4 Tips to Manage the College Application Process

It’s no secret that the college application process can be quite overwhelming. However, provided you plan ahead and understand what tasks you must complete, you will finish in short order. Take a deep breath and address one aspect at a time.

Note all dates and deadlines

Perhaps the most critical attribute of the college application process is organization. Submitting an application after its due date is simply not an option, so you must remain informed about approaching deadlines. To do so, create a chart where you clearly record the dates by which all paperwork must be received by your prospective colleges. Remember that the application deadline and the financial aid deadline do not always coincide. Also, note that not all colleges utilize the common application, so you may need to invest additional time into schools that possess unique procedures. This college search tip on how to keep and use a calendar may be very useful to you as well!

Get easier tasks out of the way early  

The key to mastering the college application process is completing a small portion each day. Finishing an entire application in a single sitting is an impractical plan. Instead, focus on one particular section of the application at a time. Simply filling in personal information such as your name, address, and high school, will make you feel accomplished, and will take even just a little bit off your plate for next time. Just beginning the application at all should relieve a significant amount of stress. Aim to complete these more basic and tedious sections early on before addressing the larger feats, such as the essay(s).

Ensure all of your extracurricular accomplishments are well represented

A number of students underestimate the importance of the activities section of their resume. The activity resume should be accurate, professional in appearance, and well written. It is in the best interest of prospective college students to maintain an up-to-date activity resume that highlights the defining moments of their high school careers. This resume speaks to admissions counselors about who you are outside of class and how you’ve spent your extracurricular time throughout high school. Though resumes typically play a minor role in the lives of young students, they are increasingly viewed and utilized in college and beyond. There are many reasons why extracurriculars boost college success!

Proofread, proofread, and proofread again!

Once you’ve completed your essays, it is an excellent idea to have an English teacher review them. Your piece may possess grammatical errors of which you weren’t aware, or one of your points may not have translated neatly on paper. A fresh set of eyes always helps to catch mistakes that you may not discover on your own. Do not overlook the value of having a teacher or tutor edit your essays; a careless mistake, such as writing “your” instead of “you’re,” can have a detrimental impact on the reader, and therefore on your admissions status. Aside from mechanics, the editor should be able to tell you if the essays are a true representation of you as a person. Both grammar and the overall message you convey to the reader are extremely important. Here are six application essay mistakes that you want to be sure to avoid. The application essay is an opportunity for you to display your personality, which is not something the application itself usually allows you to do in great detail. Use this opportunity wisely!