“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”
― Robert H. Schuller
I know … it’s summer vacation—and we all deserve time off after the school year! However, if you get organized now, you’ll thank yourself later.
1. Set a regular time for your college work each week.
Self-reflection, online research, in-person visits, college essays, and tracking applications—they all take time. And, it’s your senior year which will be full of fun times and possibly your most rigorous schedule of classes yet. By setting aside a weekly college planning time, you’ll set yourself up for a successful senior year.
Keep this appointment with yourself even after school begins to help avoid frantically submitting application essays minutes before the deadline–or missing a deadline altogether.
2. Don’t miss an opportunity because you missed a deadline.
College admission includes a lot of specific terminology: Early Action, Regular Decision, Financial Aid, Application Requirements. And, to top it off, what colleges expect you to do and by when can vary from campus to campus.
These details and deadlines matter, and a tracking document is a proven way to keep them in check. Start a spreadsheet and list the colleges you are researching row by row. Then, add information pertinent to each one in new columns: application deadlines, documents required, how many essays, which tests (or test-optional), etc.
Want to make this tool work especially hard for you? Pay attention as to whether there are different deadlines to be eligible for merit aid or special scholarship programs. Track visit opportunities so you can plan trips in the fall. Make note if the college uses their own application platform or if they accept the Common Application.
When you begin applying, you’ll have two powerful pieces of information: a full list of the materials needed to complete each application and all the deadlines, making it manageable to complete an application for every college on your list.
Bonus #1: Once you apply, most colleges send a link to a portal where you can track your application status, which materials have been received, and notifications about admission decisions. Add those links to the tracking document so they are easy to find.
Bonus #2: Add your list of criteria for college living and learning to your spreadsheet. Tracking your thoughts about how well a college meets your expectations will help streamline your decision later.
3. Tap into our expertise.
While each admission officer does work for a specific college, we all work in this profession because we love helping students through this exciting process.
Reach out to us, introduce yourself, and let us be an advocate, a guide, and cheerleader for you. We all want you to choose a college where you will thrive. If we can help you do that by clarifying the process, connecting you to a current student or faculty member, or answering your questions, we will! If you have any questions about Austin College, feel free to Contact Us!