College applications: Seasonal stress

December 19, 2014

Tis’ the season of college applications, and with the yuletide comes a tide of forms, deadlines, and caffeine-fueled late nights. Although stress levels vary from senior to senior, many find themselves having to confront difficult decisions with deadlines breathing down their necks.

“It took a lot of time and effort,” senior Marek Walker said. “I only submitted an application for Duke, so I tried really hard to make it everything it could be.”

Since many colleges do not conduct interviews, applications are the only impression they get from a student before deciding whether to admit them or not.

“The parts I struggled the most over were the essays, because they were the most important portion of the application,” Walker said. “It’s in those parts, like the interview, that someone gets to show who they really are.”

However, there are other concerns to consider. Most importantly, money plays a significant part in college decisions. Tuition can range from a couple thousand, to over $50,000 annually, depending on the college. Not to mention application fees, which typically range from $50 to $75.

“Money affects a lot,” senior Jordan Hanson said. “The application fee itself builds up, especially if someone is applying to a lot of colleges – not to mention actual college tuition. It puts a big dent in your savings.”

Tuition is rising steadily and quickly. According to Forbes, a leading business magazine, college tuition rose 500 percent from 1985 to 2012.

“I’m really concerned about rising tuition,” senior Madeline Bazemore said. “I want to be a writer, so I have no idea how I’m going to pay off college loans.”

One has to get in, in order to pay tuition, however, and rejection is a very real fear among college-bound students.

“Of course I’m afraid of rejection,” Walker said. “I think everybody is. It’s especially frightening, because I only applied to one college. I just make sure that I’m doing the best job I can. That’s the most anyone can do.”

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