Staff Ed: Colleges decisions take too long

Colleges take too long to get back to you with their decisions on Applications and Financial Aid.

The first issue we have with this topic is the inconsistency between schools’ response times. Why does it need to take three or more months for some schools and only a few days/weeks for others? Going to school one day and hearing your peers proudly brag about getting accepted into their top choice while you have to sit there, helplessly waiting to hear back, is a burden for many seniors.

Colleges should be faster. Plain and simple.”

One solution would be a universal date for all colleges’ decisions. Students will know exactly when they will hear back, so there won’t be any stress caused by unnecessary speculation in regards to when they will get a response. There could be a day in the winter/ fall for the early-action applicants and one in the spring for the regular decision applicants. The date would also give colleges sufficient time to thoroughly evaluate all the prospective students. We believe that this solution will undoubtedly help ease some of the mental tolls that the college decision process has on students.

In addition to the inconsistent response dates, the actual time it takes to hear back from schools feels like it is way longer than it needs to be. How long does it actually take to analyze each applicant? Looking at test scores, reading essays, and looking at grades can’t take more than 15-minutes, right? Especially considering these colleges all have admissions offices with full-time, paid employees working around the clock. Colleges should be faster. Plain and simple. Another problem with colleges taking so long to respond is the fact that it doesn’t give students enough time to fully make their college decision. With the National Decision Day being May 1, and most colleges not responding to regular- decision applicants until March or April, students only have about 4-6 weeks to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives to date. Lastly, students who are waiting to be accepted are missing out on time-sensitive opportunities including applying for housing, picking roommates, etc.

Furthermore, it’s not just about whether or not we are accepted to a specific college; the swiftness in which we are notified of our financial aid packages also must be quicker since money is a critical factor in narrowing down students’ lists. Money matters. Seniors shouldn’t waste time considering a school that is financially out of reach. Nor should seniors not consider school because they fear they won’t be granted a sufficient financial aid package. When colleges take too long to get back to students, they are making the decision process harder and more stressful than it needs to be. We believe this can be fixed by the colleges simply being faster in their response times.