I suppose I am a dinosaur.
When I applied to college, we had to fill out dozens of forms — by hand no less — and postmark them not a day past the deadline. Months later, we made a daily trip to the mailbox to see if our golden ticket, an acceptance letter, had arrived.
Please note that we did this all through 3 feet of snow. Uphill. Barefoot.
Yes, I am grumbling. Although meeting the entrance requirements is no easier, applying to college is.
"We try to make it as easy as possible," said Don Lando, associate director of admissions at Bryant & Stratton College Online.
It seems colleges are going out of their way to take the stress out of the application process.
Some colleges have even dropped the time-honored tradition of the SAT. Lando said many schools with high non-traditional student populations do not require the exam as an entrance requirement.
One major reason is that schools are enrolling students who graduated high school last year and others who donned their mortar board 20 years ago. Both took the SAT, but the score may not reflect who the older student is today.
So what do you have to do to apply to Bryant & Stratton College Online?
First, fill out the application. Find it at https://online.bryantstratton.edu/application/personal.php.
Potential students are required to write an essay, but don’t worry. At Bryant & Stratton College, the essay essentially requires students to answer a few basic questions, including the following: Why study at Bryant & Stratton College, and why are you choosing this degree?
And here’s the big secret about the essay: There are no wrong answers.
Lando said the mechanics of how applicants answer the essay are as important as what they write. The essay reveals their grammar skills and is a way of assessing what additional training students need to be successful in an online university.
"We won’t accept anybody that lacks those skills," Lando said."We don’t want to set them up for failure."
In the application process, Bryant & Stratton College will also contact other schools to request the student’s transcript — an often tedious and frustrating process.
Finally, all students, at any college, must take English and math placement exams.
Depending on their scores, students can be placed in precollege classes to refresh their skills, be placed on grade level or skip a course they are already proficient in.
At Bryant & Stratton College, the entire application process, including the placement exams, can take several hours to several weeks, depending on how quickly the student works to finish each step.
And the best part is, once the student finishes, there is no waiting. There are no grumpy trips back from the mailbox, empty-handed.
Instead, students instantly know their scores on the exams, the amount of their financial aid packet and even what their first semester schedule looks like.
"A lot of our representatives sit on the phone with applicants so when they finish taking the test, we can give them the score right away," Lando said.
Bryant & Stratton College strives to take the stress out of the application process at each step. For those of us whose hands still cramp when we think about the stack of forms we had to fill out, the new application process sounds like a dream come true.
"The admission representatives take really good care of students coming in and try to make this process as easy as possible," he said.