Tag Archives: College


I know I haven’t posted for far too long. It’s really embarrassing, especially since I now aspire to be an admissions blogger at MIT.

Wait, what?

Yeah. I committed to MIT. I’m going to be a Beaver (or maybe an Engineer or an IHTFPer or whatever), and I couldn’t be happier! So now that the college admissions process is done until I (hopefully don’t have to) apply to grad school, what am I up to? Moreover, what have I been up to for the past month and a half? Why haven’t I been blogging?

I could post myriad excuses, and depending on how the rest of this blog post goes, I very well might. However, for the time being, I think it would be more appropriate if I directed your attention to Hawgrade!

Hi, Hawgrade!

Hi, Hawgrade! What the heck are you, anyway?

You can actually see the live version of this website at www.hawgrade.com. Now, to answer the caption’s snarky question, Hawgrade is grading for the Twenty First Century, developed with the help of one of the social studies teachers at my school, Dave Hawley. Mr. Hawley also goes by Hawley, hence the name Hawgrade. The website will eventually join forces with an iPad app, and the two will offer the following functionality:

  • Easy, paperless submitting of student papers.
  • Grading that stores data remotely. Teachers can keep their students’ papers anywhere!
  • Corrections for the most common student mistakes built in. This makes grading most papers as simple as highlighting passages and pressing a few buttons.
  • Recording voice comments to end the time consuming process of actually writing comments on students’ work.
  • Returning students’ corrected papers over email.

Most of that functionality has been implemented by now. It’s a wonderful culmination to my high school career, although it is unfortunate that I (a second semester senior) actually have to work on something! It’s also an enormous project. Maybe I’ll post some of my secret, proprietary code samples on this blog.

Regardless, I’ll definitely start posting more!

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.