Seniors start to hit submit on college applications



A survey of 32 students from Nov. 1 to Nov. 6

Henry Frieman

With deadlines rapidly approaching, CHS seniors are buckling down, focused on completing their college applications. However, through the application process, the Class of 2022 faced an additional challenge: overcoming the hurdles of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For senior Emma Burnell of Wall, who is applying to 12 schools in total, the pandemic hurt her college preparation.

“I feel like COVID was a big interruption in my life,” Burnell said. “Mentally, it feels like I haven’t really reached my junior year yet.”

For Burnell and many others in the Class of 2022, this feeling of frozen time is all too familiar; the pandemic broke out in the spring of their sophomore year, and they have not returned to ‘normal’ since.

However, senior Aydin Gurudutt of Marlboro feels that the pandemic has not greatly impacted his college application process.

“As senior year slowly starts to unfold, I’m getting all my applications in, and my grades are staying right where I want them to be,” Gurudutt said. “I feel like slowly, as this year progresses, I’m going to be more and more prepared.”

Guidance counselor Melanie Sambataro has also not faced much change in her responsibility to help seniors find their perfect college. Since application forms have been submitted electronically for many years, both counselors are able to follow the same practices as before the pandemic. Nevertheless, she has found an increased amount of questions from nervous seniors.

“As students seem a bit more unsure about their choices given the constraints the pandemic has put on the admissions process, they have reached out for help and reassurance in that area more often than pre-pandemic,” Sambataro said.

Sambataro further explained the hardships the senior class faced in terms of college applications. As colleges shuttered, students were forced to settle for virtual tours and visits.

“The process has changed for these students quite a bit,” Sambataro said. “While some campuses have opened up recently, this is not true everywhere, and travel constraints also made it difficult to see campuses that were farther away. Even in-person admission rep visits were not available last year. Students have had to rely greatly on a virtual viewpoint to make a lot of their decisions and that is extremely challenging.”

While Gurudutt has seen little change in his college application process, he admits that it has been difficult to see colleges and pick a perfect school during the pandemic.

“In general, it’s been hard to get tours because there’s a limited amount of space on them,” Gurudutt said. “A lot of colleges don’t really offer tours, so it’s been a bit more challenging.”