October is a stressful month for many high school seniors—there are essays to write, transcripts to request, letters of recommendation to collect, activity lists to complete.
The source of all this work and anxiety?
Two words: Early action.
Many students choose to submit their college applications at an early date in order to obtain an early response to their application. For most colleges, the deadline for this early action is at the beginning of November, meaning that the weeks leading up to that month can be chaotic.
“My application process has been overwhelming but it has taught me a lot about myself,” says Anna Rigdon, a senior looking at a variety of colleges for business including the Ohio State University.
“Counselors [at Lakewood High] are not always up-to-date with things like recommendation letter requirements…or course and score reporting. [The Common Application] goes into specifics that the counseling department here at LHS does not prepare you for,” confesses Christina Auck, who hopes to go into zoology at Case Western Reserve University or University of California, Davis. “From someone who has started this process, there is a lot of trial and error and…a lot of self-research.”
Auck’s decision to use the Common Application (or the “Common App”) is a popular one, allowing students to fill out their information and submit their letters of recommendation on just once on a single application to save time, as long as their prospective school allows it. Supplementals for specific programs, majors and schools are added afterwards but can usually still be found and submitted within the Common App.
“It’s kind of frustrating, but once it’s over with I’m sure it will all work out the way it is supposed to,” Emily McIntire, who is considering going to Ohio University, insists confidently. Like Auck, she is applying through the Common Application.
Between heaps of homework, extra-curriculars and these early action applications, it is a busy time of the year for almost every senior. Fortunately, it will be worth it once they are accepted into college and can look forward to a future of doing what they love.