Seniors take on early college applications


Photo Credit: Nathan Ramirez

Senior Monty Mulugeta attempts his college applications in the RM media center.

Michaela Boeder, Features Writer

As seniors begin their last year of high school, many are taking advantage of early college applications and racing to meet the first deadline on Nov. 1. 

Most colleges require a high school transcript, letters of recommendation and a personal essay. Seniors are able to showcase their personalities in a wide variety of essay prompts. 

“I feel like the numerical thing that we all have great [test scores] is cool. But when I was doing my college apps, I wanted it to cater to me. So for my essay, I wanted to focus it on my identity,” senior Anya Tahi said.

Early decision, early action and rolling admissions offer students an opportunity to apply to colleges prior to the standard application deadlines of Dec. 1, Jan. 1, Jan. 15 and Feb. 1. 

“I was surprised that a lot of people are doing early decision because it doesn’t seem like a good deal to me. You have to commit once you apply, and I don’t like that,” senior Anna Lee said. Unlike early decisions, early action applicants are not required to commit if accepted, and do not have to make a decision until May 1, 2023.

Tahi is taking advantage of early action, which opened on Aug. 1, and is applying to five schools. “I heard everybody talking about it. They were doing it over the summer, but I didn’t do anything. I really started to get things done in September,” Tahi said. 

Other seniors started their application process in the summer, hoping to make the fall less stressful. 

“I started doing them when the applications started to open up, so early August,” senior Genevieve Cowl said. 

Similarly to Cowl, Lee also began her applications over the summer.

“I’ve heard from seniors last year that I should start writing my Common App in the summer. I did that and I highly recommend it because I can’t imagine it right now.” 

The Common App is a program in which seniors can apply to the over 1,000 Common App member colleges with a single application by completing college-specific supplements and mass sharing their personal essay, test scores, transcripts and academic achievements. 

Many students believe the Common App program to be resourceful in holding all their essential college components, but not all students think mass applying is the best idea.  

“My biggest tip is to not apply to an obscure number [of schools],” Tahi said. “College is a big step. It’s a big step to our futures, so apply to schools that you actually want to go to- schools that’ll make you happy.”

The RM College and Career center provides resources to help seniors during this process. 

There are evening trainings to support students when completing the FAFSA and financial aid. The college/career website is a great source of information. [College and Career Information Coordinator] Ms. Jeanpierre has done an awesome job keeping it updated with college visits,” counselor Ms. Rachel Greene said. 

Some students have mixed opinions about the College and Career center. 

Cowl said, “I feel like [the College and Career center] definitely could do a lot more with helping seniors with their Common App by providing additional resources and support.” 

For Lee, The College and Career Center provides enough resources, but not in a timely manner.“You have to be proactive and ask questions yourself,” Lee said. 

For the seniors currently struggling with the process, Lee advises students to talk to their counselor. “Your counselor is your best friend right now-ask them if you have questions or concerns. Look it up on Reddit if you really have to. People are struggling with this college application process everywhere and so don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Lee said.