So Early Decision is done and now I can relax…..NO, you can’t.
Congratulations to all of those who have completed and sent in their Early Decision and Early Action applications. To those who are waiting until the last minute for a November 15th deadline, don’t. Send it now. Get it in; do not get in the slow down due to traffic on the websites. Make sure your transcripts are on the way, as well as releasing and sending any standardized test scores that are required. For those who got jammed up because of the ACT’s test score delay, check out our Facebook page to see if one of your schools is offering an alternative to sending in a test score. Or you can check out the college’s site for any updates regarding the ACT score delay.
In October 2012 both the College Board and the ACT announced changes in the tests for 2016, but all thought the changes would go through in March and April. Why the ACT decided to start its change this fall is puzzling. So those schools that required the ACT with Essay, the students did get stuck. The scores are expected to be out by December 18th. Some of those schools are offering some kind of bridge of sending in screenshots of scores without the essay until the actual score is completed. So for those who are dependent on the ACT scores, please keep up-to-date on this issue. It is your responsibility to keep on top of this and inform the college, not the other way around!
Now for those who think that their Early choice is a definite, nice! But for pretty much everyone else applying to college, the prudent action is to send at least 8 other applications to schools for either Early Action II, Early Action (after November 1 deadlines), Regular decision and late Rolling. Late Rolling are those schools whose deadline is next spring. Very few people, who are not actually recruited to a school, can get away with one application.
I must urge all those who have to send more applications to do so now. Get them done before Thanksgiving. If you cannot afford to send in more applications until you hear back, because you cannot afford to send more score reports and do not have application fee waivers, you can still complete the application but not submit. There are only a few applications that do not allow a person to save in progress. Complete them all! If you can, send them.
Also be aware of the process of all those who are supporting you during this process. Do not go to your guidance office and request new transcripts the day before Christmas vacation for regular decision. Almost all urban and suburban high schools submit reports and forms electronically, but there are still some that use paper. That process is cumbersome and takes time…so respect those helping you and give them plenty of lead time. Let them know by Thanksgiving what other schools you are definitely applying to, and ask for the reports and transcripts to be prepared and sent. There is no harm in withdrawing an application should you get into your Early choice, but there is a problem if your regular decision school forms are not timely!
Please make sure plenty of people review your forms for mistakes! DO NOT send in forms with mistakes. Also, should you make a minor mistake, do not send emails, make calls, and try to correct the problem with the Admissions’ Offices in the colleges. The minor mistake will not get as much attention if you do not make it a topic of discussion. College Admissions’ Offices have a lot of their plates right now and having constant calls from parents and students is not helping your chances. All schools love to speak with prospective students and encourage conversation and questions, but contacting the Admission Office daily is not what is meant by encouraging students to ask questions.
Also, get all your other essays done for any other schools. Do all the supplement questions. Make sure you have green check-marks on every college on your Common Application. You have time to do so now. Do them all. I advise all to send everything in by Thanksgiving. Everything takes time, but something great has happened this fall in terms of scores. Now the College Board is electronically sending scores and the process time has been cut from three weeks to 6 days! So that is fantastic news in terms of score report turn around. You can actually get your December scores, before submitting them! This is a great relief to many. A very welcome change for all concerned with this process; you can check the status of your sent scores on your College Board page….I was checking last night and saw reports ordered at the end of October had been received by colleges in a few days.
Also while you are working on your other applications, be sure to check your email frequently from any communications from the colleges. You should have received a confirmation email from the application you sent in, and some schools send you a link with a password and ID for checking status. All the confirmation emails typically state that your school’s reports, transcripts, test scores, and recommendations are missing. You have to keep checking the status to ensure that all that is required does in fact make it to the college. If there are still missing items by November 10th or 15th at the very latest for November 1st deadlines, then contact the appropriate people responsible immediately. Things have happened over the years, and sometimes things get lost and have to be resent, but your school counselor can contact the college for you to ensure that it is informed of any irregularity. 99% of all reports make it on time…so no worries.
If you are feeling inundated, and need some support, you can always contact us! Best of Luck!
If you are in need of fee waivers and consideration by the College Board or ACT for free score reports, start the process now. You get 4 free, right after you take the test, and for people who qualify, there are usually an additional 4 flexible reports you can get for free as well. Call the College Board as you might have to submit some information to qualify.