Seniors: learn to sing the praises of college letters


Alice Bennett

A large assortment of college brochures and letters from various different colleges and universities.

Alice Bennett, Reporter

As college application season beings, misery and despair waft through the senior hall. Parents are weeping and students cry out in agony as the Grim Reaper hands them their ticket of doom: college debt. 

The most terrifying thing about college is the ever increasing price of it. With public in-state colleges costing around $25,000, public out of state colleges costing around $41,000, and private colleges around $51,000, the one thing seniors need is a financial break. 

When I dug around in my mailbox, the last thing I expected was to get anything good. I expected letters from colleges that were shady, letters from colleges that were rarer than a freshman passing English, and letters from schools that are so far reaching I might as well become president before I get into them.

What I didn’t expect was to find the holy grail, freeing my from the despair at my empty pockets: fee waivers. 

A U.S. News and World report found that college application fees on average cost around $43, with the most common fee being $50. If I applied to 10 colleges each with a $50 application fee, I would be $500 in debt before even passing the pearly gates into college. That’s not even considering that some schools often have $75 or $80 application fees. For seniors looking at Stanford, I hope you’re ready to cough up $90.

These application fees can add up, especially to the high achievers like some of my friends who have a college list of 20 or more schools. 

Most of the seniors find themselves falling into the same conundrum: too well-off for fee waivers or scholarships, but too poor to pay the ever-rising price of colleges.

With all this information in mind, most piggy banks have run for cover under the hammer of desperation. Yet despite all these concerns, there are holes of light in the dark tunnel. 

Several schools realize students won’t apply if every single one has a$50 application fee, so several local and smaller colleges offer fee waivers. Tulsa University, OCU and Oklahoma Christian have all reached out and offered waivers, along with schools like Baylor and Tulane

Sure, you could burn that big pile of letters or generously donate those shiny brochures to Kelli Taylor, but before you toss them out without a second thought, maybe crack them open and see if there’s a treasure inside.