Your senior year of high school is a hectic time, especially if you have work, volunteer, or play sports after class. On top of that, you’re getting prepared to head to college next year! Between the applications, ACT and SAT tests, essays, and more, it can get a bit overwhelming. Here are a few tips that will save time on college applications.
Limit The Number of Schools You Apply To
Before sending in any applications, what schools are you planning to apply to? Make a list of the colleges you’ve thought about applying to and start narrow it down. Do your research and see what others are saying about the school’s atmosphere, classes, your intended major, and more. If it is still on your list, take a visit to the campus and see what vibe you get. Does it click with who you are? How are the people?
Your list should be even smaller after some trips to campus. A next step could be to consider the pros and cons of each potential college or university. You don’t have to apply to every college you considered or even visited. Find the ones that are aligned most with your goals, personality, and ambitions.
Create A Calendar
There will be a lot of things you need to keep track of when applying to college. This includes deadlines for the application, letters of recommendation, financial aid, and essays, but also your testing dates for your ACT or SAT. You might prefer a wall or dry erase board calendar, but there are also plenty of apps for your phone, tablet, or computer that can help you keep track of all your tasks.
Every school will have different deadlines. Take the time to visit each college’s website to note the dates for each and mark them on your calendar. If you have any questions regarding a deadline, or the school’s website isn’t clear, make sure to write their admissions department for clarification.
Schedule Your Exams Early
Whether you decide to take the SAT or ACT (or both), you should aim to schedule in your exam date as soon as you can. Once it’s set, write it on the calendar, and design a study plan for the coming weeks. Your test should usually be in September or October to ensure that your school receives the test scores before their set deadline.
Also consider the advantages of scheduling your SAT or ACT in September if you have enough time to study for an earlier exam. Not only does it give you the opportunity to complete sooner and clear up your schedule, you may have the chance to retake the test if you are not entirely happy with your grade.
There will be a lot to keep track of once you start applying to your colleges, so it’s important to stay on top of everything from the beginning. The calendar is a great start, but make sure you’re also creating tasks for yourself to stay ahead of the game. You don’t want to write your essay on the day it is due, for example! However, if you keep on top of your applications, you can save time on college applications during your hectic senior year schedule and enjoy some well deserved rest.