Acceptance timeline brings headache, heartache for aspiring students

Antoinette Lobello, Perspective Editor

‘To be or not to be’ or rather, “you’re in or you’re not in,”: that is the question at hand for many seniors and their college picks. Because for those who applied regular decision to a private institution, their decision date isn’t all that close.

Many accredited private colleges have decided mid-March to April 1 is the perfect time to notify their applicants whether or not they got in. Why not add on 10 times more stress when they already are dealing with the dreaded “what are you going to do in your future” question that has been asked of all of them, several million times?

Now this timeline of notifying students would be acceptable, except for the fact that most colleges request that the student’s decision come in no later than May 1. So many students only have one month to weed through their options and pick the right one.

Picking where you want to vacation in a month is no big task. But planning on where you are spending the next four or more years living is not something that can be accomplished in that time. If a student received more than three acceptance letters, they have a huge challenge of figuring out where they want to go.

They also have to factor in which will give more in terms of scholarships, which has the type of campus you would prefer, if you would feel comfortable there, and a million other questions they didn’t answer when they applied. Because while these questions were “supposed” to have been answered when they picked colleges to apply to, this time they have to answer seriously.

Students have to look into how they will truly fit into the college, because it is not as hypothetical as it was the year before. This isn’t a choice that can be made blindly and without consideration. This isn’t like picking what place you want to have dinner at, this is your future.

For colleges to expect students to be able to decide within a month if they truly want to go to that school is cruel.

Sadly there is no easy fix for this problem. Moving any of these dates would be a hassle for everyone involved. If the college were to push back the day students have to declare their school, it affects telling waitlist students if they got in. And to move forward the day they tell students could put stress on the admissions to pick choices with little to no attention to who they are. Meaning a student who should have gotten in would not.

Something needs to be done. And if it means moving up the day an application is due to move forward the acceptance day, then it needs to be changed. Because having a month to decide your fate is not enough time.