Student Story: College Application Process Should Move Into The 21st Century

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By: Layla McIntosh, Egg Harbor Township High School

Photo credit: Layla McIntosh

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. — As 2019 comes to a close, high school seniors are beginning to stress about the next four years of their lives and choice of career path. Granted, before they can begin this journey they must choose a place for it to begin and, most importantly, hope they’re granted admission to their institute of choice through their application. 

For a high school student, the college application process may be, for some, the most stressful thing they must conquer over their four years in high school. During high school years, students feel as though they must race to keep on top of all classroom subjects and balance any sports and extra-curricular activities with their studies to feel as though they’ll “look good” on an electronic, fill in the blank application.

College applications have now changed to a highly impersonal format and students truly do not get the amount of thought put into their acceptance as they used to. Instead of an interview being present and a well thought-out choice on whether you should be accepted into the institution you most wish, most of the time -since you are only seen on paper- if you don’t have the grades or test scores you won’t make the cut. Therefore, the question to raise is, why not move college applications into the 21st century? 

We are, as the next generation, surrounded and consumed by the world of social media. We have a vast knowledge on the internet and what capabilities it allows for us to hold. So, knowing what the internet allows us to create, filling out a standard application for college just seems antiquated. Why aren’t students granted the choice to move into the 21st century and apply to college with a video application? This video functioning as a mock interview with the student.

Video applications would create a way to see the student as a person before admission, rather than just another test score. 

“[The idea of] video applications would be great because sometimes I feel highly insecure about my test scores, so I feel like it would give me another chance at success,” Egg Harbor Township senior Johanna Baronowitz said. 

If we are given the capability to harness technology that could make us be seen in a different light, why aren’t we taking advantage of that opportunity? College applications, although impersonal now, have a chance to take a turn and create something that would truly give students an equal opportunity at success. Will institutions take up on this opportunity, or will they pass it by for a higher test score?