Finished with all your college applications??? Not quite!!

Carolyn StewartBy Carolyn Stewart|02/02/2012|4 Minutes

The big ‘crunch’ of applications through December/mid-January is over. You did it! With at least 8 applications filed, you can sit back now and try to calm the gnawing anxiety as you await the announcements of accept/deny decisions from your colleges, in late March/April 1st. So is that all you can do?? By no means!

1. I hope you read the recent email from the people at the Common Application, reminding you to CHECK YOUR SUBMISSION STATUS. Most of your colleges will offer you a way to ‘track’ your application materials arrival online. Make sure everything has arrived! Sometimes it takes a few weeks for each college to process all the materials, so different colleges may be reporting that they did or did not receive some of the information required to complete your file. BY NOW, EVERYTHING SHOULD BE IN PLACE. If you have any concerns about your application files, call the admission office at the college in question.
2. It is not too late to BOLSTER YOU APPLICATION with any new, interesting, relevant material that can let the admission officers know what a dynamic, creative person you are! Have you just won the leading part in a school play? Received the MVP award for your efforts for a sports team? Sung the lead in the Christmas oratorio? Re-sat some exams from last term, and expect to significantly improve some grades in just a few weeks, when you get your results? Put up a new website about your music/art/community service? I know your life has not been standing still since we worked on your lists of activities, and you received your last term’s grades. Have you risen to the top in one of the classes in which you were struggling a little? Would that teacher be willing to write a short additional recommendation for you, based on your increased efforts, and results?
3. Have you VISITED CAMPUSES of the colleges to which you applied?? It is not too late . . . and it is considered to be a significant sign that you are strongly interested in a particular college. Statistically, students are more likely to accept admission offers from colleges that that they have visited. Colleges are more likely to offer admission to students whom they think will attend. This ‘yield’ factor is more important to the colleges than their admit rate is to you.
4. Above all, find a reason and a way to CONTACT THE ADMISSION OFFICER who is responsible for taking the lead in handling applications from your location – most colleges assign certain experienced admission staff to certain areas. If you can’t determine who that is on the college’s website, then call and ask for the name and contact information (email, and possibly phone number). Then draft a short, dynamic email to that person, letting her/him know about any new developments in your academic and extra-curricular life that could increase that college’s interest in you. Tell them something more that enriches your application. Some of your colleges asked very little in their Supplements – it made them easier to apply to, but it also made it harder for you to distinguish yourself from all the other qualified applicants. Why would they want YOU?? Write about how your visit to that school is lingering in the back of your mind each day, and you KNOW it is the college that ‘fits’ you best, and you can hardly wait to be studying there.

Best wishes!!