Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Use Online College Applications

So, college applications season is over for seniors (hopefully), but I've got some good advice for you high schoolers that still face the dreaded, time-consuming process.

I strongly suggest that you use the online application as opposed to the traditional paper application. Many colleges and universities now use the Common Application, which is completely online. It even allows you to send teacher and counselor recommendations online, though I've heard that part is a little confusing. There is also the Universal Application is sort of the same idea, but with different member colleges, I guess.

Most colleges even have their own special online applications, and recommend that you take the online route, as it is easier to process the information. I know Columbia even requires that you fill out the online app, unless you do not have Internet at home.

Well, all of this is great news! Not only is the process much more streamlined and fast, it also cuts down on the tons and tons of paper wasted. I know friends that have applied to 10+ schools, and if they used paper for everything (recommendations, application, financial aid, etc.), they could well exceed 1,000 pieces of paper. However, since they went on the computer, a lot of paper was conserved.

Another good point - if you make an error on paper or want to change something, you will either have to throw out the page or use messy white-out. However, on a computer, just press the back button and in a flash your application is as good as new.

*Oh - I just remembered! You have to use snail-mail if you use paper, which is slow, error-prone, and expensive due to stamps! (Believe me, you'll need lots of stamps)*

So please, if you want to have a slightly less stressful, more environmentally friendly senior year, I urge you to check to see if your favorite college has an online option. Chances are in your favor!

So, if you have already gone through this process, did you use paper or not?

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