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Pinching Pennies: Staff Ed

Pinching Pennies: Staff Ed

February 3, 2023

Stanford University- $90. Columbia University- $85. Do you want to apply to go to the engineering program at Boston College? Well…that’s a whopping $80 out of your piggy bank. While not even being guaranteed a spot. The costly consequence of applying to college is a reality for many high school students. According to a survey from the National Association of College Admission Counseling, 36% of high school students applied to more than 7 colleges. 

Among the 889 ranked colleges that participated in the U.S. News annual survey, the average application fee was nearly $45. The 64 schools with the highest application fees – all at least $75 – charged an average of about $78. Twenty-two of these 64 schools charged more than that, with Arkansas Baptist College topping the list at $100.

Senior Sofia Mutis narrowed down her list of colleges and precalculated how much each application would cost.

“I decided to pay for it myself because there was an expense that my parents were already saving for, going into college applications,” Mutis said. 

Similarly, CHS Senior, Alex Slen, reflected on his application process. With applying to 18 schools, and having to deal with additional expenses from testing, the application process was deemed to be yet another beacon of stress.

“It’s another bad thing about the whole college application process. You’ve done all this work and spent all this time and now you have to pay $85 for the privilege of submitting your application, which may or may not be rejected,” said Slen. 

Even with fee waivers from some colleges, the cost of applications can be a burden on those less financially stable.

“Even though $85 isn’t a lot for some people, that can be a pretty big limiting factor,” Slen noted. “It helps the wealthy apply to a lot more schools, and people who are less fortunate have to apply to fewer schools, making it a more painful process.” 

When applying to certain schools, universities will keep the application fees regardless of acceptance or denial. Oftentimes colleges additionally require an application fee prior to submission. However, while application fees can be used to fund the application review, and ensure qualified applicants, they often leave students with annoyance and frustration. 

Even with fee waivers from some colleges, the cost of applications can be a burden on those less financially stable.

“There’s a cost for everything. SAT tutor: $250 an hour. SAT test: $80. If you want to get your score report, that’s another $20. They keep trying to squeeze as much money out of you as humanly possible. It’s an annoying and painful process where they’re trying to get every last cent out of you” said Slen. 

It goes without saying the application process can be a grueling process, not to mention that at the end of it all, there still is the college fee itself.

“All this money, and now I have to pay $80,000 a year for college,” said Slen. “The whole process is frustrating at times.” 

It helps the wealthy apply to a lot more schools, and people who are less fortunate have to apply to fewer schools, making it a more painful process.

— Alex Slen

Yet the question arises, of how we will build an environment that fosters a healthy balance of fulfillment and success, while students are overworked to the bone from college applications. The economic and educational pressure must be subdued. 

 

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Isabella Bamnolker, Page Editor

Isabella is entering her second year of Globe as a sophmore. She is excited to write intresting stories, connect with new people on the Globe staff, and start working as a page...

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Charlie Meyers, Senior Managing Editor

Charlie Meyers is a junior at this year and is one of two Senior Managing Editors on the Globe staff. She has been on staff for three years and initially joined the Globe because...

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