College Application Timeline - December 2018

December is a very busy month in the college application process with application due dates almost every week. Saturday, December 1st, marked another big priority/regular application due date for many colleges and universities. The next deadline is December 15th, which is also when the notifications from November 1st  Early Decision (ED) and Early Action (EA) will begin arriving.

Not submitting applications on time is one of the biggest mistakes students make, and though it’s known that public colleges and universities technically have rolling admissions, it’s always in the best interest of the applicant to submit their applications on the due dates. So, being prepared is key to reducing the stress of the college application process.

•  Guidance counselors & recommendors -  An application that is submitted without any supporting documents won't be reviewed so make sure that the guidance counselor, and those writing their letters of recommendation, are updated.

• Check your emails daily - Schools communicate more via email than snail mail, so clean out your inbox and check your emails daily. The status of you applications can also be checked on the respective schools' websites. It’s your responsibility!!!

• SAT/ACT Score Reports - Another crucial part of any application, these score reports take approximately two weeks to reach your schools, so send them early. Colleges in the Historically Black Colleges (HBC) network often accept SAT/ACT scores listed on the transcript, but its always best to check ahead. This is a big money saver for students on a tight budget.

• AP Score Reports - Check your colleges' requirements, but if you scored 3-5 on an AP exam consider also sending those along for consideration. A high score could act as a tie breaker in the evaluation process and/or allow the student to be excused from an introductory class.

  Supplemental and short answer essays - Don't take them lightly! By now most students have written their main college essay, but selective schools tend to have several of these supplemental essays and they are often harder to write because of the smaller word count limit. The infamous 'Why this school?' essay might seem easy, but shouldn't be answered by citing weak reasons. Do your homework by researching the website and thinking of exactly why that school is on your college list. Here's yet another opportunity for students to use their voice, so use it wisely.

•  January 1st deadlines - The regular admission deadline to the more selective colleges and universities is only a few weeks away. It is highly recommended that these applications be submitted as soon as possible. Double check the status of all the required documents -   SAT/ACT scores, letters of recommendations, transcript - are ready to be sent along with the application. Don't forget that incomplete applications cannot be evaluated.

•  Early Decision II or Early Action II - Students who applied Early Decision or Early Action on November 1st, but are not satisfied with the results, can try their hand at the second round that have early January and February deadlines. Early Decision II is also binding, and Early Action II still offers applicants the chance to review financial aid packages before making that final decision. 

• Final Aid Deadlines - Often overlooked, applicants must also submit their financial information on time. Check the school’s website or call the Financial Aid office for more information.

•  The 2018-2019 FAFSA can now be filled out and submitted earlier. Schools use the information on the FAFSA to calculate the financial aid packages they offer students, so applicants should get that FAFSA completed sooner vs later.

•  Missing deadlines -There is absolutely no excuse for missing an application deadline especially when using the Common App. Every effort should be made to have those applications ready to be submitted on time, and with no mistakes. All students with January 1st deadlines should make sure they aren't waiting till the afternoon of December 31st to hit Submit, and remember to keep in mind those time zones differences if applicable.

This is a very busy time of year for high school seniors, but one of the most important things they must also do is keep their grades up. A mid-year report is sent by the guidance counselors to the schools that have admitted you, as well as the others the student has applied to. There have been known to be consequences, such as an offer of admission being withdrawn, should there be a drop on the academic profile. So, good luck to all and keep your eye on the prize!

College Application Timeline - November 2019

During this first week of November many high school students are preparing their applications for the Early Decision (ED)Early Action (EA) and Priority applications due dates. November 1st was the first of these deadlines with others as late as November 10th. In order to be prepared to submit their applications on time, students need to have begun their college application process fairly early to have the following points ready to submit a strong application:

• Complete the Common App - Complete and proof the entire application carefully, and do the FERPA section. If your high school is using Naviance, make sure that you have linked it to your Common App. Note: Am noticing this year that students are leaving off information, especially extra curriculars, in the Activities Section of their Common App because they don’t think they count. Check here to see which activities do count. You’d be pleasantly surprised.

