Applications and Resumes and Personal Letters of Reference, OH MY!
Okay, so now if you are senior, you are full into starting your college applications. Good for you. If you have not started anything, get cracking, time is wasting away. You will be under tremendous pressure to get things done in less than 60 days. So start now.
If you have started and have gone onto the Common App, the Universal App, Apply NOW and other application database programs, great. If not, you seriously need to get your list in hand and start researching how to apply to each of your schools. If you need any assistance or help, we can help you. There is an ala carte menu of items that we can help you with via Skype to get the job done! Get on your computer or your school’s computer and start those applications. Select common user names and passwords; email them to yourself or text so you do not forget them. Keep them private and safe. Students invariably forget which is which and so forth.
So what do I do with all the various items? Okay, the applications themselves will be submitted in a little over 8 weeks or so. If you are applying early decision or early action, check out our articles on how to distinguish which to do, and then you need to have your application complete and proofed by October 15th. This means that you have completed it; it has been proofed for proper spelling, capitalization, etc. Further, your essays have been reviewed by your counselor. Everyone is in agreement that it is complete.
Then you will submit the application sometime between October 20th and November 1st. You do not want to wait until last minute because the sits start to slow down as deadlines draw near. Traffic can make access to your application slower or delayed. Further, you can get kicked off much faster because of traffic. So you need to have this well planned and reviewed before October 20th, at the latest for all early applicants.
ALSO do not submit your application too early….be very careful, if you do not know, do not just submit now. Many schools will not accept an application too early. Call the school, if you are unsure. DO NOT RELY ON HERESAY FROM SOMEONE IN YOUR CLASS OR LAST YEAR’S CLASS!!! I cannot stress this enough. Things change rapidly in this process and what worked last year, might not be the right way this year. Example: two years ago a length of 500 words was the optimum essay. It is 650 today for a reason. Do not decide to make up your own rules! Call the school in question if you want to know. The University of Michigan, many used to believe would take an application now, but it is no longer doing that and if you sent something, it is not prepared to receive it, and it won’t. You might not even know your application did not make it. So DO NOT just jump in and do things because you think or someone told you that earlier was better. Call the school and find out!
You do not have to write every single supplement essay now. If you are applying Early Decision or Early Action single choice, you can submit your applications for those schools. You can submit the supplements for all others later. You will have the option of submitting the supplement and paying for the supplement/application or if you have a fee waiver submitting that, and then completing the writing supplement later. I strongly urge all students to submit ALL applications and supplements to ALL schools by Thanksgiving. If you have a few supplement writing samples to complete, please do so by December 18th at the latest. Get everything into to the colleges at least one week before Christmas. Remember, people in the colleges go on vacation too. It is better to have it all in their offices before they break for the holidays.
Resumes and personal letters of reference, you send directly to the colleges in regular mail. You need to send these about ten days prior to your submitting date. Your cover letter will be dated the date that you intend to submit, but you will mail these beforehand. The idea is that your resume and personal endorsements or letters of reference will arrive at the same time that you actually submit your application. So have individual letters and your resume printed out and envelopes for each school ready to go.
It is best to keep a calendar of what you are doing and when. It is good to keep things organized and have a weekly College To Do list going on your computer or even a paper planner. Do not let this drop one week because you will get behind. Catching up under the deadline pressure means careless mistakes! Careless mistakes do not go unnoticed!
Special note to those of you who have an athletic bid, you have to complete your application, write your essay and any supplement essay before mid-September. The majority of you will be required to have it ready to go before October 1st. Sometimes, you will be asked to print out a hard copy, which you can do once it is submitted on the Common and Universal Applications, and give to the coach. Your coach is the person who will inform you of your deadline.
Additionally, some students who are being recruited for Arts and Music will also have similar earlier deadlines determined by the department recruiting. Those going to the Academies typically have a Color Guard who will keep you informed as to when to do your application.
Need help, contact us; we are pros at navigating this process. Do not have a resume? Contact us, and get a free template.
You need to present yourself polished, prepared and promptly to your prospective new college!