According to NCES, around 20 million students are set to attend colleges and universities in the upcoming fall semester of 2019. And, it’s well known that the process of college applications is tiring and stressful especially when senior year hits.
Every year, the competition is getting harsher as students start preparing for college applications starting from the ninth grade. There are many “requirements” that parents and students are starting to fill up right when high school starts. This includes extracurricular activities, awards, scholarships, GPA, academic clubs, and building connections.
More and more students are attending SAT prep academies and finishing as early as ninth and tenth grade. This is the same with extracurriculars as parents are signing their kids up for volunteer activities in hospitals, shelters, and more. One parent of a graduating senior stated “it’s so shocking because I know many of my kid’s friends who all started on their college applications from the eleventh grade and are almost done before senior year.”
One of the most controversial topics is the SAT. Many think that the Scholastic Aptitude Test does not accurately provide scores of students’ abilities and potential. The SAT is basically testing students based on their skills of mastering the SAT. Students who have the financial stability have an advantage as they can access SAT prep academies and private tutoring sessions. However, other students may not be able to study to their full extent.
Another controversial topic commonly talked about is the financial aid factor. Although students are allowed to apply for financial aid and receive scholarships/grants based on their financial background, most of the population can not come up with $30,000 every year. A parent of three kids Cindy Kim stated that “I personally think that it’s unfair giving financial aid solely based on family income. I have three kids all one and two years apart. Even though we earn around the average family income, sending each kid to college for more than four years would make us go bankrupt.”
There are many complaints about the system and process in college admissions, but there is no immediate solution in getting rid of the holes in the system. However, these days, the requirements are changing little by little as some schools are not requiring the essay portion of the SAT. Parents and students are awaiting for the little changes to be made to the system.
Susie Song, Grade 12
Academy of the Canyons