BOSTON (CBS) — Several local colleges and universities are seeing a record amount of applications, making a stressful process even worse.

This week, colleges across the country make decisions on whether applicants are accepted, waitlisted, or deferred. It comes at a time when universities across the country are seeing record breaking application numbers.

Take local colleges like Boston College, Boston University, and Northeastern University. Each of those schools report the highest number of applications received during a single application period.

Boston College received 41,000 applications. Boston University received 81,000 applications, up from 75,000 last year.

If you take a closer look at Northeastern’s application data, you get a better sense of overall growth.

In 2022, Northeastern received 91,000 applications. By comparison, they received 75,000 in 2021 and 64,000 in 2020.

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“It is fairly competitive. It obviously depends on the school you go to,” said one college sophomore.

A Boston University freshman said, “I think everyone always downplays the competitiveness of college applications. It is truly a lot.”

Cathy Costa runs her own educational consulting agency.

Costa explained a few factors behind the record number of applications.

“They are not as reliable this year,” said Costa. “Many schools are test optional. Kids are feeling empowered to apply to schools that previously they might not have felt they were a good match for or likely to get into.”

Other factors playing into acceptance inconsistencies, according to Costa, include the use of the Common Application. It’s a tool that allows students to fill out one application and send it to multiple institutions, streamlining the process.

Brandon Truitt