Collages of Colleges: Application Process Comes Early for Seniors


Seniors Wallis Ohlhausen and Lauren Pickman point to their prospective colleges. Photo: Chris Howard

College application deadlines loom over students as senior Alec Rogers’ hands tremble. He reluctantly presses the send button on that brisk November morning and watches as his hopes and dreams are sent for review. The decision now lies in the hands of a select few admissions officers and will help to shape his future.

This sentiment is experienced around the country with the recent deadline for early action applications. On Nov. 1, hundreds of thousands of students applied early action and early decision to their top choices. According to the Pace college office, 97% of seniors (104 students) have already applied to college. “Sending in my early action application was one of the most stressful experiences of my life” said Alec. “I spent hours with peers, parents and teachers, double and triple checking my application to ensure it was the best it could be.”

The current trend in the college application process is moving towards more early action and early decision applications. Students, who want to get the process finished quickly, are increasingly applying early to their top choices. This trend is putting more stress on both teachers and seniors in the first semester of the school year, as students scramble to finish their applications and teachers race to write thoughtful recommendations.

“The college process continues to become compressed into a smaller and smaller window with more colleges adopting October and November deadlines” said Director of College Counseling Mr. Bradley. “We are so appreciative of the teachers who now have to write numerous college recs within such a small period of time, whereas 10 years ago deadlines were more evenly spread out throughout the first semester, giving teachers more time to write recs.”

Mrs. Lewis claims that she has already spent up to 40 hours writing these college recommendations, with the burden becoming heavier and heavier each year. Although this trend front loads the first semester of senior year, it typically gives way to an easy and relaxing second semester where “senioritis” can freely take hold. “I’m so excited to end first semester,” said senior Wallis Ohlhausen. “First semester senior year has been tough, and I’m ready to relax a little.”

Seniors are beginning to hear back from college as the holidays roll around. Although stress is high, the reality is that Pace students will all be accepted to college somewhere. It is important to remember that these college woes are only temporary and everything will be resolved by the end of the year. Whether one is admitted in early December or late April, the college process will inevitably come to an end.