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September 5, 2018
Pouring over checklists of schools and deadlines, the senior class of 2019 begins the college application process. What was once a seemingly distant task is now brought to the forefront, with the Common Application which launched on Aug. 1.
The Common Application is universal and can be sent to multiple schools at a time. It asks questions ranging from a student’s academics to their activities and includes an essay at the end. Additionally, students may need to complete multiple essays and send teacher letters of recommendations if their schools require them.
“I started researching during my junior year so I’d be ready before applications opened,” senior Jake Brattain said. “I already had a good idea of where I wanted to apply.”
With the help of tools such as Naviance, many seniors were able to look at colleges before senior year. The website allows students to search for schools based on a set of criteria.
“The first thing I did junior year was look at colleges that have the program I’m interested in,” senior Brooke Lambert said. “I mainly looked at cost, enrollment and the school’s programs to narrow down the ones I wanted to apply to.”
Despite the fact that some seniors know where they want to apply, the task of actually filling out the applications is proving to be difficult for some.
“Filling everything out is taking a lot of time because it feels like I’m answering the same questions for every college,” Lambert said. “I’m not using the Common Application, so I have to physically fill out an application for each college I’m applying to.”
Seniors such as Lambert and Brattain make time for applications during their flex periods and over the weekend, since weekdays are often alloted for homework, sports and jobs.
“Start the applications earlier than later,” Lambert said. “The hardest part is actually logging on and beginning, but once you do it seems less stressful.”
After filling out the Common Application and solidifying a list of schools, seniors can begin other steps such as writing admissions essays and asking for letters of recommendation. Join me next month to catch up with the class of 2019 navigating the college application process.