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The Aquilian

The Aquilian

The Aquilian

    Preparing for and taking the next step after high school
    Most colleges moving towards merit-based scholarships brings competition among applicants. (Photo credit:

    Gonzaga expects all students to continue some sort of tertiary education. From holding SAT and PSAT testings on campus, to providing resourceful college counselors a few flights of stairs away, the school truly wants to help everyone in finding a suitable college. The admissions process, consisting of writing/perfecting essays, filling out long application forms and submitting standardized test scores, is nothing short of stressful. 

    College admissions are highly competitive, and due to schools moving towards a merit aid system, competition is only rising. Merit aid, according to Bankrate, is financial aid given to students with respect to their academic, artistic and athletic accomplishments. Independent of the student’s financial need, colleges offer these scholarships to those who meet the desired requirements in order to attract talented students. It all began with private colleges wanting more prestige a couple of decades ago, but evolved into most schools giving discounts out to the best of the best. 

    “The colleges that get most of the attention in the press are the institutions with the lowest admit rate […] These institutions easily attract students because of their name and the fact that they can meet financial need,” said Mr. Patrick Gallagher, director of college counseling. 

    Unlike these schools, the rest of the U.S colleges must rely on merit-based aid. 

    Price is a big deciding factor, and because tuition of colleges have increased at least 20% in the last ten years (according to the Manhattan Institute), so most students are looking for the best financial offer. 

    Academically performing well while searching for a perfect college is a lot of pressure to pile onto juniors and seniors. It’s important to start working early on the application process because leaving everything last minute will only contribute to the stress. Work to get the best SAT/ACT scores and get involved in extracurricular activities; strive to be the best candidate colleges can hope to get.

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