Senior year is a crazy year and this year seems to more so. Most seniors are focusing on the college admissions process. With more students attending college the competition is keen and all students need to have a back up plan in case they do not get in to the college that is their first choice. There can be confusion on the terminology that centers the application and admission process. Just how do they go about attacking this process? What are admissions staff members looking for? Extra-curricular activities, the college essay, grades, and class rank are all considered. Colleges will also look at legitimate honors that the student has earned. Most college applications have a counselor statement that needs to be completed. Students will need to print this off and bring it to the guidance office.
What do “deferred,” “early decision,” “early action,” and “rolling admission” mean? Students need to set up a timeline and prioritize the things that need to be done. November 1st is a big date since most colleges have that as a priority filing date. Does that mean that students should wait until November 1st to submit their application? No, this is not the case. After attending a Purdue informational meeting last week and knowing that a large percentage of our students apply to Purdue, I will use Purdue as an example.
Applications are not considered complete unless all of the student’s information is in the admissions office by November 1st. This includes teacher recommendation, counselor reports and recommendation, transcript, and test scores sent from the College Board. It goes without saying that the Common Application has to be submitted along with payment. Purdue stated that applications should be submitted as early as possible. This especially goes for programs that fill up early. Students should not wait until the last minute to submit applications. From my past experience with the Common Application, I have seen students have more technical difficulties in submission of the application and the payments as the Nov. 1st deadline nears. Many times these technical difficulties cannot be solved over night. The application fee payment takes several days to go through. The Common Application uses a third party biller and they have had technical difficulties in the past. As we near November 1st, more students will be submitting their applications and probably most of these will be submitted in the evening, so students should take all of these things into consideration. The closer we get to that date, the more likely one is to have technical difficulties.
To help the guidance office know which colleges the students are using the Common Application for, students were given an application checklist. Students list on one side of the form where they plan to use the Common Application and on the other side they list the colleges for which they will use college specific applications. This form gives us our instructions regarding where to mail application documents, therefore it is very important to complete and return it to the guidance office.
One last thing–allow time for the guidance office to get your documents in the mail. The mail seems to be a little slower getting to its destination these days, so allow time for the post office to get the documents to the university. I would allow at least a week for the documents to get to the university by mail. That November 1st deadline is set in stone especially when it comes to students competing for scholarships.
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