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NEWS: BHS students reflect on college admissions: Has it really become too competitive?

By Zahra Ahmad

Batavia high schoolers’ heavily concern over college admissions.

As a result changes in BHS are being implemented accordingly. 

Seniors are offered senior resource blocks at BHS specifically for applications and scholarship work. A series of college 101 courses have also been started by counselors at BHS to combat the increasing difficulty. These presentations cover topics ranging from financial aid, college essays, scholarships, and more. 

Many students and parents have been spending their Thursday mornings at these informational sessions, but it just doesn’t seem to be enough for many.

 “I feel like students have to be doing as many extracurriculars as possible just to get into a good college,” said BHS junior, Gaby Moore. “Many are trying to capitalize on extracurriculars in order to strengthen their resumes. I also feel pressured to take hard AP classes because a lot of my friends are also taking them, especially since I want to have an equal chance at admissions.” 

This concept of loading up on extracurriculars seems to be an understanding from many. Students at BHS are getting involved in leadership roles from club positions to sports captains.

Concern doesn’t end there.

“A lot more people have more accessibility to opportunities allowing them to gain resources they need for higher education widening the pool of high level applicants,” said BHS student Ayushi Aggarwal. “My parents are really worried about college admissions, and are pressuring me to get a good SAT score. It’s been causing me quite a bit of stress.” 

Although numerous schools have gone test optional recently, many parents still heavily encourage early studying when it comes to standardized testing. Tutoring institutions have gone heavy on advertising such as ExcelEdge, and free resources such as Khan Academy are frequently visited by BHS students. Batavia High School has even taken it into their own hands to implement a SAT practice into the curriculum to aid students with standardized testing, with example questions in AP Lang to an entire unit in Pre-Calc. BHS has also created a L.I.N.K internships program to encourage upperclassmen to get experience with future careers. This course allows students to leave school for an allotted time to get real work experience. These classes are instilled in order to further aid resumes and prepare BHS students for college.

The application continues for many.

Standing out to admissions officers is one of the more popular concerns with BHS students.

“In the end it all comes down to having the best and most well-rounded application, which means hard AP Classes, involvement in extracurriculars, volunteering, SAT score, GPA, and especially being able to stand out to admissions officers,” Aggarwal said.  Many are active in taking these steps to stand out at Batavia through start up projects and even clubs, such as the “Women in Stem,” “Model UN,” “Esports,” and others that have recently begun.

Although concerns pertaining to college admissions may continue to rise, many BHS students are utilizing resources that are made available for students to traverse through these high school years. These opportunities are being publicized to encourage the success of students.

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