High School Seniors Let Out A Collective Sigh in ‘09
As the majority of the readers on this site will know, college admissions are a painful and infuriating process. Nowadays our society puts so much pressure on us to attend good schools that many of us begin to feel that, should we not get into college, we’ll be living in refrigerator boxes on the street. (Although it was brought to my attention that, if you’re lucky, you could end up being one of the slightly more fortunate homeless people of California that get one of these cool portable shelters. Doesn’t really make you feel better, but good to know.)
Statistically, my class (2009) is due for the worst admissions season yet.
The root of the problem lies in “boom and bust” population demographics. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the baby boomers generation began to have children and thus created another wave of growth. As this new generation began to enter high school and apply to college, the number of applications began to increase and the number of students admitted decrease.
Basically, if you were born during the latter half of 1990 or in 1991, you’re screwed.
It has also become common for kids to apply to more than six schools, whereas a decade ago it was still rare. Since the introduction of the Common Application students are able to send one application to any of the 350 or so schools that accept it, making applying to multiple universities much easier. The more applications teenagers send out the smaller their chances of getting into some schools. And because admittance into these specific schools is not certain, kids will send out even more applications just to have some backups. (There is some hope, however – after this year, admissions are expected to gradually become easier. It won’t be noticeable for a long time, but it’s some consolation.)
Makes that movie Accepted seem even more realistic and frightening, doesn’t it? Playing on your worst fears? Yeah, well that was a couple years ago, and things have changed – for the worse. Again, the number of applicants is absurdly high, and, to make it worse, our economy is completely down the toilet.
Most high school seniors right now are absolutely terrified. And our college counselors aren’t really helping things. When asked what to do if we don’t get in anywhere, mine told us that there’s community college, but that she’s sure that won’t happen. Then she followed up by telling us that, especially this year, we cannot let ourselves fall prey to the dreadful Senioritis; “there are so many other kids that would want your spots at a school and a college would have no problem just giving yours away to them.”
So, I have a more difficult application process and I don’t get to enjoy the freedom of my senior year? Awesome.
So, to all you college girls out there: thank your lucky stars you are already into your school.
And to the high school ladies reading this blog: good luck! You are not alone.