The Paw Print

Advice and Trends from the College Applicants of 2019

Woodside students who got into Princeton and Stanford share what they would have done differently during the college application process.

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Advice and Trends from the College Applicants of 2019

Students starting to decide where they will be attending next fall

Students starting to decide where they will be attending next fall

Alex Manuel

Students starting to decide where they will be attending next fall

Alex Manuel

Alex Manuel

Students starting to decide where they will be attending next fall

Alex Manuel, Staff Writer

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Even in an especially competitive year for college applications, Woodside students managed to get accepted into prestigious and ivy league universities. Despite how low acceptance rates have dropped compared to the previous years, Woodside has maintained high numbers for the district.

Another difference from last year is the number of schools that students applied to. Due to how competitive the pool was this year, students are trying to increase their chances of success by applying to as many schools as possible.

Part of the reason I applied to so many was because I knew I had pretty slim chances of getting into most of them”

— Nick Hovsmith

“I applied to twenty schools, which is a lot. Part of the reason I applied to so many was because I knew I had pretty slim chances of getting into most of them,” Nick Hovsmith an ivy league admit explained. “Probably ten out of my twenty schools were reaches.”

Despite the large workload that resulted from the amount of college applications, Hovsmith says he doesn’t regret anything from his college application process because he was able to get into the “school of his dreams”, Princeton.

“I applied to twenty-two schools,”  Colleen Sochan, another Woodside senior said. “I wanted options and a large number of college applications was just a side effect of that.”

Sochan had a similar experience to Hovsmith, but for a different reason. Rather than applying to a lot of schools that she might not get into, the majority of her applications were for schools that were at her level but were varying in location and student life.

One of the most prestigious college acceptances for Woodside applicants was Veronica Pratt with her Stanford acceptance. The future Cardinal recalls that the hardest part of college applications was, “Just doing them.” Even though she started them over the summer.

I wanted options and a large number of college applications was just a side effect of that.”

— Colleen Sochan

“Just writing out the essays was the hardest part,” Pratt admits. Due to the time and energy that went into the essays for  these high profile schools students such as Pratt experienced stress. 

Hovsmith also noted that for him, the hardest part of applications, “Was just getting them done because [he] had so many of them.”

Pratt’s biggest piece of advice was to start early do the University of California application first, if you are planning on applying to a UC.

“Those essays were the most general and easy to manipulate,” Pratt said. When applying different formats and prompts for other schools have to be considered.

Another piece of advice from Hovsmith is to focus on what he calls “application branding.” 

“Every essay should speak to a different thing about you but it should all tie into an overlying theme about yourself,” Hovsmith said. 

Whether you are getting ready to commit to a college for this fall, or you are about to start applications for next year, good luck! 

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Advice and Trends from the College Applicants of 2019