Some Differences Between Applying To College Now And Twenty Years Ago
It was hard to believe that it has truly been twenty years since I was in college, that was until I started helping my son with the college application process and saw how different things are today. In 1993 when I was applying for college I didn’t have a cell phone, the World Wide Web was not worldwide yet and I only used the bulky apple computer at our house for typing and printing high school papers. If someone had told me then that in October of 2013 my 17 year old son would be able to use his hand-held portable telephone to send emails and to research college information I would have had no idea what an email was and may have nodded my head and walked away with a dubious expression upon my face.
For me, applying to college in the early 1990’s was not nearly as cool as it is for my son. Back then, yes, it took just as much time to hand-write college applications as it takes to type pertinent information online, but today, instead of sitting inside of a guidance counsellor’s office after school, most of the required tasks can be submitted from the comfort of home through a website or web portal. Registering for the SAT tests can be done online which allows students to have more of a hands-on experience when applying for college and the application process overall is much more streamlined.
My son is able to correspond with student representatives from universities through email, and with the advances of social media, he can glimpse what college is like through online groups and websites. The number of active Muslim Student Associations upon college campuses in the U.S. has also increased which is a great support for incoming Muslim students.
Much of the information required for applying to college today is digitized and as a result, many applications can be submitted online for free. This saves parents from having to spend so much on application fees and also prevents the waste of trees by removing the necessity for paper applications that are sent through the mail.
Another improvement in the process is how recommendation letters can be requested and accessed more easily by students through email which makes the task of securing a recommendation letter easier for both the students and the teachers, and even the writing of the college essay has been streamlined. Students who may have struggled with what to write, or how to formulate an effective college essay, can now access dozens of websites and blogs with tips for composing an essay that will impress the admissions office and represent their potential.
In many cases, our children are venturing into realms where we, their parents, may not have gone before and applying to college today is a lot like a science-fiction movie when compared to what it was like for me twenty years ago! May Allah (SWT) grant our children success and ease as they make their life journeys, amin.