Changes in College Apps-Get to Know the Real Student Behind the Application


Hugh Gannon, Staff Writer

Most high school seniors all over the United States are currently going through a rigorous process: college applications. Going through multiple platforms to complete the different college applications, many seniors are trying to secure the next steps in their lives by going to college. This is a stressful process that includes months of menial work, college counselors, and essay writing. For a long time, colleges thought that this was a good way to judge a student for who they are and if they are the right fit for their school. agrees saying, “just by attempts to diversify campuses many colleges are still struggling to achieve “true diversity” in admissions or even know what that means in 2019.” But now colleges are starting to see that there are so many different ways students can express themselves as people. With any luck, future generations will start completing a more practical college application where a match between student and college can be more appropriately judged.

Everyone has their own stories and some college admission officers see that and factor that in, “Our admissions officers are looking for something that is authentic and imperfect, and somebody who is thinking differently,” says Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania. The problem is that some students have a hard time expressing their authenticity, especially in the singular platform of a college essay. For example, college applicants that speak multiple languages may have a limited vocabulary which may impair them to write a sufficient college essay. Even though students get multiple prompts some of those students have a hard time answering them within an essay. Even if the questions remained the same, students should have multiple mediums in which to respond.

The idea of having multiple options opened up many different options. A few suggestions by include changing to an “application process that will encourage earlier preparation and creative materials like personal videos, digital portfolios, even comic strips. For many of these schools, it might eventually replace the Common Application.” There are multiple benefits ranging from higher graduation rates to an “application process easier and attract a wider variety of applicants.” Senior William Rogers agrees that, “It’s time to make it easier for students to complete the application.” This new way of thinking about the college application, according to will be, “A more comprehensive, holistic approach to finding best-fit students — one that requires an application that moves beyond qualitative blinders”.  Students at La Jolla give some insight on how the application has affected them and their thoughts on the change. Senior Jonathan Atarius feels that students need the, “ability to write and to express yourself through writing. It’s something that humans as a species are going to be using for years and years. The colleges do have to narrow down their options somehow, and the essay is not a bad way to do that.” With that said Jonathan is, “not opposed to alternate options besides the essay” because “you can’t fully portrait a human through their writing even though writing does incorporate an important skill set for students.” Senior Kai Chrispeels puts in his opinion stating that, “the essay isn’t always a good illustration of what you are like as a student. While the other part of the application is just a bunch of numbers”. Finally, Senior Adain Trahey feels very strongly that the college application  does not fairly portray a student, “It’s the best aspects of a student that they BS together into one presentation.” The college application should show how you’ve grown as a student, not how you do on one essay.

The overall goal is to make the best matches for both the schools and the students. We will create a better society with a general higher education throughout the country. If every student has a higher chance of going to the right school for them, then they will have more success educationally. This isn’t just a theory, College Board itself states that they, “launched a new initiative to study and improve the practice of admission, with a special focus on holistic and individualized review, in order to expand student access and success.” The new age of college applications are on the horizon, ready to shape the next generation.