Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Just fill out the application and hit “send” before midnight on the day it’s due. As many students discover too late, there can be quite a bit more to meeting a college application deadline than that. Here are some steps you can take to avoid missing those deadlines.
Photo by Lastyearsgirl
- Double-check all college application deadlines. Don’t rely on hearsay. Deadlines can change from year to year, so go to each school’s website to verify the current due date.
- Know which college application deadline applies to you. Many schools have earlier deadlines for athletes and students seeking scholarships, as well as visual and performing artists. They may also require additional application materials from these applicants, so be sure to read everything very carefully.
- Set your own deadline for finishing college applications at least 2 weeks earlier than the final deadline. This will allow you enough time for proofreading as well as for unexpected glitches in your plans. (i.e. a computer crash or power outage)
- Make a list of all materials required for each application. Include things like essays, short answers, recommendations, transcripts, portfolios, etc.
- Create a personal timeline that will allow you to meet the deadlines you’ve set. Don’t forget to take class assignments and other obligations into account as you do this.
- Stick to your timeline. Staying on track can save you from making the costly mistakes that happen when you’re in a rush to meet that final college application deadline.
- Request recommendations and/or transcripts at least 2 weeks before you need them. Give teachers the time and everything they need to write the best recommendation possible.
- Ask for help when you need it. Don’t assume anything. If you’re not sure what an application is asking for or are unclear on an essay prompt, ask someone who has had a lot of experience helping students with college applications.
- Have everything proofread. This is not an optional step. Every year, students are denied admission to college because of poorly written and mistake-filled essays. Not having your application and essays proofread can be the most costly mistake you can make.
- Submit everything at least 2 or 3 days before the actual college application deadline. Not everyone is going to be as organized as you are, so the majority of applications are likely to be submitted at the last minute. This can lead to problems and delays in logging into your account or even a system crash. By submitting your application a few days early, you can avoid all this.
With a little organization, you can meet those college application deadlines with no problem and still have time to enjoy your senior year.