By Chloe Marrapese

With graduation approaching in the near future, college stress seems to be a big part of our senior student body’s focus. Throughout the process of applying to colleges, taking SATs is a huge part of the struggle. SAT’s cost at least $45 per test without the essay, and almost $70 with the essay. Most college applicants will try to take their SAT in the spring of junior year to take the stress off of their senior fall. However, depending on the scores you receive, some people will study to improve their scores and retake the test. This equates to more money spent and even more stress to receive scores back in time to send to colleges. The College Board charges $12 per college to send out test scores. While some people may be able to gain a fee waiver, most middle income families are being told nowadays that they make too much money to be eligible. 

This common misconception also transfers over to college applications, whether on Common App or on a college’s own website. For most to all colleges, application fees range from about $50-70 each. There can be some exceptions to this, however. Fee waivers can be obtained in a couple of different ways: good grades, personal accomplishments, or when a college sets a deadline for a free application. Deadlines are also a huge part of the application process. Early Action and Early Decision are an easy way to get decisions sooner, but can add more stress and pressure with their strict deadlines. 

While thinking about the topic of college, I talked to some seniors about the subject and how they cope with stress about college and waiting for their decisions. I also talked to part of the student body about where they are with the college application process at this time. One student said that the idea of having to pay tons of money to get into college and then have to pay more money to go to college is one of the biggest stresses. 

Another stress is with universities tending to accept more out-of-state students than residents. Right now, out-of-state students are three times more likely to be accepted than residents. This can lower graduation rates, because many people will go home and not graduate. This also takes away the impact a good group of college students and graduates can offer the surrounding communities. Residents are more likely to stick around after graduation and support neighboring businesses and towns. 

This stress is universal and many people just put it off as high school kids often as being dramatic. However, the amount of stress put on kids to get into a good college is as high as ever. The nurses at our school have some tips for the senior class on how to deal with this stress. First, keep up with your school work. No matter how stressed you may get, long nights lead to less sleep, and sleep is key! Take good care of yourselves, and not just in a physical way. Hydration and a good balanced diet are things that are essential to good health. Eat reasonably and regularly. Put your phone down, take a break and go outside to get some exercise and fresh air. Lastly, if you feel like you need some help, reach out to your local mental health professional at school.