College applications take time, and they should! After diligent research to find the colleges and universities where you can study, learn and grow for the next four years, it’s now time to explain to the admissions counselors at said schools why you belong there.
Below are nine tips to help make the college application process a bit easier:
Collect all application due dates and supplemental pieces. Most college applications require letters of recommendations. Email calendars, smartphone calendars, and even the classic wall calendar work well! Remember to check it often! Many colleges and universities have different due dates.
2. Ask Early!
Many college applications require letters of recommendation. Remember that teachers and mentors are much more likely to write a letter for you if you give them the ample time you deserve. Keep in mind that your first choice of teacher may be asked by many students applying to write letters of recommendation.
3. Remember your Audience!
Spend a few minutes thinking about all the parts that make you uniquely who you are. Extracurriculars? Athletics? Honor societies? Community involvement? Most people applying to your schools are strangers to the admissions counselors who will be reviewing your application. Make an outline of what you want to make sure to mention – what makes you unique. Go over this outline with someone who knows you and your academic history well – a parent or a counselor.
4. Create a First Draft!
Nowadays most college applications are done online. Never fill in an application without creating a first draft! Keep this first draft out of the actual application website so you do not accidentally submit an application before you are ready. Never leave an answer blank.
5. Ask for Review!
After answering ALL questions via your first draft, ask someone or better yet – a few people – to review your first draft application. Your reviewers may be able to offer edits that will convey information about you in a better way. College essays are tough work! Don’t do yourself the disservice by skipping the editing process.
6. Include all Supplemental Information!
Before you apply, make sure your applications have the necessary supplemental information which may include relevant test scores, an activities resume, and letters of recommendation.
7. Before Applying, Make a Copy!
Even if you apply via the internet, there can be times where your applications can be lost in the ether. Computers and mail are not foolproof. Always have a copy.
8. Proofread Again!
Make sure to proofread one last time before you send in your college applications. Careless mistakes and incomplete information may cost you a spot.
Send in your applications and supplemental information! Make sure you confirm receipt with each school to which you apply. Good luck!