A Last-Minute Checklist Before Submitting Your College Application

Congratulations—you are nearly finished with your college applications! Although most schools provide applicants with a list of items to submit, it is still possible to overlook a detail or two. These are 4 tips to manage the college application process. Here is a last-minute checklist before submitting your college application to help you ensure that you have dotted every “i” and crossed every “t.”

1. Review what forms are required—and when

In addition to your personal information, high school records, and standardized test scores, prospective colleges require a variety of supplementary documents. For instance, if you plan to attend a state school, you will likely need to provide proof of residency. Know your deadlines. Though you should already be familiar with your due dates, it does not hurt to check each college’s website once again. The deadline for transfer students may also be different, so make sure you apply at the appropriate time. Here are 5 must-do steps before submitting your college application.

2. Verify that your ACT/SAT scores were sent

This is especially important if you are applying to several schools. Since there can be a large period of time between registering for your test, studying for your test, completing your test, and receiving your scores, it is easy to forget which colleges have already received your scores and which have not.

3. Remember that honesty is the best policy

If your college requires a resume, submit an updated copy. If you automatically upload your resume from last summer, you may neglect to highlight that important internship from the fall. While you do not want to omit details, you should also take care to avoid overstating any information. Wording a resume can be difficult, especially when you wish to make a good impression. Nevertheless, admissions officers can quickly spot exaggerations and inconsistencies. 

4. Read and revise

Edit your essays not once, but twice. Make sure your content and voice come across as you intended them. If you are uncertain, ask a trusted teacher or tutor to proofread them for you. These are 6 application essay mistakes to avoid.

5. Pay special attention to special programs

Applicants to special programs in music, dance, or art may be required to provide an audition DVD or portfolio. Consequently, you not only want to ensure your work is top quality, but that the presentation is, as well. Revise your videos as you would an essay. Check for fuzzy transitions and edit out unnecessary background noise. Ensure only your talent is in the spotlight.

6. Confirm everything

The benefit of submitting your college application by mail is that it allows you to visualize what you are sending by manually collating it in a folder. However, now that most college applications are online, it is possible that parts—or all—of your application will be electronic. Confirm that your transcripts, test scores, and other supplementary materials have been received, and when you click “submit” on your application, look for a confirmation email in your inbox. If you are opting for traditional mail, confirm that the mailing address is correct. 

Even though this is a last-minute checklist, do not wait until the midnight hour to apply. If your application is due on a Friday, send it the Monday before. Part of making a good impression is being prompt. And do not worry—if you have done all you can, you are sure to do well. Here are some additional top tips for completing your college applications.