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Students decide how many schools can determine their destiny


Twenty-four may seem like a lot of college applications, but not for Emerson Lovell ’12.

“The more you apply to the better chance you have to get in somewhere you want,” said Lovell.

However, applying to dozens of colleges can be extremely time-consuming.

“It was excessive, but it wasn’t too bad because the Common App made it so much easier,” Lovell said.

Audrey Stone ’12 had other reasons for multiple applications.

“I applied to schools all over the country because I didn’t know where my destiny would take me. I wanted the application process to choose for me.”

Even though eleven schools may be just the perfect number for Stone, she still needs to write eleven essays.

“I started filling out the applications and writing the essays in June for the more challenging schools,” Stone said.

Callie Hiner ’12, on the other hand, is only applying to one school. This is because she has committed to a university for field hockey.

But Hiner still has to take her time on the application.

“The application has taken a while because it needs to be thoughtful and well written,” said Hiner.

Besides the extremes, most students have applied anywhere from four to ten colleges.

Jake Smith ’12 is a part of this majority, and in order to narrow down his list, he has a rough checklist that the schools he is applying to must match.

“Qualities such as the size, location, prevalence of Greek life, and academic flexibility helped me to narrow down my choices a lot,” Smith said.

Another way students have narrowed down the amount of colleges they are applying to is by utilizing Early Decision and Early Action to know earlier whether they’ve been accepted or not, and if they are not accepted, many look to apply to more schools.

Katie Blumenfeld ’12 is an example, applying to two schools.

“I applied early decision somewhere, so I can’t go anywhere else if I get in and I also applied somewhere early action,” said Blumenfeld.

Early decision locks students down to that specific school, so students are advised to only apply Early Decision to schools they could see themselves actually going to.

“Applying Early Decision allows you to be done earlier, and chances are so much higher when you apply early decision,” Blumenfeld stated.

The Staples guidance department hopes to improve the process and relieve students’ stress.

“We generally recommend applying to six to eight schools as a target number, but we know that this may not be right for everybody,” said Guidance Counselor William Plunkett. The six to eight rule is not a rule that all students are forced to follow, but rather a guideline for the benefit of the students.

Applying to too many schools can provide for a more challenging spring, all agreed. “Say you apply to fourteen schools and get into twelve. In April it is hard to wrap your head around which one you want to go,” added Plunkett.

Facing the overwhelming decision of choosing between twelve schools is considered a fantastic place to be, but at the same time extremely difficult.

Balance is also extremely vital. The guidance department feels this concept is essential when applying to colleges.

“If you’re realistic and smart in your approach and apply to balanced schools you don’t need more then eight,” said Plunkett.

Students should have their likely; the schools students could be easily accepted to, targets, and reaches. This ensures that each student is applying to a variety of schools suitable for him or her.

There is no exact formula for applying to college. Every person goes through the process in a wonderfully unique way.

But, no matter the height of the hill traveled, everyone makes it to the other side.

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About the Contributor
Sara Luttinger, A&E Editor
Sara (who really should be called “Care-a”) Luttinger ’13 is very involved in Staples. She’s worked a lot with kids who have special needs – which would be her dream job, she’s interested in majoring in communications in college based on her “love of being around people”, and her favorite part of Inklings is the staff. Can you tell she’s a people person? As a senior girl, she’s had her fair share of highs and lows at Staples - the peak of her high school career being her first day of senior year. “We had a sleepover and decorated our cars the next day, it was so much fun,” said Luttinger. However, she continues by describing the all time low of high school - midterms in freshman year - as, “I had no idea what I was doing…” So, Sara, teetering between being overly caring with her love for people and not caring at all with her senioritis, is her own oxymoron.

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