That's what is being said about applying to college, getting in to college, paying for college.

It's complicated!

What once was accomplished with relative ease, and without undue burden upon either psyche or pocketbook, has now de-evolved into a seemingly endless charade of convoluted online protocols, mind-numbing contortions of clicks and spinning wheels, and "brother can you spare about $160,000 to help put my kid through college."

It's complicated!

Heck, it used to be easy. Then again, what wasn't? A simple application, completed by hand with a pen, folded into an envelope with proper postage affixed. Mailed away without angst, fuss, bother or the crazed machinations of supplemental writings. No grueling competition groping to gain entry through those ivy-covered gates. A small student loan, at 1% interest, not much of a price to pay for a college education.

It's complicated!

These days, not only do students (and parents) have to contend with College Board (whose fees for everything from test score reports to financial aid applications require putting the house into hock), now there's ACTstudent, Common Application, Universal College Application, and a host of mundane acronyms that, acting in concert, stand as impediments to "keeping it simple," invaders of our wallets, and destroyers of our collective sanity.

It's complicated!

Even the colleges themselves are in cahoots, distorting a once short and reasoned process, that now morphs into a long, drawn out, mysterious meandering that rivals Alice's journey through the looking glass. One misstep, and who knows what rabbit hole you might fall into!

Indeed, one prestigious university, acknowledging receipt of a student's application via Common App (no trifling act, in and of itself, the pain of application submission having been just one volt short of electroconvulsive shock treatment), emailed students with the following words:

We will review the materials you submit and carefully consider your candidacy. The process is complex and nuanced, involving both spirited debate and exceptional attention to the personal circumstances of each applicant. As you can imagine, this evaluation process takes time, so we appreciate your patience while we work hard to consider your application.

Complex and nuanced. In other words, it's complicated!

It actually isn't, shouldn't be, never really was. Getting in to college isn't rocket science, after all. Then again, with application portals that only folks from an alternate universe could fathom, and a secretive, inexplicable admissions process that would do right by the frantic masses yearning to get in by ditching the selection committee in favor of Hogwart's sorting hat, is it any wonder that "complex and nuanced" has slothed its way into becoming something of a self-perpetuating myth? 

Only in a land where the likes of College Board and Common App can rake in millions of dollars annually and still somehow be characterized as not-for profit, can something so relatively simple that even a 17 year old without a high school diploma could do it, be turned into a nightmare scenario shrouded in complexity and nuance.

Okay. Let's face it. The folks who gave us the SAT and CSS Profile, FERPA Releases and Writing Supplements, spinning wheels of death and initializing bars of doom, Early Decision, Restricted Early Action, and Rolling Admissions -- not to mention more than one trillion dollars in student loan debt -- would make the act of boiling water "complex and nuanced" if they had their druthers. [Quick. Cordon off the nation's water supply!]

Who knows what trials and tribulations the next generation of college applicants will be called upon to endure? Perhaps applications will be sent telepathically (unless Common App gets hold of the Vulcan mind meld). As for the current crop of home grown recruits and collegiate wannabes, what else can we say? It's complicated!

Call COLLEGE CONNECTION today at 516-345-8766 and let us help you uncomplicate college applications and admissions!

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