On-site college admissions: the benefits outweigh the harms

Elizabeth Muratore, Staff Writer

For seniors whose college lists are already too long and whose stress levels have long exceeded healthy limits, taking valuable time out of the school day to apply to college may not sound enticing.  But just when the college application process is becoming a nightmare instead of a headache, wouldn’t it be nice to be accepted into a college, even if that school is not your “reach”?  This is where the many advantages of on-site admissions come into play.

The process of applying on-site to a college is, compared with the regular application process, very simple.  All a student has to do is (1) set up a time slot for an interview, (2) apply to that school via the Common App, (3) have a teacher print out their recommendation, and (4) show up to the interview.  Five minutes later, that student will most likely be accepted into college.  (This is because the guidance department only arranges on-site interviews for students who they feel confident will be admitted to that school so the possibility of getting denied on the spot is minimal.)

“Getting in on-site was a relatively simple process; it seems intimidating but when I talked to my guidance counselor, the procedures actually weren’t too difficult,” said senior Anan Rayn.

Seniors who think that the on-site schools are “beneath them” may shy away from on-site admissions.  But the reality is, everyone wants to be in college as soon as possible.  Why not start the process with a quick interview in December instead of waiting until March to hear from your first school?

“I think the on-site is an incredible and invaluable experience for high school seniors,” said senior Sameer Nanda.  “It’s very relaxing and reassuring to get an acceptance in a matter of minutes, especially during a very stressful academic time.  I also think it’s a great comfort for many students to get into some incredible schools!”

In addition to relieving some of the stress of the application process, on-site admissions are financially beneficial.  The yearly cost of the schools themselves is usually reasonable, and the majority of students accepted to schools on-site receive some sort of scholarship.  These scholarships can be useful tools when, later in the year, students are negotiating financial aid packages with their top-choice schools.

“On-sites are a great idea for anyone applying to college because they give you an admission decision on the spot and are free to apply,” said senior Mia Crowley.  “Although these schools may not be a lot of people’s top choices, it still makes you feel accomplished when you get in, especially with scholarship money.”

On-site schools are not always dream destinations, but they are good options for even the highest-achieving student.  There are no emotional or financial disadvantages to setting up an on-site interview, and applying to a school that may offer you a full ride is both a sound academic decision and a fantastic ego booster. After all, on-site interviews increase most students’ self-esteem.  During stressful times like the first-semester of senior year, everyone deserves some flattery.