Common App Stress


Katie Reynolds, Staff Writer

For many first semester seniors, “stressed” is an understatement to describe their current emotions. Juggling schoolwork and extracurriculars with the added pressure of getting into college is a lot to handle.

Now throw in a government shutdown that tries to prevent a student from applying to schools. Senior Katie Smith knows all about this dilemma.

Just before the government shutdown began, Smith was approved for a green card, which meant she could apply to colleges as a “permanent resident” instead of an international student. But when the government shut down, the processing of her card stopped. Without it, Smith couldn’t apply as an international student or a permanent resident.

“Because multiple federal agencies play a role in contributing to the functioning of the immigration system, the impact of the shutdown varies from case to case and issue to issue, but the cumulative impact is placing additional strain on an already over-burdened system,” said an article called “Ongoing Government Shutdown Disrupts Immigration Processing” on the Immigration Impact website. In essence this means that while the U.S. Immigration website claims that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to process green card applications through the government shutdown, the complexity of the situation leaves some unlucky people, like Smith, helpless and without a green card.

Smith tried numerous times to contact the CommonApp with no avail. She knew she would have to find a way around the issue. “I uploaded all the documents I have proving that I am legal to live here. This managed to work, though I’m still crossing my fingers, and I was able to submit the CommonApp,” said Smith.

She also called all of the schools she is applying to early action to let them know about her situation and to ask if they needed anything else besides what she put on her application.

Though she describes it as “frustrating,” Smith is realistic about her situation. “At the end of the day, there are people who have been affected by the shutdown much more than I have. There are so many people who now don’t have jobs, so I can’t really complain,” she said.