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Slicing the Middle Man’s Price

For high school students that have a set mapped course for college, they face several churning seas before they even can click ‘Submit’ on their application. Before they worry about any price tag and the special exclusive discount they may receive, they must worry about the multiple costs that stream from applying just to one school. Although several companies and institutions try to focus on helping students, all they seem to want is a check.

           The first financial mouse trap is set in a student’s sophomore and junior year. With the two years filled with standardized tests, the cost of taking the SAT Reasoning with writing, SAT Subjects Tests, and ACT can lead to a bill of $135. Never mind the fact that teachers recommend that a student takes the SAT Reasoning with writing and ACT at least three times, which would thus increase the price. Before taking the tests, the smart snack that students vouch for, the preparation whether by tutoring or the traditional method of studying from a book can lead to something so simple yet necessary casting the minimum of $20. With all universities, except those with the exemptions to all standardized tests, requiring these tests there exists no choice by to take them. What these companies, like College board who cling to the image of being supportive of anything educational, should make these tests more affordable by reducing the prices and, when it comes to sending off the scores, either cutting or putting a transaction that occurs through the computer at a zero cost. With these head owners of multi-million dollar testing industries sucking every penny away before the voyage of college expenses have even begun, they ignore the bare bones of the economy by not lowering their prices.

            The irony in the next set up is unmistakable. On every application it is an option for students to get considered for financial aid. Those that do choose to fill out the tedious forms and go through the hassle of collecting the information, usually go through this one journey to save money not expecting to have to pay for the application itself. Another catch that the College board does is pry the money to send the application of the CSS Profile to the majority of schools that require it in addition to the FAFSA form for financial consideration.

            Schools themselves can ease the pain. Rather than worrying about finding the money for the application itself, which may range from a minimum of $30 to $100, they can either cut it to a minimum or allow certain students who may send in the application through early action or early decision to not pay it. This advantage offers students motivation to finish their application sooner.

            By cutting these small costs it allows for a student to once again dream big. It allows families to be able to cross one small financial bridge which can have significant effects. At the end of the senior year, a student can feel content that they tried their hardest and applied to all the schools on their wish list. By these institutions and companies cutting back a few costs, they will have achieved at least one accomplishment – they would have cut that question of “what if…”

 Prompt: In a poem no more than twenty lines long, describe a situation in which the narrator wonders what seems to be impossible.

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