Every year, seniors apply for college in the fall and wait to hear if they got accepted, waitlisted or denied. The overall trend for acceptances throughout this school has stayed relatively the same from last year to this year, despite the feeling among some seniors that this year has been particularly bad.
In 2018, 331 students applied to the University of Maryland College Park and 251 got accepted. In 2019, 370 enrolled but the accepted number is not yet known. Last year, 79 students applied to the University of Pennsylvania, and in 2019, 107 applied. So far this year, more students from this school are applying to similar colleges, and the most popular ones, such as Maryland and Penn State, have become more competitive than in previous years, but stayed within the same range. “Many of the students do apply to the same schools and they are going against top-tier students within their school and that’s always reflected in the decision,” college counselor Kathleen Carr said.
Coming from such a rigorous high school can create more competition because admission representatives have high standards of students from this school and students are competing against other students from this school with above-average performance. Despite this, many students continue to get into one of their desired colleges and almost all graduates attend college the following year or a few years after graduation. “I think a lot of people are getting into one of their top choices and everyone seems to be somewhat happy with the outcome. I think that colleges recognize Wootton students and know they are well prepared for college, which helps,” senior William Fowler said.
By applying either early decision or early action, in both years, students have a better chance of getting into their desired college. Early decision locks a student into that school financially but provides a better chance for being accepted into the school because the colleges see the student’s commitment to the school and the applicant pool is much smaller. Early action also provides a smaller, less competitive applicant pool, but the student is not obligated to go to that college. “Early action is fantastic because that is when the vast majority of the scholarships are distributed,” Carr said.
The applicant pool continues to grow every year as first-generation students apply to college. Also, every year students tend to apply to more colleges to have a better chance of getting into one that they want, but this creates more competition at each school. “It is harder this year to get into more competitive colleges with more applicants applying not only from Wootton, but nationwide,” Carr said
Applying to college continues to create stress for seniors and no matter the circumstances of that year, it always will. The outcomes are nearly unpredictable and rarely have a drastic change. “College is a gamble. Sometimes they accept people that shouldn’t get in and sometimes they don’t accept people that should’ve, you just never know. I think students shouldn’t worry too much about college because they are going to end up having a great experience no matter where they go,” senior Claire.