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Four Steps To Help With College Application Stress

Is it October already?  Early application deadlines are looming and if you are finding your self stressed out, you are not alone.  So what are some ways you can stay on top of everything you have to do?  How can you take control of your college applications? Follow these four steps to a more blissful college application process.

 Step 1:  Finish your essay.  You really can’t complete any applications without your personal statement.  Take some time to get that wrapped up.  This will also help you as you strategize what to write about for your supplemental essays, since you do not want to repeat the information you already wrote in your main essay.

Step 2:  Complete your extracurricular essay.  Like your main essay, you cannot complete an application for any school on the Common Application without completing your extracurricular essay.  These are 150 very important words, so this should not be the last thing on your application that you complete.

Step 3:  Get Organized.  It is essential that you take the time to organize everything you need to do to complete your applications.  Create an excel spreadsheet, write it on a calendar or just make yourself a massive “to do” list, but find a way to write it all down.  Here are SOME of the items you need to consider:

  • Application deadlines
  • Merit application deadlines
  • CSS Profile deadline
  • FAFSA deadline
  • Deadlines for requesting interviews and/or auditions
  • Supplemental forms and essays
  • Athletic supplement
  • Artist supplement
  • Teacher Evaluation
  • School Report
  • Mid-year or first quarter grades
  • Requesting your official transcript
  • Submitting your official ACT, SAT and/or SAT Subject tests

Step 4:  Look for the details.  In addition to everything listed in Step 3, there are often hidden deadlines that you may not be aware of.  Make sure you visit the admissions page of each college you are applying to in order to learn the specifics of their admissions process.  Here are some hidden deadlines to watch out for:

  • Do you have to submit your application or supplement by a certain date in order to obtain and alumni interview?
  • Do you have to submit your application by a certain date in order to be considered for merit aid?
  • Does the college want your supplement as soon as possible?

Once you have everything organized, you may feel like you have more control over everything you need to get done.    Once you have control, you can go back to focusing on what is really important:  producing the highest quality applications you can.

Katherine Price

Senior Associate