DOES IT BOTHER YOU? People put academic validation over common decency during college process


Photo by Isabella DeRose

When accepted into their early decision school, students are obligated to withdraw their remaining applications

Does It Bother You? is the Wire’s longstanding editorial column dedicated to reflecting, interrogating, poking and fuming at the trends and habits of modern life that bother us.

The mantra “keep your friends close but your enemies closer” reigns true for the frenzy that is the college process. Toxicity seems to seep into the senior class’s bloodstream, for many are fueled by the fear that their classmates will beat them out of their dream school. This competitive nature is exacerbated, however, when students who are accepted and enrolled into a university refuse to withdraw their applications from other colleges that uncommitted students are wildly seeking out. 

While everyone has the right to keep their options open, the problem arises when students who were accepted and planning on enrolling into their early decision school, which binds them to enroll, act as if getting into the other schools that they applied to will change their decision. Refusing to pull their applications in hopes of receiving an acceptance that will merely boost their ego is selfish and inconsiderate to other students desperate for the limited spots. 

When an extremely accomplished individual who was qualified enough to be accepted into their ED school keeps their other applications in the running, they are likely to take precedence over other students applying in the early action/regular decision pool. Therefore, these students can potentially take the spot of other hard working students for no reason, for they technically can not attend any other school besides the one they were accepted into as an early decision applicant. This demonstrates that those who do not pull their applications are merely seeking academic validation at the expense of other students’ futures. 

While this has been a major problem with early decision applicants specifically, this concept also applies to people who enroll to any school with the intentions of attending and do not withdraw their other applications. If someone makes the conscious choice to commit to a school, they should have no desire to seek out other universities. If they do, they should wait until they hear back from every option and then make a calculated decision.

I’m not saying that these students ‘owe’ their classmates anything. However, I think it is common courtesy to give others the opportunity to get into college when you physically can not attend the school; when you decide to ED to a school, you sign a contract stating that you will commit to enroll at the institution if accepted and will withdraw all applications to other schools.  People who plan on backing out of their ED contract are completely justified in keeping their other applications in the running, for they are genuinely looking into other options, however, when people who accept their ED offer and make the commitment to enroll, not withdrawing their other applications is pointless. 

It baffles me that this concept is controversial, for the line between morally right and wrong is clearly drawn. The college admissions process is already a bloodbath, don’t add to the animosity by putting your ego above other people’s future.