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College Craze

By Fatima Naysa

“Everyone has something special to offer and there will be a college that recognizes that...”

The year 2022 was another competitive year for college-bound students. There has been rising competition among an increasing number of applicants as many factors have changed over the last three years. From test-optional policy updates to submitting double applications to colleges, many students around the world, especially at New Hyde Park, have felt the pressure.

According to data from the Common App, the number of total applications that were submitted increased by 22% in comparison to the previous year. The option of including SAT or ACT scores encouraged many students to submit more applications as more colleges have adopted a “test-blind” policy. In addition, more students have applied for Early Action and Early Decision. Approximately 450 colleges have early decisions or early action plans, with some having both. According to statistics, allowing students to apply early gives students a higher chance of being accepted. In addition, ED or EA is a form of demonstrated interest, as most early applicants apply to their top-choice schools.

Despite the already existing rigor of the college admissions process, students applying for an art or theater program must go through a different application. Many have to submit an audition or portfolio as a way for decision-makers to get to know them.

“It's certainly different,” senior Andrew Canese said. “A lot of the schools I applied to for a major in drama require different audition pieces like monologues, dance routines and songs to be submitted to get into the program. It's all very competitive but extremely rewarding to get in. My guidance counselor had my back every step of the way, so I didn't feel too overwhelmed. The Common App website is very user-friendly, and it feels good finishing everything and submitting your application to different colleges.”

As colleges and universities are becoming more stringent, many of NHP’s seniors, juniors and even some sophomores are feeling stressed about the future.

Artwork by Shadia Zayer

High-achieving students are often left in a frenzy throughout the college application process.

“Seeing how you stand next to Olympic athletes your age or someone who won gold at an international science fair makes it easy to put yourself down,” sophomore Julia Kim said. “As long as you find what makes you passionate about learning and reach for opportunities pertaining to that subject, it will shine on your application and essays. Participate in activities because you want to.”

New Hyde Park guidance counselors seem to agree with the idea that putting your best foot forward and expanding interests will land individuals at a college they are happy with.

“The college admissions process may evolve slowly over time, but the overall foundation will remain the same,” guidance counselor Ms. Pulsifer said. “Colleges want to see that you are working to the best of your ability, that you challenge yourself when needed and that you are a well-rounded individual who can contribute your unique talents and capabilities to their campus. Everyone has something special to offer and there will be a college that recognizes that.”


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