College Apps: Mental Struggle Opinion Story



Columbia University in New York City is a private university with a current 6% acceptance rate. The university is an Ivy League institution and is ranked #3 in the nation by many sources. (Photo by Richard B. Levine/Sipa USA/TNS).

Elizabeth Sulek, Print staff

 I can’t help it as my eyes water up. I’m sitting in my bedroom watching a Youtube video entitled “My Columbia University Application.” The girl on my screen explains that Columbia rejected her with an SAT score of 1570 out of 1600. It seems almost as if the admissions officers at Columbia will take one look at my SAT score (decent, but definitely not 1570) and toss my application into the rejection pile. There goes my chance at getting into my dream school.

   What does it truly take to get into an Ivy League school? What about a college of lesser rank than an Ivy League but is still considered a high ranking institution? I think any determined student would love to go to a really good college. The problem then is getting accepted.

   To even be considered at a high ranking school it almost seems as if the student applying needs to decide that they want to go there years before they even apply. It requires hard work throughout high school in order to obtain the GPA recommended for some of these schools. Students also need to take many AP or advanced classes and may even need to take summer courses on how to prepare for the SAT or other standardized tests. On top of this, students need well rounded extracurriculars but also need to stand out amongst other star applicants.

   What happens to the students that have big dreams for college but are unable to achieve the stats needed to be considered? They may have an incredible work ethic and a strong desire to learn, but they just don’t match up to others intelligence wise. Would a college application even be able to communicate these qualities about a person? It almost seems as if it is simply a game of chance to get accepted into top level universities.

   How are students supposed to handle rejection to a school that they knew they had a slim chance of getting into? It’s probably safe to assume that a rejection letter is heartbreaking for most people. Based on how I would react, I can say that students would probably feel like they aren’t good enough or they never tried hard enough. For most people this just isn’t true. Again I’m wondering if college applications do a good enough job of representing a person or does it all truly depend on their academic stats. Regardless, rejection is extremely difficult and can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health. Unfortunately, as years go on, college acceptance is only going to become more competitive and students are simply forced to adapt.