With application deadlines impending, colleges and universities across the country have embraced a new wave of admission changes with the intent of making applying to higher education schools even more difficult, resulting in hundreds of protests throughout the nation.
“Right now, we feel as though the application process for seniors in high school is far too simple,” Stacey White, Dean of Admissions at the University of Florida, said. “By increasing the confusion and chaos level of admissions, we hope to narrow down our student pool to only the most tenacious of students.”
Among the changes are the creation of twelve new platforms for self-reporting grades, all of which students must sign up for and complete. Florida students familiar with the Student Self-Reported Academic Record (SSAR) should find the additional eleven portals relatively straightforward to use; grades cannot be transferred across platforms but the underlying idea is the same. Students who dual enroll and take online classes must report their grades for those classes on a separate fourteenth and fifteenth website.
“Each self-reporting academic platform has a maze pop-up that you have to complete before being able to fully sign in,” senior Katy Lober said. “It takes me like nine minutes, and if you mess up the maze gets even harder. I’ve been stuck on this one for two days and my deadline is tomorrow.”
After sending their self-reported grades, students must additionally request transcripts from their high school anyway, at a cost of $25 and a newborn child each (schools say the students must figure out the logistics of birthing multiple children on their own).
“For some reason, schools with animal mascots now require that we send them a paper transcript instead of an online transcript,” twelfth grade counselor Tammy Brenwick said. “It used to be that we sent in online transcripts for in-state schools, and paper transcripts for out-of-state schools, but I guess they made some changes. They also ask that the transcripts are printed on a very specific shade of goldenrod.”
For students seeking financial aid, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile have decided to get rid of the line numbers on the right margin, which correspond to certain sections of 1040 tax returns required to file for aid. They declined to create an ‘upload’ option for personal and business tax returns and other paperwork, saying in an email that they “prefer students email their files to all the colleges individually.”
“Through the elimination line number assistance, we can better analyze the observation levels of potential students,” Harvard admissions counselor Maria Yunke said. “They can’t just look across the [financial aid application] page and see which line they can find that information on the tax return anymore. They need to actively search through dozens of pages to find it, and calculate that math on their own.”
As part of their application, Florida students applying to STEM schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Florida Polytechnic University are required to design a new website for the FAFSA and the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA). In fact, removing the tax return line numbers is the first change to come to the FAFSA since its establishment in the late 1800s. The FFAA has never been updated.
“We have no intentions to use a reliable, attractive or streamlined new platform proposed by applying students,” a FAFSA representative said. “We know it would be easier to convert the FAFSA as a Google Form, or adopt the student websites, but at this time it’s not a priority.”
Writing supplemental essays, too, suddenly increased in difficulty. Colleges have frequently complained about the simplicity of their own prompts, but student backlash has prevented them changing most of their essays. However, for the 2017-2018 application year, many universities have followed in the footsteps of the University of Chicago and revised their prompts from painless to painful.
“Obviously, in past years, we’ve had prompts like ‘Find x,’ and ‘Where is Waldo, really?” an unnamed UChicago spokesperson said. “For us, they’re fun prompts. We thrive on stories about how frustrating and vague they are, so we’re really glad other colleges are following our lead.”
This week, Florida State University released a list of freshman supplemental essays (the first extra essays in modern history for the school), which included “Who’s the real gator?” “If you were a soda can, which soda can would you be and why?” and “What is the truth?”
Despite thousands of applicants protesting outside the Office of Admissions, FSU has not backed down from their essay choices, and in a press conference on Monday reminded students that they “expect all the essays to be an allegory and have a subliminal message,” in order to keep the admissions staff who read them interested.
They also advised that emailing the school a video of prospective students doing a tomahawk chop could increase their chances of admission, depending on the form and smoothness of the action.
Angry parents, students and high school counselors have not prevented the roll-out of these new changes. Universities across the country seem dead-set on their idea of “holistic” admission, which now include increased levels of stress and impending doom for high school seniors. President Donald J. Trump was forced to declare a state of emergency for the country after violent protests broke out across college campuses, beginning with the University of California–Berkeley.
“This a huge disaster,” Trump said. “Trust me, I know. I’ve been through the worst disasters, the very worst, I can tell you this is the biggest I’ve ever seen.”
This is a satirical article and should not be taken seriously. It was written with the intent of making people laugh. Any information here is most likely false and should not be quoted as fact. However, if this article is used for anything other than its recreational use, the writer and Cooper City High School claim no responsibility if anyone gets offended, injured or otherwise hurt in any way.
Featured photo by Sabrine Brismeur