Crackdown on College Apps


Rayner Reinhardt and Katrina Bucher

It’s that time of the year. Seniors all over the country are diving into their college applications and stressing out about deadlines. But have no fear! Here are 7 tips sure to make your college application process a little less hectic. 

  1. Start Early- The only thing more stressful than filling out your applications is cramming your applications in right before the deadline. Some things require more work than others, so make sure you start early enough to where you’re confident you will have enough to time to finish at least a week before your earliest deadline.  
  2. Know your Deadlines-Early Decision, Early Action, Rolling Admission, Regular Admission. All of these are different deadlines that colleges offer, so knowing which date you want to apply at and the implications of all of them is very important. Some colleges don’t offer all deadline types, so make sure to check their undergrad admissions to be sure.  
  3. Set a Completion Schedule:  While the applications usually aren’t too intellectually demanding, there is a lot of basic information you must fill out regarding family history, academic reports, and extracurriculars. Overall, filling out the applications can take hours. Set a strict schedule to follow that focuses on one part of the application to fill out each week. Don’t procrastinate! 
  4. Don’t Procrastinate on Your Essay- The college essay may be the most daunting part of your college application—don’t let this freak you out! Start thinking about what you want to tell colleges about yourself; what makes you a great applicant and fit for the school? Try writing your rough draft months in advance. That way you will have time to revise, rewrite, and get feedback. Try the Comet Writing Center for even more help! 
  5. Know Your Supplement Writings- Most colleges have a personal writing supplement in addition to the standard college essay. These are usually shorter pieces that allow the admissions board to get to know you a little better, sometimes inquiring about why you’d be a good fit for their specific school. Some scholarships also require supplemental writing, so remember to check all the requirements. The last thing you want is to have your admissions chances jeopardized because you didn’t submit something.  
  6. If You Don’t Know, Ask!: As frustrated as you may get with the vague and repetitive questions on the applications, it’s important to not answer questions until you know exactly what to put. Any wrongly-answered questions that deal with money or academic history can have monumental impacts on your financial aid or chance at acceptance. Don’t rush and ask your parents or guidance counselor for help. 
  7. Have Another Set of Eyes Look at Your Application: After staring at a computer screen for hours on end, it’s easy to slip and make a mistake in filling out your application. There’s no harm in making sure everything is filled out and correct before you send you application off to colleges, so have your parents do a double check. It could save you a lot of embarrassment.