I cannot believe we are about to complete another College Admissions Season. You have been working hard to complete the daunting parts of the Common App, the Coalition App, and the state college applications. There have been times when you experienced writer’s block throughout those application essays, but you have managed to finish them on time. You have submitted the FAFSA, the CSS Profile, and some college-specific financial aid forms. We still have one more month before we can really call it a day, but I think this blog post will come in timely considering the fact that many of you have already submitted your Early Decision (ED), Early Action (EA) applications. Most students (mistakenly) assume that once those applications are submitted, their work is done. This is far from the truth and could have a negative impact on your applications that you sealed with your blood, sweat, and tears. Yes; seniors! Unfortunately, the game is not over, yet. You still have a whole list of action items to complete. Let’s start!
- Keep track of your login ID and password information granted to you by each college, FAFSA, CSS Profile, Scholarship websites, etc… Write down each one with the college name (or other identifiers) and keep it in a safe place!
- Check your emails everyday: After you submit your applications, each college will send you an email to acknowledge your application. Some colleges send this email soon after you submit your application, whereas some others take longer to do that. Just wait patiently. However, if you do not hear from a college within 2-3 weeks, email them to confirm that they have received your application. In the email you receive from each college, you will be provided with the instructions to set up your college portal along with your login credentials. You must set up each portal right away so that you can track the progress of your application, communicate with the college, and see if anything is missing in your application. This portal is usually the platform where colleges announce their admission decisions although some colleges prefer sending the decision via email.
- Follow up on your submitted applications: Every week, make it a habit to log into each college’s application portal to see if each college has received everything you have submitted. If anything is missing, contact the college politely and understand the problem. Then, have the missing parts sent to them ASAP!
- Email admissions officers if you have any questions: Find out who the Admissions Officer (AO) assigned to your region/state is. You can usually find this information on the Admissions page of each college. Connecting with your AO not only shows demonstrated interest but also puts your name out there! After all, when the reading season comes, that person will be one of the committee members reading your application! One word of caution: Do not ever let your parent(s) email or call the Admissions Office on your behalf. I can guarantee such behavior will likely result in a rejection. Colleges want to admit students who are mature enough to take responsibility for their own education. Any form of communication attempt with an Admissions Office must be initiated by you, the student, and no one else.
- Avoid Senioritis: Sit back, relax, and wait for the admissions decisions to come! However, do NOT relax too much! Senioritis is a serious phenomenon!!! Avoid it! Colleges will still ask for your final transcript even after you are admitted. If there is a sudden drop in your grades in the second half of your Senior Year, colleges have the right to revoke admission, merit aid, and/or scholarship that they have awarded to you! Keep focused on maintaining a good GPA.
- Continue your involvement in extracurricular activities, community service, and research projects: This will not only help the time go by faster but also make the waiting more bearable. In addition, you do not want to give your high school counselor or the colleges the impression that you used to participate in activities just to fill your resume. Along the way, you might even receive an award. Even if you have submitted your applications, this should not refrain you from sharing any recent success with your colleges. Won a competition? Send an update to your colleges sharing your victory. You never know; some of them might still consider it and include it in your admissions folder.
- Be responsible human beings and convey yourself as one: Remember when you were asked to submit your driver’s license number on your FAFSA application? Did you ever think of why on earth colleges would like to know that information about you? They want to make sure that you do not have any DUI or hazardous driving tickets. Yes! Your name needs to be cleared with all the state agencies including the DMV before your application can be approved as eligible for financial aid awarded by your state. You are responsible for your own actions! One offense might result in losing a spot in your dream college or losing that scholarship! Present yourself as the respectable person you are on your social media accounts. For more tips on this, you can read my past blog post here.
If you follow my advice and stay on top of your applications, your application will at least have a fair review. There is nothing more upsetting than seeing a student rejected due to failure to submit missing documents in a timely manner or an admission decision being rescinded because of slipping grades or a disciplinary action.
At EdMission Possible, we guide our students in the right direction by making sure that they stay focused and keep their deadlines with constant reminders. If you feel like you could use a little more motivation or encouragement, call or e-mail us today to inquire about our college planning services.
Burcak Deniz Cakir
Founder and President | EdMission Possible
Burcak Deniz Cakir has a B.A. in Foreign Language Education, an M.A. in English Language Teaching, and an M.B.A., all of which have laid the solid foundation for her professional experiences as an educator. She has completed the College Counseling Program at UCLA, which is known to be the most prestigious certificate program in the profession. She has previously taught English as a Foreign/Second Language (EFL/ESL) in Turkey and in the U.S. at Virginia Tech, Harcum College, Rutgers University (Newark and New Brunswick Campuses), and Pace University. Having taught EFL/ESL at the college level for over 20 years, Burcak can communicate effectively with college-age students from different countries. She is bilingual in Turkish and English. Her extensive experience with international students from many countries including but not limited to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Korea, and China has given her the opportunity to understand their unique problems that domestic students may not be facing throughout the college admissions process, such as but not limited to extra testing requirements (TOEFL, IELTS), the translation of high school transcripts and recommendation letters, different financial forms and statements required, visa issues, being homesick, culture shock, etc.
Burcak is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and a Voting Member of the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC). She currently lives in Edison, New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, and her four-legged son. In her free time, she can be found spending time with her family, reading (lots!) about college admissions and college essays, watching her favorite movies, getting lost in design magazines, and decorating her house.