Speech and Debate students evaluate college acceptance and denial


courtesy of Brian Inerfeld

Senior Brian Inerfeld celebrates graduating high school on June 1.

“Congratulations! You have received this letter to inform you of your acceptance to…”

“We regret to inform you…”

The words that comprise the beginning of college acceptance or denial letters could set the scene for the next four years of someone’s life. Whether it’s receiving the letter via snail mail or in an email inbox, obtaining a letter of acceptance or denial to one’s dream school is a reality that high school seniors face come springtime. Many students have their heart set on a particular college they envision themselves attending after graduation. Ambitions that range from attending a public state college to gracing an ivy league campus soon become the most discussed topic in spring.

From writing applications to waiting on responses, the entire process is a brutal test of character. Many students credit their skills of patience and persistence for allowing them to push through the stress. Senior Alexis Ernst, who is ranked fifth in her class and applied to 12 universities, credits her tolerance for allowing her to combat rejection from a few colleges she applied to.

“I received some some denial letters over spring break and the rejection brought me down momentarily. The whole college admissions process is more of a character builder than anything. It rejection strengthens your character and helps you build resilience and strength,” Ernst said.

Ernst elected to attend the University of Florida in the fall where she plans to study health and medicine.

Seniors go through this turbulent process as a class, so they do have others who understand their stress.

“It’s been emotional because we all know what [each other’s] dream schools are, [but] it’s nice that the class goes through it together because you have the support,” co-valedictorian Gabrielle Cabeza said.

Although Cabeza received acceptance letters from prestigious universities such as Columbia, Duke and Northwestern, Cabeza didn’t get accepted to Yale, her dream school. Some students would view Cabeza’s admissions to ivy league schools and established colleges as an accomplishment, but Cabeza felt momentarily defeated after not receiving an acceptance letter from Yale.

“I know that if I had gotten into Yale, then I would have gone, but it feels like I got denied for a reason. I probably wasn’t meant to go to Yale and the [Huntsman business] program I’m in at the University of Pennsylvania is where I am meant to be,” Cabeza said.

Making the final decision on which college to go to I the final step in closing out the college admissions journey. Senior Brian Inerfeld was one of the many students who was conflicted before deciding on which school to attend. Inerfeld had to decide between Belmont University, George Mason University and the University of Central Florida. After months of indecisiveness, Inerfeld decided to accept his admission to the University of Central Florida and will be attending in the fall. Inerfeld felt as though he decided late, but he is glad that he took his time with making the right decision.

Whether it’s UPenn, UF, UCF or Broward College, attending college is the next step to furthering education that many seniors look forward to. While denial from one’s dream school can be crushing at the moment, there are other schools and experiences that one can look forward to as well. This is something, dream school attendee or not, that everyone can “degree” on.

Staff writer Monica Francis contributed reporting to this story.