The Class of 2021 Express Their Thoughts About the College Admission Process

By Celina Saba, Staff Writer

The graduating class of 2021 has experienced a one-of-a-kind year with the pandemic causing a toll on the last two years of high school. Specifically, the college admission process experienced a lot of changes for this graduating class. May 1 is the deadline for most students to decide which school they will be attending in the fall. With that, Niles West seniors are more than ever expressive about their experiences with the admission process.

“I have not made a decision yet because I am still waiting to hear back from most schools, but the whole college admissions process this year was a lot more unique than previous years. Seniors really went into the process blind. With most schools going test-optional, we had no idea if it was even worth it to take the SAT/ACT and how submitting a score could even affect our admissions chances. It also appears that for more selective schools, this test-optional practice has caused an unprecedented increase in applications which has severely cut many already low acceptance rates,” senior Henry Gussis said. “While I do think that the SAT and ACT need to be amended, in order to better reflect academic skill rather than wealth, it is very stressful waiting for admissions decisions right now knowing that this is one of the most competitive years yet. I applied to 21 schools which I initially thought was excessive, but now I am really grateful that I have many more opportunities to beat the difficult odds.”

This new process, while challenging, helped students delve deeper into their possible schools and make a more informed decision.

“The college I am most likely going to attend, I never thought I would. I was looking at which colleges had my major, which were target schools for me, and if I could get into their five-year master program so I could possibly finish earlier. I feel like everyone hypes up getting into college and making it seem like the hardest thing, but there really is just a college out there for everyone,” senior Magdalena Soldo said. “I got into four out of the eight schools I applied to, and I am most likely choosing the one I never thought in a million years I would be attending. It just seems like the best fit for me and the best scene. In the end, the school you might never have thought you would fit into might be the best one for you.”

The college application process involved evaluating what the students prioritized in their future education.

“I took a lot of things into consideration when applying. I looked into where the college is located, and how much I would pay yearly to go there,” senior Moise Melinte said. “For example, two things that were important for me were for the school to be in-state and the school had to offer pre-dentistry as an area of study.”

Overall, many of the seniors are optimistic about their future.

“With the college decision date coming up, I think that most of us seniors are trying to figure out where we would fit in best, where we could actually see ourselves going to school for the next four years,” senior Jayden De Leon said. “It is definitely difficult to imagine, but I think that each of us is going to make the right choice in the end and move on to bigger and better things.”