How to Survive the College Application Process: Part Three

So you’ve been working on your college applications diligently over the past couple of months. Now, with your senior year of high school truly underway, it’s time to finish strong!

If you’ve been following Part One and Part Two of this series (it’s not too late; you can check them out now!), you may be wondering, what now? Read on for the final steps of surviving the college application process:

1. Take standardized tests and send the scores

Take any standardized exams—such as the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, AP exams, or ACT—that you’ve registered for. When you do so, be sure you arrange for your score to be sent to the colleges to which you’re applying.

If you’ve already taken your exams, confirm that your scores are being sent to the colleges of your choice. Additionally, be sure that any exams that you can apply toward your degree—such as AP or IB test scores—are also accordingly sent to your choice colleges. AP and IB scores can transfer in the form of credits or help you place out of some lower-level courses. This can help you save both tuition money and time when working toward your degree.

[RELATED: What to Know About IB Exams]

2. Apply for scholarships

Once you’ve found a bunch of scholarships that you qualify for, it’s time to apply! Because filling out scholarship applications can be tedious and time-consuming, it can be helpful to divide up your time when filling them out. For example, you may want to block out an hour or two of your time to apply for each scholarship on your list.

3. Double down on your schoolwork

When you spend so much time on college applications, it can be easy to forget about another major task at hand: your regular schoolwork.

To avoid getting off track, it can be helpful to sit down and make an academic plan for the rest of the school year. Create a calendar, adding important assignment due dates and exam dates. Check on your academic progress thus far and ask yourself if you are satisfied with your performance.

If you’re doing well—scoring highly on your exams and assignments—you’re probably on the right track. You should continue working with whatever academic study strategies seem to be working well for you.

If you feel as though your grades aren’t where you would like them to be, it may be time to reevaluate: Why aren’t you scoring where you wanted to on your exams? Why do you feel like you don’t have enough time to complete assignments?

Perhaps you have too many extracurricular activities on your plate, or you’re taking too many advanced courses. If you can’t figure out why your grades are slipping, it can be helpful to pay a visit to your guidance counselor. He or she can help you figure out how to turn your academics around. (Also remember that college application season will soon come to a close, and you will be able to return much of that attention to your studies!)

4. Finish and send your applications

The final step in the college application process is of course finishing and officially sending in your applications! Before sending them in, double-check to ensure you’ve filled out each application completely and haven’t made any mistakes. Taking the extra hour or so to do this is well worth avoiding any potential incomplete or incorrect applications, which could cost you—or at the very least, complicate—your admission into college.

And there you have it! You’ve survived the college application process. When it comes time to choose between those prospective colleges, be sure to check out these tips to make your college decision easier.

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