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Preparing Your College Applications

 

Preparing your college applications

 
Applying for college can be an exciting, yet stressful part of a student’s senior year. This added stress can also cause strain on the entire family. The application process can be difficult to maneuver, especially for those families going through this process for the first time. Some of this stress can be alleviated by following simple tips that will help it become more manageable.
  • When deciding on how many colleges to apply to, keep in mind that all applications take your time, energy and money. To save money you should avoid sending too many applications. Remember that every college has their own fees and process.
  • Once you have narrowed down your search, keep a calendar with all college application deadlines.
  • Gather letters of recommendation. Give your teachers and counselors plenty of time to write your letters. Be sure to make it easy for them. Give them your application deadline, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope with the school you are applying to.
  • Draft a well-written personal essay that aligns with each school’s policies. Make sure to spend ample time writing this essay and have others read it to get feedback.
  • Start applying early. Early action plans allow you to be ahead of the game and avoid a rushed deadline (usually in November). It also helps you to receive an admission decision from the college well before the usual spring notification date. You can know as early as December or January whether you have been accepted.
  • Meet the application deadline. If you do not meet the deadline then all the work you put into this process is meaningless. Make sure you keep your application deadlines’ calendar in a visible location to ensure all paperwork is submitted in a timely manner.
  • Don’t procrastinate.

If you make a plan and follow these tips, this cumbersome process becomes manageable.