Early applications come too early


Morgan Brown, News Editor

Before students settle into their classes at the start of senior year, their inboxes fill with college emails. With these constant reminders of applications and requests for their attendance, admissions officers can make senior year feel less like a last hoorah and more like a pre-college lull. The official term–early action–emphasizes the need for one of the first big moves in a student’s life and makes applying for college overly pressing for a first semester senior.

“It feels like a lot of pressure for your senior year. You have so much going on already and you have to finish [your application] in around a monthincluding the essays,” senior and current valedictorian Rebekah Geil said.

The opening of early applications signals the beginning of a college rush. No longer just a distant future to students, the long hinted-at idea of college becomes a reality. With over 180 days left in school, students can feel lost and unaware of what comes next, feeling pressured to make a quick choice .

Thinking about college while not even graduated from high school can intimidate the average student. Georgia State University opened applications on August 1, the first day of  some Georgia high schools, leaving little of senior year to spend not thinking about impending deadlines. The adult world, still a mystery to newly anointed 18-year olds, slowly becomes a reality for most students as they prepare for graduation, and with adulthood comes the next stage in life. College now acts as a necessary step in life for most students not venturing directly into the workplace; the decision comes as the year closes, not as it begins.

Setting the deadlines before students complete their fall semester puts extra stress on events outside of the typical high school realm, especially stress in the form of finances. Assuming a student and his family holds a less than exorbitant amount of income, he need financial aid and assistance through places like the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA, the home of the Zell Miller and HOPE scholarships, gives students much needed financial boosts to prevent the typically astronomical student loans normal university students incur. Typically, university grants and scholarship applications expire with the early applications, placing the pressure on kids to push their applications out early.

“I am doing a lot of early applications because I might regret it later if I don’t,” Geil said.

Knowing their decision early and preparing oneself for college should motivate students to apply during the early decision window— and for dedicated students, it does. The option of early application benefits those students wanting to take the extra step, but punishes individuals who need the help alloted to the early actors. The beauty in early decision lies in the students’ ability to decide, not the feeling of needing to decide.