• Complete the college essayDo not underestimate its importance. The primary objective of the personal statement is to provide insight on the student's character through a story, something that cannot be seen elsewhere in the application, so make sure to write an essay that does just that. A strong essay resembles more a journal entry or letter home vs the in-class English essay.

•  Supplemental essays, short answer and optional questions. Always double check if the schools on your list require these. Often much shorter, they are not necessarily easier to write and there might be several that must respond to very specific prompts. Do not trivialize their importance and give yourself ample time to write them well because they are taken seriously. 

•  Finalize the remaining applications and be prepared to submit them. Proof all your applications carefully, looking for misspelled names, incorrect phone numbers or an essay that didn't upload correctly: unnecessary errors are a poor reflection on the student. Note: Yes, it's good to apply before your due date.

•  Send your SAT/ACT score reports - Unless the schools you are applying to will accept your scores as they appear on the official transcript, you must send your score reports. Don't forget that you get four FREE score reports each time you register to take the SAT or ACT, so make sur to take advantage of that. Fee waiversto either take the SAT/ACT or to pay for an application fee, are available to students that are eligible. Check with the guidance department for eligibility requirements. 

• AP Score Reports - Check your colleges' requirements, but if you scored 3-5 on an AP exam consider also sending those along for consideration. A high score could act as a tie breaker in the evaluation process and/or allow the student to be excused from an introductory class.  

• Letters of recommendation. Colleges vary in the number of recommendations they want, but always make sure that your recommendors are listed on your Naviance/Common App accounts allowing them to upload their letters. The number of recommendations needed for each college can be found under the Recommendors and FERPA sections on the Common App.

 Keep your guidance counselor updated. Always keep your guidance counselor aware of any small change in your college applications. If you've decided to apply Early Decision instead of Early Action, or have decided to not apply to a particular school altogether, please show them the courtesy of keeping them informed.  

•  The 2018-2019 FAFSA can now be filled out and submitted earlier so learn when these deadlines are. As often is the case, the sooner the better when it comes to submitting your FAFSA.

•  Check the status of your applications regularly for confirmation that the colleges have received your application and all supporting documentations. An application that is missing any key document will not be evaluated. It is the student's responsibility to keep track of the status of all of his/her applications and follow through on what hasn't yet arrived.

• Keep up those grades. Whether applying early or not, now is not the time to let those grades slip! This applies to all high school seniors applying to college, even if your applications are submitted. Colleges reserve the right to rescind an offer if there has been a serious drop in grades or if inappropriate behavior is found on social media.  

One of the top application mistakes is missing deadlines!! 

Common App - Writing Requirements Resource

With the first wave of November early decision, early action & priority application due dates right around the corner, college applicants are working overtime to complete their applications, personal statements and supplemental essays.

Confirming if the colleges on their list required any additional essays, students normally turn to the Application Solution Center on Common App. Today, that resource has been upgraded with a search feature to make finding that answer even easier.

This feature will tell students which required and optional long-answer questions the college or university asks for, whether any of these schools request that a document be uploaded, where to find these school-specific questions, and what the word count is for each prompt.

All these college essays, from the 650 word personal statement to the 100 word short answer prompt, can be deal makers and/or deal breakers. They should be taken seriously by all students regardless of their academic profile.

It’s not to late to ask for help, so don’t hesitate to reach out to College Apps Made Easy. Email us at today and we’ll make sure you’re ready to submit the most competitive application possible.

November 2018 Application Deadlines Are Only Two Weeks Away

The November 1st college application deadlines are exactly two weeks away. That doesn’t leave much time to fine tune those applications and get them submitted, but it is possible.

Early Decision (ED), Single-Choice Early Action, Early Action (EA) and Priority application deadlines to many colleges and universities begin Thursday November 1st and go through to November 15th. These application options have become very popular in the last few years with more and more students applying in this first round. There are advantages to being prepared to submitting, but applying early only makes sense if all the work that goes into putting together a strong application has been done, and properly. Not necessarily in order of priority the following points must be checked off before the application should be submitted.

•  Complete all parts of all your applications - All the applications (Common app, Coalition, and Common Black College App) are programmed to alert the student if some crucial information is missing and prevent them from submitting, but it's always a good idea to proof carefully for accuracy of phone numbers, social security numbers, etc. 

