Online Schooling’s Effect on College Essays

Every fall, seniors across the country strive to finish their college application essays, writing draft after draft of revisions. Typically, these revisions are made through the mandatory grade 12 English course. Due to the new 4×4 scheduling system, many seniors are not enrolled in first semester English, hindering their college essay writing process.

The implementation of online classes has made communication between students and counselors much more difficult, especially when it comes to college applications. Interactions between seniors and counselors take place largely over email, as well as counselors occasionally guiding seniors through the process via outlets such as Google Meets, as well as the Canvas Student Services page. The lack of one-on-one communication between the counselors and students, as well as the time crunch, has caused difficulties in the guidance process for college applications. In addition, the split semester schedule has resulted in seniors without guidance from an English teacher. Many seniors have not been able to seek the help they would normally receive in an in-person English class to revise their essays.

“Having another person read my essay would have given me the feedback that I would need,” claimed senior Aymen Chohan, a second semester English student.

Another setback students are facing is the lack of time to write their essays. Even those who are enrolled in English first semester are struggling to find the time because of the asynchronous work assigned in their classes. “I’m always sunken in the pile of homework and never get [time] to type my essays,” expressed Chohan. 

Teachers also don’t have as much class time to allocate to revising college essays. They instead face the challenge of working through the curriculum on a tighter schedule. “Having to find time to work on [my essays] along with school work can be a pain sometimes,” stated Christian Walker.

Regardless of in-person or online classes, college essays are a challenging part of the application process. Seniors recommend to juniors that they start their college essays over summer, leading the way for a more balanced school year.  “With every revision you will find errors and changes needed,” Walker said. “So have as much time as you can.” 

Although faced with many challenges due to the different structure of schooling this year, Centennial students have worked harder than ever to make sure their college essays reflect the work put into them.


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