Admissions Bring Relief and Stress to Seniors


photo courtesy of AP Images

A student works outside of Ehrighaus dormitory at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.

Grace McGinness, Sports Editor

Deadlines are starting to creep up faster and faster every time students open the Common App, the guidance office is busier than ever and essays are being written and revised with urgency.

This is college application season.

Early action and early decision deadlines are less than a month away now, with many colleges’ deadlines being Nov. 1 or Nov. 15.  The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s deadline is even closer, coming in today, Oct. 15.  

College prep books and websites say that students should start planning for college starting in Freshman year.  This starts with making a list, taking the PSAT, making another list, taking another PSAT, making another list, taking the ACT and SAT and so on until senior year is suddenly here.

But are students actually prepared to apply for college even after all of this prep work?

The Common App essay is typically the most foreboding part of college applications, with a vague prompt and broad range for word count, this essay is challenging for many. 

Senior Alaina Hall said she started by first applying to colleges without the Common App essay requirement and plans to wait until the last minute to apply to colleges that do require the essay.  

Hall isn’t the only one threatened by this essay.  

The Common App essay has no defined prompt, something so broad that many students have no idea where to start.  

Senior Danielle Huene said that even as someone who’s been guided through the process both by her English teacher and her mom, an SIUE admissions counselor, she has still struggled with some parts of the application. 

“I was [always] on the ball for FAFSA, The ACT, etc. But the essays intimidate me,” Huene said.  

Though students aren’t completely certain about all parts of their applications, most are confident.  

Senior Mitchell White said he feels ready to submit his applications after his English teacher walked them through the process.  “Mrs. Warner went through it with us,” he said.  “She helped with essays, interviews, and the college search too.”

Senior Sydney Lane feels the same way.

“My counselor and family have helped me with my transcript, letters of recommendation, college essays, NCAA requirements, and guiding me through the Common App,” she said.

Lane is grateful for all of the help she’s received through the process.  

“I was very fortunate to have lots of help, and all the questions I had were answered promptly.”