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College Applications at IA

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By Varsha Vedapudi |

If you’re a senior, you’re probably too busy to be reading this. You have described this phase as “tedious”, “terrifying”, “stressful”…but also “exciting”. Yes, you guessed it right! It’s college application time.

This is judgement day. This is the time when your three and a half years of effort at the IA is put to the test, when your parents will question the results of their parenting/training, and you will make a decision to be a part of a community for the next four years.

Well, it’s not that bad. Some college-appliers are pretty enthusiastic about the process. However, being an IA student, you gotta be ahead of the game and on top of deadlines. You cringe when you hear someone mention college applications not because of the process itself, but the strain of managing it along with your packed schedules.

Most seniors at the IA apply through Early Action, an early admission process where the deadline to apply is November 1st. Appliers get notified of the school’s decision earlier as well.  Hence, most of you are currently wrapping up and sending their applications out. Now that that’s done, there are only a few things you could know/do.

  1. Be aware of Tufts Syndrome an admissions practice that involves wait-listing or denying admission to over-qualified applicants considering that he/she will choose a more prestigious college anyway (even though this school might be your “backup choice”). No one likes to be last pick for the school dance.
  2. “You’re gonna get into a school. You’re gonna learn. You’re gonna be fine,” says Ms. Toepel :)
  3. Pray.
  4. You only have control over the application to a certain extent. Once that part is over,   relax.
  5. Take pride! You’re closer to getting the IB Diploma than ever before.

The official process will continue into December and January for the seniors as it varies from college to college. As they reflect on the process, here’s some advice from a few seniors pass on to Juniors and underclassmen.

Don’t procrastinate”-  says the senior class of 2017, in unison.

“Ask early for recommendation letters”– Ask someone who knows you. Some teachers have a limit on how many letters they write, so if you’re really keen on a particular teacher – ask early.

“Be Organized and on top of deadlines”– There’s no way to simplify this. Fill out FAFSA the minute you get it.

“Proofread your essays”– Don’t sugar-coat. You can only present who you are, but make sure you proofread it from an outsider’s perspective.

“Talk to your counselor early”– Don’t hesitate to approach your counsellor. They are here to guide you through the process. Also, get to know them through your time at the IA.

“Consider program and tuition fee over prestige”– Choose the college that offers you the best program that is a good fit for your interest over the brand name. Sometimes prestige of the school is weighed over the expense, but unless “Make college debt-free” is put into action, you will most likely have debts to pay later on.

You can read guides and tips on how to ace the process, but it only helps that much. “There is no solution. Just pain,” says one senior. Whether this is true or not, each senior class will have to experience on their own.

But when the going gets tough, the tough get going. The storm will end. Semester 2 will come. IB exams will happen.

We wish the seniors all the very best through the following months!

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