Students scramble to finish college applications


By Lauren Burdick
<[email protected]>

Senior Yifan Hua has been filling out applications, like most seniors, all year, but has chosen to fill out some college applications over winter break, causing his vacation to be somewhat different than everyone else’s.

Hua has applied to about 10 colleges and universities and said that while the experience has been stressful, it will be worth it in the end.

“I guess college applications have been somewhat all-consuming. They kind of plow through my life like a force of nature. ‘Cause if I’m not actually working on them, I’m worrying about working on them or procrastinating on working on them, all of which produce the same stress levels anyhow,” Hua said via e-mail.

According to counselor Shelly Rubinstein, “It’s becoming more competitive to get into schools, and the earlier the schools receive their application, they will have a better chance of being admitted.”

Unfortunately for some seniors at this school, the deadline for turning in many college applications is Jan. 1, 2009, a date that is looming ahead on the horizon. As they rush to get their submissions into the mail, they are reminded of the numerous benefits facing those who have already turned in their applications and have often received acceptance letters.

“Get them done as soon as possible; it is a relief to get them done,” senior Peter Weisenbach said. Weisenbach sent his applications to schools in August and has already been accepted to Indiana University and Ball State University, again noting the weight taken off his shoulders this holiday break, when instead of putting pen to paper and writing admissions essays, he can spend his last winter break as a Greyhound spending valuable time with family and friends. According to Hua, the majority of the time spent over winter break with applications will be for essays. “I’d say the possibility of a good future is worth spending a winter break over,” he said.

According to, thus far students should have visited schools that interest them and have met with their counselor. Applications that are going through Early Decision or Early Action programs should also have been submitted. By December, students should “wrap up college applications before winter break. Make copies of each application before you send it.”

Both IU and Purdue University have implemented new policies to allow for early applications. IU collects pools of applications and makes acceptance or rejection decisions within two to four weeks. Purdue has collected all of their applications and made decisions regarding their applicants last Friday.

Hua said, “There’s a lot of stuff to keep track of between app requirements and mailings to admissions offices. The general logistics behind everything can get a bit ridiculous sometimes.”

Weisenbach said the benefits of sending apps in early handily outweigh the detriments. “What if something comes up and you’re not able to finish the app?” he said.

It is unquestionable that filling out college requests is a worthwhile activity at any time of the year, and should be taken seriously regardless of the time. Like Rubinstein said, “We don’t want to discourage anybody from filling out applications at any time of the year.”