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The Top 5 College Application Tips

With the college application season in full swing, we thought we'd share our top 5 tips to make it easier on you and your teenager. Don't let last minute deadlines, submission errors, or technical mistakes delay the process even further. With the January 15 deadline looming just two weeks away, here is how to stay on top of everything:

1. Turn in everything EARLY

If an application deadline is January 15, that doesn't mean your application will exclusively be accepted on January 15. The majority of schools start accepting applications in September & October. Some even as early as August! Students often find themselves rushing the same week their applications are due and then turning them in on the due date. Not only is this an extreme form of procrastination, but this is also dangerous as school websites have a history of crashing around 9:00PM on that the final due date. Do yourself a huge favor, and get everything turned in EARLY. Enjoy your thanksgiving and winter breaks by not having to worry about your college applications.

2. Don't forget about your SAT/ACT scores!

Most schools will strongly advertise their due date, but one important date that's not promoted as much is when SAT/ACT scores are due. For example, the University of California application date is November 30. However, they do not require you to send your official scores until December 31! Do not forget these important dates and simply send your scores at the same time you apply to your school.

3. Ask for recommendations before they're taken!

Start asking for recommendations very early on. Remember, your teacher recommendations are supposed to be teachers that witnessed you ACADEMICALLY succeed. Not teachers that you became close friends with. Look for teachers that saw you work hard and accomplish getting A's. Usually teachers that write fantastic letters of recommendations will become overloaded and stop accepting invitations. Start asking early in the school year before they become booked up!

4. Create an appropriate email

If you don't already, you will be extensively using your email in the college application season. Whether your emailing college counselors or contacting the financial assistance office, you need an appropriate email address. We suggest you get rid of your middle school email that has a silly username, and create a new simple address that you won't be embarrassed of.

5. Take advantage of interviews

Interviews are not required for the application process, but can be of large importance! Most schools do not heavily advertise interviews because supply cannot always handle demand, but you should easily be able to find interview information on your schools webpage. If you think you are ready for an interview, go for it! It will help augment your profile and let the admissions counselor get to know you face-to-face. If you are cautious of doing to an interview and believe your social skills may not be up-to-par, don't feel pressured into signing up! In no way can you be disqualified or hurt by not doing an interview. It could however, hurt your application if you do an interview and are unprepared.

Now it's time for you to go out there and become accepted to your dream school! Be sure to share your acceptance letters with on Facebook. Enjoy your application season while you can, it'll all be worth it in the end!

Photo shared from nextstepu.com.

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