Applying for college includes meeting deadlines when submitting required materials, including essays, applications, transcripts, and more. To ensure deadlines are met on time, it is suggested that students seek college application help early during the application process. Some even recommend starting months in advance, especially when completing multiple applications. Consider the following tips to help create an action plan to meet college application deadlines.
Plan and Start Early
Deadlines vary for college applications and some may require more content than others. Some colleges make decisions at different times of the year, so it helps to be ready to complete related tasks when possible. At this point, you should know which schools you want to apply to or which to add to your list of potential contenders. You may even consider collecting application information to understand what to expect during the process.
Make a Timeline to Follow
Many students that seek college application help make a timeline to help them stay on track with meeting deadlines for materials. Once you determine where to apply, create a timeline for when the applications and other materials are due. Use the tasks you need to complete as milestones for your timeline. Some students find it helpful to make a spreadsheet or a planner to create a visual plan so they can see what needs to be done and when to complete it. The details related to scholarship deadlines, testing, letter recommendations, and any other submission deadlines should be highlighted in your plans.
Seek Recommendation Letters Sooner Rather Than Later
You may need a few recommendation letters from people who know you well and who understand the significance of your college application. Giving these people advanced notice allows them time to create a thoughtful letter on your behalf. If you’re working with a college application consultant, they can guide you on how to obtain recommendation letters for your application.
Set Aside Time for the Essay Portion
You don’t want to rush through the essay portion as it’s a great opportunity to highlight your goals and interests and showcase your writing abilities. Sometimes students procrastinate with the essay and then feel the pressure when writing something with little time left. Allow time to brainstorm a great topic and create an outline for your ideas. A first rough draft is a start in the right direction, and as you improve your content, you’ll feel more confident with the final draft.
Other Materials May Require Additional Time A college application consultant can work with you to ensure all materials are submitted based on the application deadlines of your chosen schools. Follow directions carefully with your college application, including any requests for materials. Consider the time needed to collect materials, including those from other sources such as your counselor, as some require a week or so turnaround time when forwarding. When possible, prioritize these requests to ensure materials are received on time so you can complete your application by the deadline.