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The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

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ISSUE 1: How Many are Too Many College Applications?

RHS students take on how many college applications are acceptable.
Photo Cecilia Cheng
The opening screen of the Common Application.

With the beginning of the 2023-24 school year comes college applications for the Class of ’24. Amiss the anxiety that plagues every senior during application season, it really begs the question, how many colleges is too much?

It has become a trend more recently to apply to a large amount of universities. The Knight Writers staff conducted a poll on how many colleges students were applying to. The 39% of people who responded to this poll, claimed to be applying to 10+ schools. Other scaling includes zero – five , six – 10 and 15+.

“I understand wanting to play it safe, but anything above [15] is just way too much, especially since so many schools require recommendations, supplemental materials and other extra work,” Cereza Perez (’24) said. “I just think it isn’t worth the hassle.”

So why are people applying to so many of these schools in the first place?

Many people see applying to all these schools as a definite way to get accepted into one school. An example of this is applying to schools that the individual may not even really want to go to and using it as a “safety.”

“I want to major in computer engineering and it’s pretty selective so applying to more schools will boost my chances of getting into at least one of my top picks,” Aiden Nguyen (’24) said.

Not only are majors themselves getting more and more selective, the percentage of people getting accepted to universities keep decreasing each year. For instance, Duke University “reported its lowest Early Decision admission rate ever: 16.5%, down 21.3% from the previous admission cycle.”

One of the main reasons for these acceptance rates dropping is the sheer number of applicants each school is receiving each year. The Common Application was crafted to make applying to colleges easier than before but, perhaps, made it too easy. The increasing number of actual applicants to these high ranked schools, may be what’s making these admissions rates plummet so rapidly.

“As more colleges have adopted the Common App, as it’s known, students have increasingly submitted more applications. Those who applied to more than three schools jumped from 61% in 1995 to 82% in 2016,” CNN Reporters Michelle Lou and Brandon Griggs said in an article on the topic.

The college application process is already difficult enough without the thought of plummeting acceptance rates and application fees, why should one person be subjected to limiting or increasing their number of applications?

“For the majority of people applying to more than [15] is not reasonable because you’ll just be wasting time and application fees when getting into schools you don’t even want to attend,” Nguyen added.

A pie chart depicting how many schools RHS seniors are applying to. (Photo by Keirra McGoldrick)
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About the Contributors
Keirra McGoldrick, Opinion Editor
Keirra McGoldrick is senior at Robinson and the Opinion Editor of Knight Writers. This is her third year on staff and her second year as an editor. McGoldrick, as an editor, must provide a sense of direction and help for those coming into newspaper who may not quite know what they need to be doing. She must also make sure that all stories written by staff writers are up to par with that of the standard for the newspaper. “I edit all the opinion stories and make spreadsheets for opinion writers," McGoldrick said. McGoldrick may like writing in journalism, though nothing trumps her love of photography. She lists photography as one of her favorite hobbies and pass times outside of journalism. “I like photography," McGoldrick said. "I take pictures of anything I find interesting." Though McGoldrick has to keep up a balance of her academics and the needs of newspaper, she hopes to have enough time to join the photography club.  She wishes to do this in order to interact and convey her love of photography with other like-minded students at Robinson. Being the academic achiever that she is, McGoldrick keeps up with all of her classes. The two of these classes that she holds closest to her heart are journalism and history. However, she probably favors journalism a little more because it has her favorite teacher, Ms. Webster, who leads her to improve herself in all manner of things, especially photography. Outside of journalism, one of McGoldrick’s pastimes is to listen to music. As we know everyone needs a little bit of music to pull them through a slow school day, or just a slow day in general. “I like R&B and pop," McGoldrick said. “Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande, etc." High school isn't all McGoldrick has mapped out to do. Seeing as she is an academic achiever, McGoldrick already has plans for her future. She plans to keep her academic streak going through college. “I plan on going to university and majoring in criminal psychology and then after I graduate from normal college, I’m going to go get a PhD,” McGoldrick said. (Profile by Coleton Rone)
Cecilia Cheng, Print Managing Editor
Cecilia Cheng is a senior at Robinson and the Print Managing Editor of Knight Writers. This is her third year on staff and her third year as an editor. A self-proclaimed "Swiftie," Cheng is constantly listening to some form of pop music, but her current favorites include Taylor Swift, Clairo and Pheobe Bridgers. When she's not listening to music, Cheng can be found taking photos, hanging out with friends, thrifting or catching up on her favorite TV shows. As of right now, her absolute favorite show is "Heartstopper," but it fluctuates frequently. This love of TV and movies is reflected in her large discography of reviews on the Knight Writers website and former position as the A&E editor for two years. Cheng makes it clear that A&E is her favorite section. Although she is a big fan of A&E, Cheng enjoys writing articles regardless of their section. "My favorite thing about journalism is the storytelling aspect of it," Cheng said. "I love how I’m able to express my opinion and give people that are underrepresented a voice as well." Outside of journalism, Cheng is involved in many other aspects of the Robinson community, holding positions as the Secretary of Women in STEM and the Social Media Manager of Mu Alpha Theta. Despite her connections to the school, Cheng is excited to graduate and see what awaits her. She hopes to head to her top college, Northeastern, where she plans to major in Biology. However, she isn't prepared to forget her time as a Knight Writer and plans to pursue her journalistic interests as well. "Right now, I’m looking to go to college and major in Biology, to go the pre-med track. I haven’t decided where I want to go yet, but I really hope I get into Northeastern. Also, if it’s possible, I want to double major in Journalism or I would join my college’s newspaper." (Profile by Charlotte Stone)
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