Some high school seniors are still feeling the pressure of getting their college applications completed. Maybe they aren’t sure of their final college choice yet, or haven’t discussed the money part with their parents, but there isn’t much procrastination room remaining.
Early decision and early action deadlines have passed, and most regular deadlines fall somewhere between January 1 and February 1, unless the college utilizes a rolling admissions process. If you put everything off until the last minute, here are some end-of-year college application tips to boost your college admission possibilities:
• Be decisive: At this point there isn’t enough time to crank out a whole series of applications with any quality to them, so it might be best to focus on fewer colleges and make sure the applications you complete are representative of your best work.
• Get organized first: Instead of just randomly attacking each school’s list of requirements, make a complete list of everything you need to do. Then look at things that might require a little more time and get them done first. If you don’t have transcripts or letters of recommendation, get that process in motion while you are working on the other components. The list will also help make sure you don’t forget any additional elements a particular college might want.
• Focus on one thing at a time: It can be overwhelming to look at a whole list of requirements, and think that there is no way to get everything done. Instead, look at getting just one thing done at a time. Give yourself the task of completing one item by a certain time. When that is done, move on to the next item on your list.
• Watch for mistakes: With all the hustle and bustle of trying to get everything completed, the possibility of mistakes increases dramatically. Santa is very good at checking his list twice, and you need to think along those same lines. Once you think you have everything completed for a particular college, take a moment to check twice before hitting the submit button. Be especially careful of careless errors like using another college’s name in your application.
• Don’t wait until the very last minute: While the good news is that you are not alone in this process, the bad news is that there could be hundreds or thousands of students just like you trying to submit applications at the very last minute. Sites can crash or information can get lost, and you might be out of luck. Get your stuff in before the rush.
• Don’t forget the financial aid: If you have not completed the FAFSA yet, that should also be high on your to-do list. While you might already be too late for some types of financial aid, you definitely won’t receive any help without this crucial piece of the puzzle.
So, make good use of the holiday breaks from high school and get those college applications done!