How to Put the Finishing Touches on your College Applications

A majority of regular decision college applications are due on January 1st. If you haven’t submitted yours just yet, don’t delay! Turning in late applications could result in declined applications. Here are some tips for putting the finishing touches on your college applications in the final days.


Touch Up Your Essays

Don’t write your essays in one sitting. They should be brainstormed, written, reviewed, proofread, and edited. This is a process and can take several days if not weeks. It’s also a good idea to have a trusted adult – a teacher, a parent, or someone else – read it over. This could help you catch errors you may have not noticed yourself and help you identify areas that need a bit of extra polishing.

If you haven’t gotten started yet, make sure to set time aside over the next few days for each step of the process. You don’t want to submit your applications without an essay if one is required by the college. An incomplete application will result in a denial of admission.

Check Your Application Packets

Most colleges want the same things when it comes to an application: application form, essay, letters of recommendation, transcripts, application fee, and ACT/SAT scores. However, this is not a rule of thumb, especially when it comes to the application forms. Schools will often require different information, fees, or submissions compared to others. They may even have different submission processes.

It’s essential that you submit everything that each school is requesting. A checklist for each college or university is a great way to keep track. Once you’ve submitted something and it has been received by the school, you can check it off. If you’re not quite sure if the school received your packet or a form, reach out as soon as possible to confirm.

Submit Your Applications As Soon as Possible

Although the college application deadline may not be until January 1st, that doesn’t mean you should wait until the last hour to submit. If the school is in a different time zone, for example, you wouldn’t be the first student to accidentally miscalculate due dates and times. You could run into an internet outage or power outage. There could be an issue with the school’s website – it could be down for maintenance at an inconvenient time, there could be a bug with the submission process, or the site could crash from too many students trying to submit their applications in last minute.

It’s essential that you submit your applications prior to January 1st because these potential issues do (and commonly) happen. If you do run into a technical problem, you can reach out to the school and get it rectified well before the deadline.

With the January 1st deadline looming, you may be a little overwhelmed finishing up your college applications. Setting time aside now though can help ensure you’re getting in your paperwork and not trying to beat the clock at the start of the new year.

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