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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Supplementals cause students unnecessary stress

The clock strikes 1 in the foggy morning as you type away on your computer. Your head throbs, and your eyes water. This is the fourth college essay you, a senior, are wearily writing. To make matters worse, all of these essays are for one application;  you still have 11 more colleges to apply to, each with its own set of unique supplementals. 
Most private universities require supplemental essays in their applications that are specific to their school, in addition to the overarching Common Application essay. 
Truth be told, it would be so much better if private schools would recognize the stress they are putting seniors under and remove all supplementals, or require only one at most. Quantity must be valued over quality, and schools should be more sympathetic to the additional stressors they are placing on applicants.
The number of supplemental essays required for many private universities is excessive. The purpose of these essays is to give admissions officers a better idea of the applicant applying, with prompts such as “Why do you want to come to this school?” and “What matters to you most?” Not only is it detrimental to an applicant’s health to ask him to write several essays per school, but it ensures that he cannot spend much time on any one essay. 
Additionally, the more essays a school requires, the less time an applicant can spend on each individual essay, thereby reducing the number of schools the applicant can apply to. 
Some may argue that by requiring applicants to submit more essays, the admissions officers will be able to get a better idea of the applicant’s literary voice, and subsequently, personality. However, writing more essays also means a time crunch for all students. This creates for bland prose rather than well-articulated writing.
The unnecessary stress placed on students forces them to compromise the quality of their essays in order to accommodate the numerous others they have to write. Private schools should abolish the Common App supplemental essay entirely.


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