College Applications: An Expensive Endeavor

Many new seniors have already found themselves experiencing the “senioritis” syndrome typical to their grade. Faced with the same cycle of loads upon loads of homework, after-school jobs, and extracurriculars, most seniors are overwhelmed enough before even beginning to think about the daunting task of filling out college applications. The problem is, for the first time in many of their lives, no one is going to stay on them and make sure they do what they need to.

“I’ve written thousands upon thousands of essays, and the recommendations are also a hassle. I constantly have something to do to prepare,” senior Adam Cruz said.

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Filling out an application for anything is, in itself, difficult – requiring research on specific information. Even more overwhelming, the process of completing fifteen-, sometimes twenty-paged college applications will, in most cases, directly affect how the rest of the applicant’s life goes. The requirements (mainly transcripts, letters of recommendation, essays, etc.) are unnerving, but for some, the huge price tags cause the most unease.

The applications themselves, though free for some schools, run anywhere between $20 to $75 per school. A general application can be completed online, via,, whathaveyou, but most colleges require an additional supplement application, specific to their school. This can also be filled out online, but for those sending by post, shipping & handling will add to the bill. Even a transcript – which is a computed list of the student’s grades provided by the counselors – will cost $5.

Students who receive free or reduced lunch from the district can get fee waivers from most schools. Those who took the SAT with a waiver (which is not the same as the “vouchers” counselors give out) can use it for four free applications, while those who used an ACT waiver can apply that toward an unlimited amount of free applications. Students who don’t fall into any of these categories will have to find some other way to scrounge up the necessary cash.

Altogether, the college application process is crippling to the mind and the wallet; apprehension is understandable, but the undertaking must occur, so student on and get cracking.

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About Taylor Johnson

This is my fourth year as a Brahma and my third year with publications, of which I'm co-Editor in Chief this year. I believe in rights for everyone, love animals, and am very opinionated.

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