10: The Application Blues

10: The Application Blues

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk Getting In...To College

The Application Blues

If it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done.

~Author Unknown

In March of my senior year, my friends were starting to get their acceptance letters — one was going to Caltech, another to Columbia, and two to George Washington University.

I was still trying to decide whether to finish an application to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs — the campus was about two miles from my mom’s house, and I didn’t know of a single applicant who hadn’t gotten in. It had been a rough year for me, and although my grades and test scores practically guaranteed my entrance to most schools, I had entirely failed to complete an application to anywhere.

Mr. Christian, my college counselor, had noticed that I was the only kid in my classes not begging for letters of reference. He called me into his office and had a little chat—he knew about the problems I was having at home.

“You need to go away to school—at least to Boulder or Ft. Collins,” he told me. “UCCS will take you, but you’re a smart girl. You can do better things.”

I protested, of course. It was too late; I didn’t have any money; I wasn’t going to get any financial help from my parents.

Mr. Christian played his trump card. “You’re a National Merit Scholar. I can name three schools that will give you full rides even this late in the application process.”

I grumbled, and then grumbled some more. Mr. Christian managed to get me to promise to complete an application for the University of Colorado at Boulder before I escaped his office.

That evening, I printed out the Boulder application and got a pen. I made it through the first page but started getting frustrated once again. All those questions about financial aid—I still had no idea how I was going to pay for school.

I set down my pen and stared off into space. There I sat for who knows how long. I didn’t move until the phone started ringing. It took me a minute but I answered it.

The voice on the phone asked for me and said, “I’m calling from the University of Tulsa. We were wondering if you’ve decided on a school yet.”

“Um... I haven’t made a decision yet.”

“Well, then, we’d like you to consider attending TU.”

“Okay...” I was a little confused.

“We’re able to offer you a full ride, on the basis of your test scores.”

That got my attention. “What would I need to do to apply?”

“If you could just fill out the first page of our application online, you’ll be all set. I have your test scores and your other paperwork already.”

I thanked her, filled out the paperwork and sent it in that evening. The next morning, I stopped by Mr. Christian’s office. He just grinned at me and told me to get to class.

~Thursday Bram

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