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When do they actually decide where to go?
What do college counselors and advisors do?
What's College Admission Counseling?
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College Talk Blog

College application process

Don't look now rising seniors...there is a monster behind you

If most rising high school seniors turn around right now and look carefully, they will see the faint outline of a huge workload monster lurking behind them. The monster is the avalanche of college admission work they need to accomplish before mid-October.

Mid-October you say? How could that be? Aren't college applications due in December or January? Some are, but if the student at your house is going to apply early, deadlines are more in the October/November range.

Sadly, the college work could affect high school senior fall grades that figure into admission decisions.

All Hallow's Eve Application Fright Fest

In scary movies, when the characters least expect it, they become terrified by a frightening thought, vision or threat. That's the experience of some high school seniors this week. While they were busy with classes, jobs, activities and trying to bask in the glory of senior-dom, a sinister deadline was coiling its tentacles around their necks. 

While some of their friends escaped the terror by working on college application escape plans last August, many began to feel the looming deadline tighten around them this week and realized they had to move fast to survive.

Hit the "SEND" button yet?

Students get a well-deserved sense of accomplishment every time they complete a college application. Hitting the "SEND" button marks the end of question completion, proof reading, essay uploading, paying a fee and wondering what some of the questions meant or if an essay was good enough or whether waiting until regular decision would have been a better choice. Hitting SEND means the student can move on...to the next application for admission or scholarships.

Too many students procrastinate when it comes to college applications.

Test optional? Essay optional? Application optional?

The word optional is appearing more and more in relation to college admission applications. Although there are colleges that are test optional, test optional often comes with strings like a mandatory gpa level. Although there are essay optional colleges, I don't think it is a good idea to give up the chance to tell a college why they should accept your application and give you money.

Colleges have stopped short of going application optional. There is something called an alternate or special application that is shorter and often requires no application fee.

I'm 17 and I need a RESUME?

Students getting ready for college application season use resumes for several purposes. The first is a courtesy to the faculty from whom they seek a reference. The reference can be much more informative to the college if the faculty member has a holistic view of the student.

The second way in which high school seniors are using resumes is to make the college application process much easier. Taking the time to carefully document all activities in school and the community as well as hobbies and accomplishments helps students breeze through the activity section of The Common Application as well as individual college applications.