A college application guide for rising seniors

college admissions strategy
By Layla

The time has come for you to make your college application list. You have worked for this moment your entire high school career. While going to college seems exciting, the application process might seem daunting or exhausting. But I believe the application process can be fun! If you follow these easy steps, you will be good to go in no time. 

Your Summer Plan (June-July) 

Setting the Stage

  1. Email three teachers who could write letters of recommendation.
  2. Make your college list. Many factors can go into the process of selection such as financial costs, academic access. Research opportunities, sports, diversity, etc. 
  3. Check application deadlines, as well as scholarship deadlines. If you are applying ED or EA, make sure you know the deadlines for that school! Put these dates on your calendar.
    1. ED stands for “Early Decision,” an acceptance in December would bind you to that school regardless of any other acceptances 
    2. EA stands for “Early Action,” an acceptance in December would NOT bind you to this school
  4. Complete the FAFSA application.

Wellness Check

Don’t forget to take care of yourself during this time by taking time off and focusing on the little things that make you happy. 

Wellness Tip

Reach out to mentors during this time if you need help with the application process, mentors (whether they are counselors, teachers, previous students, etc) can be extremely helpful in keeping you on track and ensure you are taking care of yourself. 

Your Fall Plan (August- October) 

The Common Application 

While the Common App is the most widely accepted platform for schools, be aware that some schools do not use it! Make sure you know how you are applying to the schools of your selection.

Create your account, familiarize yourself with the platform, and fill out background information. It's important that you begin writing and drafting your common app essay as soon as possible. Additionally, figure out which schools require supplemental essays, and make a game plan to write and finalize those supplemental essays. I recommend organizing all essays in Google Docs as you go along.

Additional Tasks

  1. Ensure that your recommendation writers receive the portal for submitting their letter.
  2. Make sure to send your standardized tests and transcripts to your college list.
  3. Email your colleges for fee waivers if it is a financial difficulty for you to pay.

Wellness Check

Make sure to hang out with friends and relax! Go to school games or different volunteer opportunities. Stay grounded so that the stress of applying does not get to you.

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