Pros and Cons of the College Application Process

The application process, although a stressful time period, can become extremely beneficial in the long run.

The application process, although a stressful time period, can become extremely beneficial in the long run.

Teague Scanlon, Staff Writer

High school seniors annually face the stressful and burdensome challenge of surviving the college application process intact. It seems that every year the process becomes more and more challenging, with the slow addition of “optional” but necessary supplements, and the consistently lowering acceptance rates. In the past, seniors could spend a relatively stress-free afternoon without the persistent worry of community service. They, in direct contrast to current students, would request a tangible application, fill it out in a day or two and return it to the corresponding college. Now, many competitive schools require interviews, recommendations, supplements which cause students to doubt its sufficiency.

While the competitiveness of college entrance certainly has its benefits, including a holistic view of each student’s application and the rewarding of students who are willing to put more effort into their application, the stressful process has many negatives. Students are veritably required to join honor societies rather than clubs that actually interest them, and seldom do students provide community service out of a passion for helping. In efforts to abide by the defacto requirements set by universities, students are essentially forced to attain the maximum number of community service hours, in addition to a coherent essay, and a reflective yet unique recommendation.

“I think the current college application is horrible for the well being of the students. In regards to the job market, yes maybe it will be more qualified, but our job market was just fine in the 80’s,” CAP Counselor Mrs. Stack said.

On top of the stress of perfecting the application in the suggested 2 months before it is due, seniors inevitably are also burdened with the very helpful advice to “Enjoy the best year of high school while you still can!” Acceptance rates for top schools are lowering literally every year. Out of the 26,641 applicants to Princeton in 2014, 1,939 students were accepted. The 7.28% acceptance rate serves as both a panic-attack-inducing statistic and as a competitive goal, but either way, this statistic illustrates the direction that college applications are headed.

“People will be stuffing their résumé and they are just doing it for college,” senior Sofia Toche said. 

Even though the stressful process may not play a beneficial role on the wellbeing of seniors, it certainly does benefit them in the long run, and there seems to be no alternative to this process thus far, so the only solution is to partake. Whether in agreement with the current college application process or not, the deadlines are looming.