7 College Application Tips


Photo courtesy of Madison Villarba.

Madison Villarba, Co-Editor

Now that school has finally started, there’s sure to be a lot on everyone’s minds: fall sports, the upcoming musical, dances like AA and CCAP. But for the seniors especially, one thing that is definitely occupying their time and thoughts is the college application process. With so much to do, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Here are some tips to make the process easier and less stressful:

  1. Know your deadlines and make a schedule.

First and foremost, make sure to keep track of all the due dates for each college, financial aid, and honor program application. Using these dates, make a plan to get everything done within a certain amount of time and make sure to stick to it. It may also help to use a calendar or planner to better visualize your timeline.

  1. Keep a list of what you need to do.

If you don’t know what you’re doing or where to start, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed. It will help to keep a running list of what you need to do. Go through each of your applications, write down whatever still needs to be filled out, and use that list to prioritize your work or find whatever information is needed to complete each section.

  1. Make a spreadsheet with important information.

Those applying to several colleges know how difficult it can be to keep track of information regarding each school. I use a spreadsheet to record everything I need to know about each college I’m applying to. I have a different page for things like basic information, application factors, and supplemental requirements, filling in each school’s information there.

  1. Look into financial aid or additional programs.

For all of the schools you’re considering, it’s a good idea to look into financial aid and scholarship resources, honor programs, etc. Many times, these things will require additional application materials or have an earlier due date for the application as a whole. Keep this in mind since you don’t want to miss out on opportunities like these!

  1. Get started on those supplements.

Essays come easy for some and harder for others. No matter which category you fall into, if you’re applying to several colleges, writing multiple essays for each can be a challenge. Whether it be in a spreadsheet or a list, make sure to keep track of all the writing requirements for each of your schools, and begin working on them sooner rather than later.

  1. Proofread everything. Twice.

Double. Check. Everything. It never hurts to look twice. You don’t want to submit any incorrect information about yourself or have grammar mistakes reflect poorly on you as a student. Most importantly, check to make sure that you don’t write another school’s name on an application or supplemental for a different school.

  1. Take a break and relax.

The college process is undoubtedly stressful. Even though you will spend a lot of time working on applications this fall and winter, make sure to take some time for yourself. It is crucial to prioritize your physical and mental well-being. And when you find yourself feeling down, know that everything will turn out all right in the end.

I hope you found something here that will help make the college application process easier on you. Time will fly by, and before you know it, those applications will be due. Just remember to take a breath, be authentic, and have confidence in yourself. Good luck, seniors!