Seniors apply and conquer as deadline looms

Congratulations, seniors! It’s November, and that means almost all early-action college applications are due tonight. Our months of grade-inputting and essay-writing is finally done—that is, until the next deadline. Hopefully everyone has finished their Nov. 2 early applications by now, so let’s recap what we’ve written in the past few months.

The first step to applying for college is deciding which schools to apply to. Now, unless you’ve had a dream school in mind since childhood, this can be one of the hardest parts of applications. Even with the early action deadline over, college applications aren’t really over until Jan. 1 so you really don’t have to have your set list for a few months. The average student applies to about six to eight colleges: two or three reach, two to three target, and two safety schools. Some students, like senior Faith Kuper, are already done with applying, though.

Kuper sent her application to the University of Alabama before the school year started so she wouldn’t have stress going into her senior year. She then got her acceptance from Alabama and committed before even hearing back from her second-choice school.

“I knew I wanted to go there, and now I’ve been able to focus more on school and activities, which has been really nice,” said Kuper.

After choosing your schools comes the long, tedious task of filling out personal information. We’re all very thankful for the Common App (or else we’d be doing this forever), but a lot of us have at least a school or two that opted out of that option.

Then comes what most people would agree as the worst part of applications—the essays. Common App requires one personal essay, and then specific schools can have many more supplemental essays.

On the opposite side of the spectrum of Kuper, Jack Westerkamp started all of his applications very late. Though he is applying to eight of his schools early action, two weeks before the deadline he had only a rough draft of his personal essay and none of his supplemental essays done.

“I’ll get them done, don’t worry,” Westerkamp said, clearly confident he’ll be able to finish in time. It just goes to show that students are on completely different timelines. Most students fall somewhere in between these two models, but don’t stress if you think you’re going to be the last one done.

After finally finishing the essays comes the most satisfying part of applications — hitting submit. And then it’s over! Application in, and decisions should be out around Dec. 15, depending on the school. Good luck to all those who applied early, and good luck to all the seniors who are waiting until regular decision.