In the first semester of senior year, hopeful college applicants are particularly overwhelmed by the abundance of seemingly-endless college applications.
During this time, seniors are expected to meet multiple deadlines, including writing their college essays and supplements on time, tracking teachers who are writing their letters of recommendations and deciding which schools they want to apply to.
In the midst of this lengthy process, it is imperative the College and Career Center as well as the 12th grade advisory system support the seniors and provide resources upon which students can rely.
However, this guidance and reminder of deadlines seem to be significantly lacking.
The College and Career Center and the advisory system have continuously failed to properly inform students about cover sheet deadlines, which were only publicized on InFocus.
Although InFocus is useful for making information more widespread, it should not be solely relied upon to announce important college deadlines, as many students do not watch the show because of prep periods, absences and teachers who forget or choose not to broadcast the program.
A cover sheet is a list of colleges that college applicants must provide to the guidance office in order to get their transcripts sent to their colleges on time.
Many seniors were especially confused regarding the cover sheet deadline for the early Oct. 15 application (cover sheets due Sept. 5).
These students only scrambled to turn the cover sheet in before school ended after hearing about it om their friends on the same day.
By Sept. 5, many students did not even have their college lists finalized and potentially missed the opportunity to make a rational decision on whether or not they wanted to apply to a school with an Oct. 15 deadline. Furthermore, there was not an advisory discussing cover sheets before this deadline, which led to confusion and a clamor for clarification among seniors.
The Campanile thinks seniors should be notified at least two weeks prior to each cover sheet deadline, with notification through multiple media outlets, including a post on Schoology and through Paly social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Additionally, teachers in core classes, specifically English classes, should remind seniors of these deadlines so they have ample time to finalize their college lists before transferring this list onto the physical cover sheet in time for the appropriate deadlines.
In addition to the communication of cover sheet deadlines, seniors need to be provided with more guidance pertaining to the college application process, which often involves many forms and test score submissions.
The senior advisory system or College and Career Center should also distribute more resources about sending standardized test scores to colleges, clarifying the deadlines for the submission of these scores and publicizing how to use different college application platforms separate from the Common Application through posting thorough informational guidelines on Schoology and other Paly-run social media platforms, and holding more senior advisories regarding these processes.
The proposed improvements have the potential to radically improve Paly students’ process of applying to college, and relieve copious stress from the already overwhelming experience.