For high school seniors, this week and the next week are deadlines for many college applications. There are also some in February, fewer in March and then there are the rolling application date colleges that allow applications almost until classes begin.
Students often put off completing college applications because they have not made a final decision on which schools they prefer or because they think it is a quick exercise that they can complete just before deadlines. They reason that it is an on line exercise after all, so how long could it take?
The truth is that the quality and accuracy of college applications counts more now than ever. College admissions, even in what were formerly thought of as safety schools, has become much more competitive. And quality requires time, thought, effort and review.
The current application process for most colleges requires multiple essays. Students need to carefully select their essay topics. They need to practice writing their essays and then let set them aside for a day or two, review and make corrections. There is a formula for a great essay. Students need to follow the formula and also let the essay introduce them to their reader.
In December, some excellent students were shocked that they were wait-listed by state universities during early decision admission season. Unfortunately, during regular admission season some excellent students may also be shocked that they do not get acceptance letters to their preferred schools if they did not allow sufficient time to produce a quality admissions application.
Although students do excellent work, they should share their work with a parent or teacher before submission. An extra set of eyes will catch needless mistakes and omissions before their applications are seen by admissions decision makers at universities.