If you are a senior, your first round of applications may be in and it might be tempting to want to take a big sigh of relief and put the rest of the college stuff on the back burner. But, wait a minute! Doing so can cause trouble down the road. Sorry for being the barer of bad news (we prefer to call it “you’ll thank us later” news) but it makes sense to keep forging ahead on your applications.
“I applied ED or EA to a school or schools, and will hear back early winter. Then I can decide later whether I will need to apply to additional schools, like if I don’t get into my ED school.”
If that’s you, think about it! If you have your heart set on an ED school, and then you find out you didn’t get into that ED school, will you really be in the ideal mindset to put your best foot forward for the rest of the schools? You may be sad, defeatist, etc. and writing an essay about how awesome you are, or how awesome the second-choice school is, may not be your best work. Get it done now, or at least a draft, to avoid this pitfall.
“I am SO busy with school work, sports, friends, etc that I don’t have time for applications now; I’ll do them over the winter break.”
Okay, now picture this, your family from out of town (the ones you like) are visiting, it’s Christmas or Hanukkah and you just want to relax and have fun. Nope, no fun for you… gotta work on college applications. Yuck! How about getting those essays and applications done now so that Winter Break can be just that… a well-deserved break.
“I’m waiting for something (a teacher recommendation, SAT scores, etc) so I will just wait until those are in.”
Guess what!? You probably don’t have to! Most colleges will allow students to submit their portion of the application without having testing scores, transcripts or teacher recommendations in. Colleges will assume they are on the way, and they should be, but you can get your part turned in. One thing to get off your plate now!
“There’s no advantage to applying early, so I will just wait.”
Actually, for many schools there is a big advantage to applying early. Schools that have Rolling deadlines are much more selective with applications that come in later. And, even some schools that have Regular deadlines will make admission decisions on a rolling basis. So, in some cases, there is a real and distinct advantage to applying early (meaning well before the deadline).
If you are thinking about waiting until later to work on winter applications, think again. Keep chugging along to get those essays and applications done sooner rather than later.