can also bring hope to many others. It is finally that time of year when seniors all over the country and possibly around the world are applying to schools, hoping to get into the school of their dreams. After three years of arduous work and commitment to high school, many seniors are finally seeing the value and reason behind all the hard work because they can show their efforts in their applications–their ticket to college. College applications come with many challenges, stress and possibly rewards.

According to Adam Ozimek from Forbes Magazine, “The case for going to college remains strong. On average, it remains a good investment.” Additionally, David Leonhardt stated in his New York Times article, “As the economy becomes more technologically complex, the amount of education that people need will rise. At some point, 15 years or 17 years of education will make more sense as a universal goal. That point, in fact, has already arrived.” According to Georgetown Public policy institute at Georgetown University, in today’s society, you can’t get much from a high school diploma since many professional jobs require a college diploma. 35 percent of jobs will require at least a bachelor’s degree and 30 percent of jobs will require some college or an associate’s degree.

Many seniors feel that senior year, particularly the first semester,  is the most stressful. Part of the reason is because they are forced to juggle both their senior courses that come with numerous advanced placement classes and electives and their applications. The applications  come with many parts and it really depends on the colleges you choose. Many schools have supplemental essays and personal statements as well as standardized testing such as SATs, ACTs and SAT subject tests. Despite the endless challenges students face, they have several resources that they can take advantage of that would make the process a lot less painful and overwhelming. The key is time management and asking for help. The one habit seniors develop when senior year comes around is procrastinating. They wait till the last minute for everything and end up not having time for anything. Nida Wasim, a senior at Academy of American Studies, explained that she feels very overwhelmed with college applications due to the fact that she did not start early which is a great disadvantage now. Seniors cannot let “senioritis” get to them during this process because all their hard work throughout high school will possibly go to waste. Elma Rahman, a senior at Queens Vocational and Technical high school who graduated in 2015, said the most stressful part of college applications is meeting deadlines and balancing school work simultaneously and that she managed it by creating a schedule for herself.  Seniors must also take into consideration the costs of applying to college. The financial aspect can be another challenge of the process.

Even though college applications can be stressful there is a reward at the end of it. Many students who have the intention and determination of going to college are accepted into either a two-year or four-year college. Going to college will allow you to broaden your horizons and explore your options. It is a time to really find yourself and figure out your interests. During high school we aren’t given much flexibility so we are not able to do these things, but in college we can create our own schedules and choose the classes and electives that intrigue us the most. Not only can you build on academics, you can develop and grow socially. You meet so many other people from different walks of life and different places which allow us to create close relationships and connections that we keep throughout our lives. Along with that, you have the opportunity to study abroad and travel around the world. There are many opportunities in colleges that you would not get otherwise, it truly is a good investment. Be sure to fill out college applications mindfully because it can really determine your future;  the experiences you have and the people you meet.

College is the goal for high schoolers all around the country. Every senior must fill out a college application for their intended schools. This task comes with many difficulties and stress but you must know how to manage your time and balance your workload in order to be productive. It is important to consider certain tools to apply as these will make applying to college more effective and successful. There are a lot of free resources students can use that can help them with the college process such as Collegegreenlight.com; the college readiness program at Sunnyside Community Services; collegeboard.org; Khanacademy.org; and most importantly assigned college advisors. If students effectively use these resources available to them, they will be able to be productive and successful in the college process. Hard work does pay off in the end and your entire high school career will be important when applying to colleges.

Written by Lamia Rahman

Photo Credits to Common Application

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