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Roving Teen Reporter: College App Zapped
Leila Zein-Phillipson | Torrey Pines High School Senior


“If I could describe my mix of emotions about applying to college I’d say “nerve-wracking’.” I am applying to a place where I might spend the next 4 years of my life; supposedly the best 4 years. It’s like an end of a chapter with a cliff hanger where the unknown is discovered in the next chapter,” said Max.

San Dieguito Union High School District seniors have begun the emotional college application process. Some have already been accepted or rejected, while others are still deciding which prompt to choose for their essay.

“Everyone is working at their own pace, but I think it’s fair to say everyone is either stressed or anxious even if they have been accepted somewhere,” shared Amanda.

For those who have not received their first acceptance letter, the question, “what if I don’t get in anywhere?,” remains.

“We live in a time where colleges are super selective and everyone is smart. You need something to set you apart from the crowd” said Megan adding, “My parents aren’t divorced, I have functioning and intact limbs, I have not found a cure for cancer, but I still want to go to college.”

A growing number of colleges are stepping away from the standardized exams traditionally required of applicants. According to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, commonly known as FairTest, more than 800 colleges and universities across the country no longer require score submissions from SAT or ACT.

“I don’t think it’s fair for an application to be brushed aside solely because of scores. Some people aren’t good multiple choice testers, but could still be the next Steve Jobs or Albert Einstein,” said Rachel.

This year technical malfunctions with the Common Application, an online application portal used by over 500 hundred colleges and universities, elevated the stress level for many high school students or rather has been ‘“a pain in the app.”

“The Common Application web browser has randomly crashed. I have spent un-productive hours refreshing a page. Honestly it’s scary and stressful,” stated Nicole with frustration.

The Common App which has been around for over 30 years and has made the college application process easier for a generation of students came out with a new version of its software on August 1st. The new version featured software that was plagued with problems ranging from formatting to a complete failure to submit an application.

Because of the numerous Common App software related problems, a number of colleges and universities rolled back their early admission deadlines and have assured students that they will not be penalized for technical failures of the Common App.

California UC and State schools each have their own separate application processes. Both applications have deadlines of November 30th. Before March prospective students to the California schools will be will be contacted with letters of acceptance or rejection.

“No one can help me with this process. For once in my life it’s all about me and what I have done thus far. All I can do is hope I’ve done what it takes to get in to a school that is right for me,” said John.



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