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The student news site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

The student news site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

The College Application Landscape Changes for the Class of 2024

Read+the+article+below+to+learn+about+the+college+admissions+process+for+the+Class+of+2024.
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Read the article below to learn about the college admissions process for the Class of 2024.

College application season is well underway at Orono High School and across the nation. Students are writing essays, filling out applications, getting letters of recommendation, meeting with school representatives, and more in preparation for each school’s application deadline. 

Orono students are following similar application patterns as in previous years. 

“A lot of students [are] applying to the U of M Twin Cities, UW Madison, St. Thomas,” High School Counselor Ms. Haagenson said 

Some colleges are also seeing increased interest this year in contrast to prior years, with Colorado starting to surge as CU Boulder and CSU Fort Collins see increased applicants. 

Many students this year have also expressed interest in highly selective schools.

“I’m applying early decision to Dartmouth College. I’m also applying early action to MIT… regular decision to Boston College, Yale, Harvard, Brown, and Northwestern,” senior Joey Mariani said. 

According to US News, colleges like Dartmouth and Harvard can have acceptance rates as low as 3%. 

With pressure on students from parents, peers, and others to get into good schools, many students are stressed. When it comes to students choosing which schools to apply to, many professionals recommend that students should focus on themselves.

“Students should really think about what’s best for them and where they want to be,” Ms. Haagenson said. 

It is important, as well, to not put ranking or prestige over what someone wants in their college experience and education.  

“It is a good idea to lean on your resources, to ask your counselors questions, and to do [applications] in small chunks so that it doesn’t feel like you have to do everything in one day,” Ms. Haagenson said.

A topic of discussion for many students this year regards ACT and SAT scores, and whether to submit them. According to US News, over 1900 colleges and universities will not require standardized test scores for fall 2024 admissions. This means that students may choose to or not to submit standardized test scores. According to Prep Scholar, you will not be at a disadvantage if you do not submit test scores compared to those who do, but the other parts of your application will take more weight in your admissions decision. 

Students within Orono applying to college, according to Ms. Haagenson, do not submit scores more than half of the time. However, she does see an increase in students submitting their test scores for financial aid consideration as many colleges require a certain score for aid.

Another aspect of applying to college that many students have questions about is letters of recommendation. Many teachers at Orono require students to submit their requests to them in writing before October 1st if they need it for the Early Decision deadline. 

“When looking for a teacher to write your recommendation, students should feel that they have a personal connection with [that teacher]… it should be a teacher that has witnessed a lot of their learning process,” Media Specialist Ms. Frie said.

Having strong recommendations is a vital part of an application, Princeton Review says, especially if you are considering selective or highly selective schools. Along with teacher recommendations, some schools require an outside recommender to comment on your personal qualities. This person could be an employer, coach, mentor, or in some cases, a friend.

It is important to remember that whatever school a student attends does not make, break, or define them and that they always belong somewhere.

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About the Contributor
Luke Wendling, Business Editor
Hi, my name is Luke Wendling. I am a staff reporter at The Spartan Speaks with a focus on business and politics. I play baseball for Orono and in my free time I enjoy golfing and jetskiing.

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