For most county high school seniors, the nervousness has passed.
But for some students, like Brandy Brooks, apprehension still accompanies a perusing of the day's mail.
The Francis Scott Key High School senior is awaiting word on whether she has been accepted at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Frederick County.
"Every time I get a letter from Mount St. Mary's, I rip it open, wondering whether I've finally been accepted," said Brandy, who describes herself as a "B" student. "Yes, I'm nervous."
At Francis Scott Key, the list of seniors accepted at colleges in Maryland and across the nation continues to grow.
Their names and the colleges where they've been accepted -- for some students there are several -- have been printed in red and blue on poster boards hanging outside the guidance office.
"By this time of the year, they'veusually heard something," said Sam Mann, a Francis Scott Key guidance counselor. "Those that are waiting are growing pretty nervous."
Fifty-three percent of the 1,278 Carroll high school seniors surveyedin 1990 planned to attend college full time, school officials said. About 14 percent planned to take college courses on a part-time basis.
In Maryland, 78.8 percent of the state's 41,566 high school graduates planned to go to college in 1990, according to the Maryland Department of Education. The remainder planned to attend trade school, join the military or enter the work force.
Fifty-five percent of the state's college-bound seniors planned to attend college full-time,and 23 percent planned to attend part-time. The Department of Education did not have a breakdown of those students planning to attend four-year and two-year colleges.
Generally, colleges accept the top applicants first and then those that meet entrance criteria, said Steve Guthrie, a North Carroll High School guidance counselor. If there is still room in dormitories, colleges then accept those on waiting lists.
"Some students may be borderline on credentials and may have received something saying they were on a waiting list," he said. "It's better than an outright denial, but it does cause them a lot of stress."
Guthrie said guidance counselors advise students to apply early in the school year to three to five colleges, including a community college, which provides them with some choice for higher education.
"Our advice is usually to pick a fantasy college and at least one real safe college that they know they can get into," he said.
Students are advised to have applications sent by Jan. 1, "so at this time of the year they're not pressed," Guthrie said.
"The majorityof students who are going to be accepted at colleges have already heard," said Guthrie. "But there are those who are still waiting."
Sharon Scott, a Francis Scott Key senior, is on the waiting list at the University of Maryland-College Park, where she hopes to major in political science and take advantage of government internships in nearby Washington.
Instead, the 18-year-old Millers resident will attend West Virginia University in Morgantown. A self-described average student, Sharon said West Virginia was "not as expensive and easier to get into."
Lisa Garland, a North Carroll High School senior, is onthe waiting list at Shippensburg State University in Shippensburg, Pa.
But instead of waiting, the 18-year-old has decided to attend her second choice, Frostburg State, where she will major in elementaryeducation.
"Going to school in Maryland will be cheaper," Lisa said.
South Carroll High School senior Brian C. Mitchell entered theapplication game late. Although he considered applying to the University of Maryland, he instead opted to have his transcripts sent to Carroll Community College.
Mitchell, who said he did not do well on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, a widely used college entrance exam, hoped to take some basic courses at CCC and then transfer to the University of Maryland.
The Woodbine resident wants to pursue a career in architecture.
His worries about getting accepted at CCC were fornaught. CCC has an open-door policy, which means it accepts all students who apply.
Applicants, however, are required to take placement tests. Those students who do not meet academic standards in subjects such as math and English, are required to take remedial courses.
Also planning to attend CCC in the fall is John Green, a Francis Scott Key senior, who was not accepted to Frostburg State.
"I heard acouple of weeks ago," the 17-year-old said. "It was a little bit of a disappointment. I'll take some classes at CCC and then transfer."
The Linwood resident plans to pursue a science career.
John Winter, a Francis Scott Key senior, was accepted at five schools -- Penn State, University Park, Pa.; Colorado School of Mines, Boulder, Colo.; Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.; Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Va.; and the University of Maryland-College Park.
"I picked those schools because of their engineering programs," the 18-year-old said. "I decided to go to Virginia Tech. I had to make a decision."
Choosing between colleges can be stressful, too.
Stacey Kent, a North Carroll High School senior, is having a tough time deciding among the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.; Johns Hopkins in Baltimore; and Duke in Durham, N.C.
"I'm undecided," the 18-year-old said. "I'm going to have to sit down with a calculator andfigure some finances out."
Her deadline is May 1.
"This has been almost as stressful as waiting to hear," said the senior class president. "Everybody was asking me whether I had heard anything, and now they're asking whether I've decided. You feel some pressure."
Most students said they didn't feel any pressure from their parents to apply to a particular school.
Brandy, though, said her parents encouraged her to apply to Western Maryland College because it was "close, convenient and I could save $4,000 a year by commuting."
And ifshe doesn't hear from Mount St. Mary's College, Brandy, who hopes tomajor in art or ecology, may try the community college route and apply again next year.
"There's always next year," the Westminster resident said.