Friday, July 17, 2015

My Knees Went Weak When I Read the Email

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My heart is still pounding and my knees are still weak from the email that landed in my inbox this morning. It should have gone directly to my son, but it came to me first. Sh*t's gettin' real y'all.

"We are now taking applications for the 2016-17 freshman class..."


I thought August 1st marked the start of what I shall call Application Season. Apparently that's the date for most schools, but not this one. I tried not to bug my senior (too much) about working on his essay for the Common App, a common application that is accepted by more than 500 colleges and universities. Many schools require a bit of additional information, but even with supplements, the Common App makes it easy to apply to many schools.

Which is why a growing number of students apply to a growing number of schools. The Common App does limit a student to 20 schools. But applying to that many schools seems kinda crazy. I'm hoping our son applies to no more than 8. Okay, 10 max.

The more schools a student applies to, the less focused his or her search is. Ideally your child has a vision, if not a strong preference, as to what type of school they are looking for in their post-secondary institution.

But think about yourself at that age. Did you have that laser-sharp focus?

The school that's now taking applications doesn't have an application fee, doesn't require an essay, and is "non-binding early action." Meaning that he can find out in December if he got in and what kind of merit aid they will grant him without being committed to accepting their decision. I think my son might have sent a set of scores to them already, so even that expense is lowered. I think he'll wind up applying.

Oh, wait up. I just Googled something and learn that some schools have non-binding early action, but don't want you to be applying to other schools early action nonetheless.

What? I dunno. He'll probably apply anyway. Will this come back to bite us in the butt? This is why it's great for your kids to have a short list of schools by the end of the summer before senior year.

That said, I've been assured that my child will grow and mature a lot this final year in high school. So the colleges that appeal to him now, might be less appealing by next April.

In short, I only have a vague idea of how this works. This process will be the nearly-blind leading the completely blind person who insists he can navigate on his own, but mostly would rather be at the computer doing something he enjoys instead finishing off his essay and applying to college(s).

Stay tuned for our next adventure.


Kim Tracy Prince said...


Daisy said...

My first-born turned 28 a little while ago, but I remember well the application process and the final choice. She had given up on the liberal arts college I attended because they hadn't responded. She figured she didn't get in, so she was focusing on her other strong choice, one of the state schools. My alma mater did accept her, so suddenly she was faced with a choice.

She wasn't laser focused, either. She declared a major toward the end of her freshman year and a minor as she entered her junior year. My focus, way back in history, was anything but focused. I told her to enjoy her studies and college life, and reminded her that I took 5 years to finish college because I wasn't certain where I wanted to go with my life.

If there's a point to my comment, it's this: be open to choices and open to change. I remind people that my job (I teach online) did not exist when I attended college.