In the thick of fall, high school seniors nationwide are consumed with the process of completing their college applications. While this task may seem daunting, there are tips and tricks that can be used to help students finish quality applications without the stress. Here are 3 tips to help you get through college application season confidently!
1. Set Reminders
Knowing your deadlines and setting reminders for tasks is key to staying on top of various college applications. Start your applications early enough to complete them by the deadlines, keeping in mind that some supplemental materials (such as essays or recommendation letters) may take you longer to receive or complete than others. Deadlines are usually between January 1 and February 15, although they may be as early as October or November if you are applying for early admission or special programs. Keep track of key dates using an agenda or digital calendar and set reminders for yourself a week in advance to ensure deadlines are not missed.
Pro Tip: Color coordinate your calendar for each college that you are applying to. This will keep you organized and help you prioritize the due dates for the schools at the top of your list.
2. Choose Recommendations Wisely
Many college applications require recommendation letters. These letters may come from teachers, counselors, administrators, coaches, or others who know you well inside and outside of the classroom. Select recommenders that will be able to speak to your attributes in addition to your achievements. This will help your letters stand out. Be sure to give your recommenders ample time to complete your recommendation and thank them for their time after the letter is received.
Pro Tip: Provide your recommenders with a quality, updated resume, and relevant supporting documentation (transcripts, etc.) so they have details to refer to when drafting your letters.
3. Stay True to Yourself
Application officers review hundreds to thousands of applications in a short period of time. Being creative and showing off your unique style in your writing will help your application shine. Be sure to emphasize your personal and social strengths in addition to your academic success, as your test scores, GPA, and transcript already serve as evidence of your intellect. When responding to essay prompts, reflect on your experiences and express your opinions with authenticity, sincerity, and originality.
Pro Tip: Print your applications and essays and read them aloud to proofread and listen for awkward language.
College Application Tips from Current Students
Nevada State High School seniors offered up the following advice:
“I was overwhelmed at first when applying to colleges because I felt like I had so many options. I had minimal stress from the application process itself, it was more so writing the Common Application essay that freaked me out. I had confidence in my writing skills, but it’s not every day that someone asks you to sum up who you are as a person in 650 words. I ended up writing six drafts of my Common App essay, and I had friends and family read it to give me feedback.” – Ashley Scott
“One tip I have for college applications is to submit them as soon as possible! If you know which schools you want to go to, get them in for your Early Decision or Early Action deadlines. However, do not rush on the application itself. Make sure all information is accurate and highlights your high school career.” – Autumn Shulkusky
“The application itself wasn’t stressful, but waiting for a decision after the application was rough. What really helped me is the thought ‘whatever is meant to happen will happen,’ and, of course, a bowl of pasta and a movie also helped! I applied to Oregon State University and Colorado State University and was accepted to both–AND I got a WUE scholarship!
I definitely recommend doing early applications for the colleges you want. It gives you a heads up on your options for college, so you have more time to think things over. This was a huge stress relief for me.
When applying to college and feeling stressed, just take a deep breath and believe in yourself. I’m sure you’re doing great! You’ve got this in the bag, so go treat yourself to a bubble bath, chocolate, your favorite movie or tv show, and relax. Good luck, everyone!”
Nevada State High School Support
College application support is built into Nevada State High School’s curriculum and proven process. In Study Skills, students conduct college research to identify the institutions that are the best fit for them given their interests and career goals. Students also learn time management, resume building, and writing skills that help them improve the overall quality of their applications.
Interested in learning more about Nevada State High School? Join us for an Open House.
Applications for Spring 2022 are now open for Juniors and Seniors. Fall 2022 applications open for Sophomores on February 1st! Apply at earlycollegenv.com.