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When starting your college applications, you may feel overwhelmed by the task at hand. To relieve this pressure, be sure to take this process one step at a time. Here we will cover the steps you can take at the earliest stages of your college applications.

Stay organized

Gather information on all the schools you’re applying to. Are they on the Common App? Will you need to send a separate application for financial aid? Do you have everything you need to fill out your FAFSA? You should also keep track of the information you need for the applications such as your social security number, high school code, transcripts, etc. To learn more about staying organized in your college search, check out these tips

Create a timeline

Include all your deadlines for college apps, ACT/SAT test dates and registration, and goals you set for yourself. By sticking to a timeline, you can map a plan, keep track of your progress, and reduce the stress that comes with leaving things to the last minute. 

Show them who you are

Colleges care about more than just your GPA and test scores. Make a list of all your passions, extracurriculars, and accomplishments. Refer to this list or brag sheet when you fill out your application. These other activities and interests will give admissions officials a better idea of who you are as a person.

Check in with your school counselor

Your school counselor is an awesome resource there to help you through this process. Be sure to let them know your plans for the future. They will be able to help you in decision making, finalizing your college list, and being one of your references! 

Ask questions

There’s a lot to think about when applying to colleges, and it’s okay to have a lot of questions! Go to your family, mentors, school counselor, and teachers when you’re confused. Share your aspirations with the trusted adults in your life, and they will give you guidance throughout your journey. If you’re not sure what you want from college, we have some tips for you.

Take care of yourself

Throughout this process, don’t forget about self-care. Make time for the things that bring you joy and find the ways that help you destress. If you need some suggestions to help you clear your mind, look at this guide to self-care.