How To Organize Your College Apps: Part 3

Heads up, Seniors! Part 3 of our series is here! Learn about submitting apps for Common App and non-Common App schools, payments, interviews and college rep visits. For all the details you need to apply, check out parts 1 and 2 of the series.

The Common Application
You will need to complete the Common Application if your colleges use it.  It takes a few hours to do it well, and you always want someone else to look over it before you submit it.  The important thing to be aware of this Fall 2013 is that the Common App is a new version and it has quite a few bugs still to work out of the software.  That means you need to start submitting TWO full weeks before any due date because the app may not submit and you will need to submit a Help Ticket to the Support Center.  This could take two weeks to rectify. Common problems students are currently experiencing include: the app may erase your essays, it may make you pay 2 or 3 times, it may not take your payment at all, it will refuse to give you little green checks when you have entered all the info, it may reformat your essay into a font you can’t read with crazy punctuation inserted all over the place.  DO print preview!

Non-Common App schools applications
Create an account for each of these apps and note any Early Action or Priority due dates.  Try to use the same username and password for all apps, or at the very least keep a master list of them in an email that you send to yourself.  Emails are never lost!

You will need to pay around $35-85 per application, so be prepared.  If you have free or reduced lunch at your school, or if you are experiencing financial hardships of any kind, go and see your school counselor to request a fee waiver.  If you can’t get in to see a counselor, or if your school doesn’t have one, contact the colleges themselves.  Do not let an application fee keep you from applying to college because the colleges will waive these!  🙂

If any of your colleges offers interviews, be sure to sign up for them because it really helps your admissions officer to put a face to a name.  It is a lot more difficult to reject a smiling child you have met…  See the great tips we have for interviewing on, and post any questions about it in the Forum.

College rep visits at your school
When your colleges come to your high school you WANT to be at that meeting.  How does it look to College ABC if the rep flies all the way across the country, rents a car, uses a GPS to find your high school and then uses a paper map from the front office to find Room 200 in order to make her presentation for 25 minutes and you can’t even walk down the hall to be there?  Then she gets an application from you on her desk saying how College ABC is your top choice?  Right.  So make sure you get to these visits.  They are very informative and fun.  Sign in and don’t chatter during.  Pay attention and ask good questions.  (We have a handout for this posted under Resources, too.)

Aim to have all of your applications finished by Thanksgiving!  Yay, college!

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