Perhaps you have been quite efficient and managed to get all of your college applications submitted on time. You have also met with your parents and started to collect the information needed to complete the FAFSA in January. Is there anything else you can do to make sure you give yourself the best shot to get into the college of your choice? It’s always a good idea to follow-up on your college applications. It would be quite the shame to miss out because something was not submitted on time. Here are a few steps you can take:
• Pay Attention to Email: Although most high school students thrive on text messages and Tweets, college admission offices still rely on email communications. Set up an email address that is just used for this purpose, and then be sure to check it every day. Respond immediately to any requests for further information. Keep all of the emails you receive from colleges until after you have decided where you will attend.
• Supplemental Information: When using the Common App, check each individual school to determine whether any supplemental information is required.
• Follow Up on Recommendations: You should have already asked several teachers, counselors, advisors or other adults who know you to complete a letter of recommendation. Follow-up to make sure these have been completed. The Common App has a recommenders’ page you can review to determine which letters have been submitted. If a letter has not been received, politely follow-up with the person you contacted. For technical difficulties, dig out your Common App ID number and contact the help desk or help line.
• Make Sure Your Test Scores Were Submitted: When you took the College Board SAT or ACT, you listed colleges to receive your test scores. Log into your account on these websites to verify that all of your colleges are listed and that your scores were released.
• Check on Transcripts: Make sure your high school provided any requested transcripts, especially if you took advanced placement courses for college credit. If you took classes directly at a local college, you’ll also need to obtain and forward that information.
• Remember Your ID Number: Most colleges will probably provide you with an ID number that allows you to log in to a website and check the status of your application. Keep these numbers easily accessible and remember to check the websites often until all materials have been received.
• Say Thank You: If you had any college interviews, be sure to send a thank you note.
It may be necessary to contact the college’s admissions office directly, but keep in mind that this is a very busy time of year for them. Don’t just call and ask if they received your application. Make sure you have done everything possible to ensure that all of your documents have been submitted. You have an important role to play in the college application process, and good follow-up is always part of that role.