•  Complete and proof all essays - Proof both the personal statement and supplemental essays. Double check that you have respected the word count and that you've answered the question if provided a specific prompt. These essays, both large and small, are very important so do not take them lightly. The prompts might seem silly and boring, but it will quickly obvious which student has put time into it, which hasn’t and who is serious.

•  Keep your guidance counselor updated - Make sure that your counselor is aware of all the schools you have chosen to apply to so that they can send the necessary documents (transcripts, mid-year report, counselor recommendation). Link your Common App to your Naviance account, if applicable.

•  Send SAT/ACT score reports - It take about two weeks for schools to receive them once ordered. Less selective schools are often satisfied with the scores that appear on the transcript so students on a budget should double check the admission requirements for their schools before spending the money to send them. Are you eligible for a fee waiver?

Starting next year both the SAT and ACT will send up to 20 FREE score reports for low-income students who registered for the test using a fee waiver. Meanwhile, everyone should take advantage of the 4 FREE score reports that come with every registration of both the SAT and ACT.

•  Letters of recommendation - Now's the time to politely remind those who will be writing you letters of approaching deadlines. If you haven't already done so provide them with a list of schools so that they might customize their letters if they want to, and make sure they’ve been invited to upload their recommendation to your Common App.

FAFSA/CSS Profile - Available online beginning October 1st, seniors interested in getting financial aid assistance should fill out the FAFSA. Students applying to highly selective colleges and universities might also need to fill our the CSS Profile.

Once the application is on its way, these other components each have their own due dates by which they must be submitted to the schools. An application that is incomplete and/or missing official documentation cannot and will not be evaluated. It is the student's responsibility to check the status of his/her applications on the respective colleges websites to make sure their application is complete. Colleges communicate with applicants via emails (and text messages as well) so students who don't already do so should check their emails daily.

Last, but not least, don't wait till the last minute to submit your application.  If you are ready, do yourself a favor and submit.

College Application Timeline - October 2018

The college application process has wasted no time in picking up steam. With September already behind us, applicants are zeroing in on their perfect college essay topic, the college lists are coming together, and those first deadlines looming on the horizon.

Establishing a timeline and working steadily on the applications is a proven way of staying on task, not missing any deadlines and keeping the stress at bay. Whether well ahead or just beginning, the following points will ensure this can be accomplished.

• SAT/ACT - The next SAT will be Oct. 6th with scores available just in time for the early November Early Decision, Early Action and Priority deadlines. The following test date is Nov 3rd with a registration deadline of Oct 5th.

The ACT will be offered on Oct 27th with a Sept 29th- October 14th late registration with a fee.

FREE November SAT registration and CSS Profile fee waivers are available for students affected by Hurricane Florence. Check here for additional details.

All students should check to see if they are eligible for fee waivers. Note: Already have a few favorite schools? Take advantage of the free score reports offered by both the SAT and ACT when registering.

• Common App - Complete the Common App without forgetting to proof the entire application carefully, and to do the FERPA section. If your high school using Naviance, make sure that you have linked it to your Common App. 

• Coalition App - Common App’s newest competitor, the Coalition App could be a better option for some applicants.

• Common Black College App (HBCU) - Those interested in applying to an historically black college or university should use the Common Black College Application. For only $35 the student’s application will be available to all 53 members.

• College List - A well balanced list of reach, target and safety schools (both academically & financially) should be the goal of every applicant.

• College Essay - The applicant’s only opportunity to use their voice, your college essay can break or break the changes of gaining admission. Don’t take it lightly!

• Campus Visits - Crucial to selecting which to apply to, campus visits are a must for all students applying to college. These visits are worth their weight in gold when it comes to providing students with information, so visit as many as possible.

FAFSA & CSS Profile - Beginning October 1st high school seniors who plan on applying to college in the next few months, or current college students who will returning to college next year, can begin to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, for the 2019-2020 academic year.

• International Students - These applicants have their own set of application challenges with the key being starting early enough to successfully accomplish all the admission requirements before the deadlines.

Lastly, it is very important to keep your guidance counselor informed of your plans. Let them know where you are applying and which deadlines you have selected because they need to be given enough time to submit the documents.

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