The beginning of the college application process can feel overwhelming. You can relieve some pressure by starting early and taking one step at a time. Here are some tips that will help stay on track and prepare for college application season.
Gather information on all your top schools. Are they on the Common App? Will you need to send a separate application for financial aid? Do you have everything you need to fill out your FAFSA? Keep your social security number, high school code, transcripts, important contacts, and logins for websites/applications in one place. You will refer to them often!
Create a realistic timeline.
Grab a planner, notepad, iPad, or whatever helps you list out priorities and put in all your college app deadlines, ACT/SAT test dates, registrations, and letter of recommendation deadlines. By sticking to a dedicated timeline, you’ll ease the anxiety or the unknown, keeping things cool during the admissions process.
Colleges care about more than just your GPA and test scores. Make a list (brag sheet) of all your passions, extracurriculars, and accomplishments. These activities and interests give admissions teams a better idea of your character and what you’ll bring to their school.
Check in with your school counselor.
Your counselor is your biggest fan! Keep them in the loop about your admissions experience, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. They can help you finalize your college list and even write you a letter of recommendation!
So much goes into the college application process. You won’t have all the answers! Talk with your family members, counselors, favorite teachers, and other supporters if you feel lost or confused. Share your aspirations and let them help guide you – they live for that!
Take care of yourself!
Self-care is NON-NEGOTIABLE. Make time for things that spark joy and boost your serotonin. Just finished an essay? Treat yourself to some coffee! Crushed the ACT? Celebrate with friends. If you need suggestions, here are 5 Ways to Celebrate Yourself + 3 Ways to Celebrate Your Friends.