There’s no doubt, building a college list required a lot of research, reflection, and hard work. You know what you want and need from college, and you’ve created a college list that aligns with your goals and preferences. Now what? Here are some next steps and reminders as you gear up for college application season!
Don’t Do It Alone
Learning more about each school on your college list is an important part of your college search. This is a big decision, and there are lots of people ready to help you along your journey.
Contact the admissions offices of the colleges on your list. Even if a college isn’t your first choice, don’t hesitate to reach out. They will be happy to give you more information about the school, schedule a college tour, or direct you to other important people on campus. If you are unable to visit in person, here’s some information about virtual campus visits.
Many colleges have designated student ambassadors who share their perspective with potential students. Feel free to connect with these ambassadors through the admissions office or find them on social media! Perhaps you would like to connect with a student involved in an organization that interests you. This could mean student government, club sports, groups centered around a cause you care about, and more! You can always find out more about campus life by scrolling through college’s hashtags and geotags.
If you have a specific major in mind, discuss your options with the admissions office. Is there a way for you to connect with faculty in that program? They may offer Zoom meetings or virtual events hosted by faculty to learn more about certain programs. In some cases, you may be able to shadow a real class from that major!
High School Counselor
Make an appointment with your high school counselor. Share your college list with them, and ask any questions you may have. You will also want to learn about your school’s protocols for college application season. Ask your high school counselor about the process for requesting letters of recommendation. As well as the practice for sending transcripts and test scores to colleges.
Keep Track of Deadlines
College applications typically open on or near August 1st of your senior year of high school. College application deadlines will vary based on the type of deadline you choose. This includes regular decision, early decision, rolling admissions, and so on. You can learn more about the types of college application deadlines at this link here. We recommend taking the time to be thoughtful with your application, but paying close attention to your deadlines. Make sure it is complete and submitted on time, but don’t stress about turning it in as quickly as possible.
Build Your Brag Sheet
Think of a brag sheet as a resume. It will detail all your accomplishments and experiences throughout your high school career. Sometimes, it’s difficult to sit down and think of all your achievements on the spot. Having a brag sheet handy will ensure a smooth college application process. It will also benefit the teachers who write your letters of recommendation. You can learn more about brag sheets with these tips.
Check the Common App
You’ll want to know which schools on your list are on the Common Application. If you’re unfamiliar with the Common App, it’s a college application platform that allows you to apply to multiple colleges at once. It can be a huge time saver, especially when it comes to writing your college essays. By keeping track of the colleges on your list that use the Common App, you’ll have a better idea of how to manage your time.
Start Your College Application Essays
Your essays are definitely a crucial part of the college application process. They serve as an effective way to communicate your uniqueness to admissions officers. Some colleges will have specific prompts they want you to answer. Others will ask you to describe your story. For each school, you may have to write a different college essay or personal statement, and that’s why it’s essential to start early. Start your brainstorm with these tips.
Congratulations! With your final list of schools in hand and next steps planned out, you’re ready to tackle college application season!