And so Begin the Crazy College Apps

Today is August 2, 2012. Yesterday was August 1, 2012. Why is that special, other than that I can now say later this month, I will be entering my senior year of high school? Ladies and gentlemen, this year’s Common App is out. The essay topics aren’t any different, but the release comes as a reminder that college crunch time is coming (and has helped me realize that there are limitless alliteration possibilities with the word “college”).

I have two shots at the SAT to get my score up just a little bit in hopes that it will give me just a little edge. I also have to take an SAT Subject Test on the date I don’t take the real deal. I will need to figure out which test is right for me. I have realized in the last 36 hours or so why the autumn of one’s senior year is so crazy. Come August 29th, I will have to balance fall golf, four AP classes, SAT studying, “Common Apping” and applying to two non-Common-App schools. My amazing 10:30 bedtime from junior year is beginning to seem out of reach, at least in the short term. It’s a classic case of “pick two of friends, sleep or grades” situation, except I only have time to pick one.

At the moment, my big concerns lie with the SATs and application essays – I want to make the best impression I possibly can. Unfortunately, I can’t rely on chance to bring my SAT scores up. However, I have a study book and I’ll be working from that. One thing that has really stuck out to me about the entire college process is its expense. The SAT is $50 to take and costs extra money to send your score to more than four colleges. College application fees are in the $75 range. I will probably end up spending something in the $900 range on applying to schools, an amount in pales in comparison to the $40,000+ per year that college will cost, even with financial aid.

Because of the already immense cost, it is hard to justify spending in upwards of $150 per hour on an SAT tutor or a thousand more on an essay reader. Does it bother me that I will have to work excruciatingly hard to get into one of the schools I want to attend? Not in the least. I’ve never been a stranger to effort, and all my extra work will make (hopefully) getting in all the sweeter.

With all that said, I still have a month of summer – one last month of freedom. I’ll blog regularly about my progress.

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