Applying to Hope

As I’m sure all high school seniors are aware, college application season is fully upon us. For many seniors, this is accompanied by more stress than seems humanly possible, but it doesn’t have to be that way! While applying to schools is nerve-wracking for everyone, planning ahead a little bit can alleviate a good amount of your stress. Most applications that I filled out as a senior were not extremely time-consuming, except for a few essays and short-answer questions, but being ready for these and having a little bit of an idea of what you want to do with them is always helpful!

GPA and Test Scores

A big factor of stress for many seniors is their grade point average and ACT/SAT scores. However, these are things that you can’t really change at this point unless you retake the tests and wait until next semester for your GPA to (hopefully) improve a little bit. However, by that point, it is late in the application season and you might have to wait a lot longer to get an admission decision. Your grade point average and test scores are pretty much set in stone at this point in your senior year, so don’t worry about them too much since you can’t change them. Just put them down honestly on your application. You’ve done what you can about them, and now all you can do is hope for the best! Your academic record may not be what you wish it was, but the admissions office looks at so much more than just your grades and test scores. Don’t count yourself out!


Contrary to what some people believe, admissions officers really do read your essays. The decision letter you’ll get from the admissions office at Hope will confirm this for you because they actually respond to your essay in the letter, so that’s pretty cool because you know that the work that you put into your essay didn’t go to waste. Having said that, do not stress too much about your essay. Write it to the best of your ability and have someone else read it to check for spelling and grammatical errors. Some people take their essays to their English teachers to proofread, and that’s a great idea too. I just had my mom check over mine, but the important thing is that you have someone else read it. A fresh pair of eyes will often catch the things that you didn’t!


I think the general consensus among most people is that waiting for decision letters is pretty much the worst part of applying to college. However, in general, the earlier you apply, the earlier you’ll hopefully get admitted! Don’t stress about getting applications done super early, but just whenever you have a little downtime, work on your application. You can save them on the Common App (the application software that Hope uses) so you can do a little bit at a time and come back to it later. It’s super convenient and helpful if you’re a busy person! Taking a Saturday morning or a low-key weekday evening to power through a few applications all at once can be a good idea too. It just depends on your schedule! I know that once you finally get all your applications submitted, waiting can be really stressful, but it’s so worth the work and the wait once you finally get the letter welcoming you into the Hope community!

I asked my roommate what the most stressful part of college applications was and she said, “Uploading them. Downloading them.” So there you have it, folks. Once you’ve downloaded it (if you even have to), you’ve pretty much already done the worst part. Have hope! Applications can be monotonous and tedious, but ending up at a school you love is so worth it, trust me!

If you have any other questions about Hope or the application process, please feel free to email me at, leave me a comment, or tweet at me at @hopekathryn17! I would love to hear from you!

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Published by Kathryn Krieger

I'm a Hope junior from Princeton, Illinois, majoring in Ethics, Culture, and Social Witness with a music minor. I am a follower of Christ and I am involved in Chapel Worship Team at Hope. Previously, I have been involved in Chapel Choir, Black River WyldLife, Res Life, Dance Marathon, a small women's Bible study, College Chorus, Women's Chamber Choir, and Collegium Musicum. I also currently help lead music at Pillar Church! I also love pork chop sandwiches, music of all kinds, The Office, and my wonderful friends and family! Contact me at, @kathrynekrieger on Instagram, or @hopekathryn17 on Twitter!

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