College applications and college, in general, are the words every senior and even juniors hear nonstop.
The stress of it all can be vanquished by doing a simple thing per application: applying early.
I finished majority my applications in the summer before senior year with only teacher recs and new scores left to send in August. Finishing so early allowed me to cherish these moments, as suggested by the people around me, apply for more scholarships, and even apply to additional colleges that I didn’t pay attention to. You may even receive an answer from your potential college as I did early in your senior year!
So how can you do all this?
Here are my tips:
- Apply early: this will prevent you from rushing essays and missing application deadlines! The earlier you start, the better year you have for enjoying your final year in high school! Begin as soon as you finish your junior year!
- Know how you’re applying: there are two (main) options: early decision and early action. Early decision means that if you’re accepted, you will go to the college. No ifs or buts about it. The early action option allows you to get an answer from the college without an agreement.
- Do the essays early: The last thing you want is to rush the essays. This is the one part of the application that is a personal question for admissions to understand you as a person through your writing. Also, know how you want to submit your essay. You can either submit the Common Application (some colleges accept this) or submit the essay via the institution.
- Continue testing: Keep testing to get the SAT or ACT score you want. Don’t let anything stop you! Whether you go to a tutor or study every day, try to achieve your goal.
- Check the application: Proofread every aspect of the application before submitting it! Read over your essays and even ask someone to read it as well! The last thing you want to do is forget to fill out something. It also helps to make a list beforehand of any clubs, positions, and awards won or participated in during high school! This makes filling out these sections on the application easy!
- Have a game plan: Have all deadlines written down such as components needed for acceptance, teacher recommendation list, etc. This allows you to check which ones you’ve accomplished! You can make this into a checklist and cross off as you go!
- Ask for recs early: I suggest asking teachers for letters of recommendation (LOR) during the ending of your junior year or the beginning of your senior. A good LOR takes time. The last thing you want is for the teacher to rush because he or she has twenty other student’s to do.