Preparing for College

Application Deadlines: Not The End of The Line

You know the feeling. It's the second week of January and all your college applications are in! Oh, happy day! Well, as the famous phrase goes, "Not so fast there, Kemosabe!"

You may be thinking back to all those wee-hours nights/days when your eyes were crossed as you tried to come up with the perfect essay topics. You squeezed every drop of creativity from your brain trying to think of memorable ways to tell your dream school of what you would bring to campus to enhance diversity. You followed up on your recommendation letters and made sure that your parents are aware of all the financial aid process details. You dotted all your applications' "i"s and crossed at the "t"s. Now you can relax, right? Wrong.


As the poet said, "Miles to go ..." It ain't over yet.

The finish line is not yet in sight, my friend. Another folkish phrase goes, "The devil is in the details." So, what kind of devilish details should you be tending? Well, I found a cool article that spells it out in easy to understand language. On College: College application is finally in; now what? by Purvi S. Mody. So, let's see what is "now what?" 

Mody notes: It is hard for many high school seniors and their parents to believe that the season of applying to college will ever come to an end. But January is upon us, and while there are some looming application deadlines, many students submitted their last applications just before the new year began. After such a stressful and trying process, most students are ready to relax and hopefully enjoy the remainder of senior year before decisions start to roll out. But before you completely zone out of the admissions process, there are several things you need to get in order first.

Here are some excerpts from those "several things" (five, to be exact):

1. The financial-aid process is just beginning. If your family is planning to apply for aid, this is the time to start planning. Families are now eligible to fill out FAFSA forms, the starting point in this process. This is the federal financial aid form. To complete it, your parents first should try to get their taxes done as quickly as possible. So make sure they don't wait until the April 17 deadline. Waiting means you likely will not get your aid packages from different colleges before you have to make a final decision on where to go next year ...

2. Many colleges also require students to submit mid-year reports, which will list your first semester grades from this year. Some students do not take their finals until late January; just make sure your school sends off these reports as soon as grades become available. If you do not ensure that your mid-year grades are sent, your admissions decisions are in jeopardy.

3. Occasionally, colleges will send questionnaires to specific students. If you get one of these, please do not take it lightly. This is a college's way of saying it needs more information from you to make an appropriate decision. Failing to submit the form indicates a lack of interest in that school, and that can in no way be interpreted positively ...

4. Now is also the time that colleges that conduct interviews will start to make those requests. Check your email and phone messages in a timely manner. You don't want to ignore an interviewer. While the college interview and its impact have been hotly debated, please don't take these lightly ...

5. While it is common for "senioritis" to settle in easily, do not let your grades slide. I cannot stress enough how important this is. Colleges reserve the right to rescind an offer of admissions whenever they so choose. If a college receives your final semester grades in July and they are not up to par, you may lose your acceptance late in the summer and not have many options ...

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This article is an excellent read and could give you a few crucial insights to help you make it all the way to that elusive finish line. When it comes to college admissions, keep in mind the immortal words of New York Yankee great, Yogi Berra: "It ain't over 'til it's over." Be sure to go the full nine innings and don't strike out!

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Be sure to check out all my admissions-related articles and book reviews at College Confidential.