Are you walking through the doors of your high school this September knowing that this is the last fall you will be a high school student?
Senior year brings its own unique set of challenges and adventures; ones that you will never again experience in your life. As the leaves start to change color and fall hits the air, your adrenaline should start pumping with SAT’s, college essays, visits to campuses, and of course, the cornerstone to your path toward the future, your college application.
Want to ace that application and ensure it stands out? Want to stay on track and not rush a deadline? These quick and simple tips can help to keep you on the path to success as you start your application process!
Where Are You Headed?... Narrow That List!
Do not wait until mid fall to start preparing your college application list. Create your list of top schools as early in September as possible and download their applications.
Compare essay topics; are any the same or similar? Are any similar to essays you have already written for school classes? Do they use the Common Application or have a supplement?
Create a spreadsheet of your top schools and start sorting out the information. You may see some key points that these applications have in common and you will not be repeating your steps over and over again.
Get It In the Mail
If the application is due December 1st”, but yours is ready October 10th, send it out! There is no need to wait for the deadline; as soon as an application has been completed and you have asked your parents/guidance counselor/advisor to review it one final time, send it out in the mail.
Many admissions offices read applications as they come into the office. If you send your application in early, it also sends a message to the admissions officer that you are responsible, mature and ahead of the pack. So, once it’s done, send it out!
Testing: 1, 2, 3
In mid August, SAT and ACT dates are already out for the year. Have you registered yet? The earlier you sit for these tests the better. You do not want to be taking the SATs the week before Christmas of your senior year!
Taking the tests in September or October is best. Did you take them as a junior? Talk with you college counselor about your scores, based on where you want to apply. You may not need to retake either test senior year.
Test early, but do not test often! Your score will only increase minimally, so save some of those Saturday dates for completing applications and working on your essays!
Schedule visits through the campus admission office while you are working on the application for the school you are visiting.
It is easy to just take a casual ride over to a campus and wander around. But scheduling the visit to coincide with the application process is the smarter way to go. It allows you the time to talk with an admissions representative and you can then ask questions specific to the application and it also allows the representative to be aware that you visited the campus. Colleges do take that into consideration and a visit to a campus can greatly enhance your application. So plan those fall visits and be dressed to impress!
Overall, the best advice that anyone can give is to take your time with your application; make sure the information is neat and correct and always, always, have at least two other sets of eyes proofread.
Beware of copying and pasting material from one application to another… it can lead to embarrassing mistakes or typos. Proofreading and neatness are key and do count.
Take your time, do your best, and by December, start to focus on other things: the end of senior year, and the happy anticipation of acceptance letters! Best of luck!
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