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Chat With Nat: College applications cost more than just your personal time

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Chat With Nat: College applications cost more than just your personal time

Photo by: Natalie Aman

Photo by: Natalie Aman

Photo by: Natalie Aman

Natalie Aman, Reporter

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As soon as we began our year as seniors, it seems as if we hit the ground running with anything and everything related to college. It’s been a whirlwind of information that brings with it a mountain of things to accomplish in a small amount of time. It also seems as if everything we are tasked with doing in order to apply to college costs money. A lot of money.

And it all starts with the dreaded application. Let me tell you, I was shocked when I found out how much just applying to college costs. For example, my ACT and SAT tests, sent score reports, and application fees combined is costing me over a whopping $400.

I hope I’m not the only one who was surprised by this news because wow, that is a lot of babysitting for me to do. Recently, I can’t help but wonder…why? Why does the process of applying to colleges, of which you’ll only attend one, if any at all, cost so much money? The ACT and SAT tests cost over $60 a pop if you are including the essay. To send the scores you earn, it’s another $12-13 per school you ship them to. If you are one of the many kids who take an ACT or SAT prep class, don’t forget to throw those costs into the mix. After that you still have to fill out the actual applications, order transcripts, get letters of recommendation, and write your essay.

Just when you think you’re finally set, you’re required to dish out even more cash just to submit those things to your schools.

The most common college application fee in the U.S. is $50, with the lowest being free and the highest being $90 at Stanford. Now I personally don’t think that’s fair. I understand it is peoples’ jobs to sift through the thousands of applications, but having a $75 fee just for the chance to get accepted seems a little ridiculous. Money doesn’t grow on trees, and for many families these fees that make up the college application process cause a lot of stress.

I personally think applying to colleges should cost half as much as it currently does. While there’s nothing really that the schools could do about standardized testing fees, they do have control over their application fees. Even lowering the cost per application would help.

They don’t have to nix the fee completely, although I would be all for that. But if they are dependent of having a fee to lower the size of the applicant pool and pay their admissions staff, at least make it affordable.

With these fees, however, come the responsibilities of students to prioritize their schools and save up money, which are two strengths necessary to be successful in college.

For those who haven’t quite been introduced into the craze that is preparing for college, get ready. I don’t mean that in a way to scare you off or make you nervous.

While it is a stressful process, it is also very rewarding and a great learning opportunity. Although, it would be a fun and more exciting process if it didn’t include the stress of wondering how to pay for it.

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Chat With Nat: College applications cost more than just your personal time