Senior Checklist before Fall Semester Ends
As seniors wind down the fall semester and start thinking about finals next week, I suggest students take one final look at their college applications before the semester ends.
Check on more time at each college you have applied to and make sure they have all required material and any supplemental material you want them to have. This includes test scores, transcripts, recommendations and portfolios. Some of these checks can be done on the Common Application website in the School Forms section. Others must be done on the college’s website using the students username and password. This system will also be used to post many decisions.
For colleges that you will submit applications to over the winter break, go ahead and request the school forms be sent now. Send test scores too.
If you have any important updates to your application, like a significant achievement or award, be sure to contact each college via email or phone. The additional information may strengthen your application package, and it demonstrates your continued interest. When school resumes in January and first semester grades are available, students will request these grades be sent to the colleges. Some colleges will wait for these grades before making a decision.
Take time to send a note of thanks to each teacher, counselor or other reference that wrote a letter of recommendation for you. A hand-written one is especially appreciated as a change of pace, but an email is also fine.
Enjoy the excitement and anticipation of waiting for responses. Remember that this can be a roller coaster ride and you will have ups and downs. Cherish each "yes" as a potential option. Don’t take a "no" as a rejection, but rather as a response that you are not a good fit for what the school needs at this time, and you usually do not know why.
My last word of advice is to be empathetic and considerate of other seniors that are also starting to hear responses, and don't try to make comparisons. Watch your postings on Facebook, and any other social media. It is easy to hurt others just by commenting on your results. Personal updates to close friends and family may be more appropriate.
Photo courtesy of Bill Dan