How to deal with college application deadlines, part one: 9 Tips

Our household dealt with a multitude of deadlines this winter. I wrote about it in How do you handle deadlines?, outlining our typical strategies, and threw out a query for any helpful ideas. Almost done with junior year, Mod Squad Julie is fast approaching college application-related deadlines.

Fortunately help came, via email, LinkedIn and comments here!

I planned to post a short list of tips, but the narrative responses I received, especially from the independent college counselors and one admissions advisor, are worth quoting in full. So, for your deadline-meeting pleasure, here’s part one with tips.

Our typical strategies for applications

  1. Print out the application form as soon as it’s available and complete the easy parts.
  2. Figure out what you need from others — transcript, recommendations, health forms — and get those requests out ASAP.
  3. Read through the essay questions and start thinking.
  4. Begin writing draft responses as soon as you can.
  5. Make a list of the points you want to share (from experiences, extra-curriculars, interests, goals, etc.) and divide them appropriately among the questions.
The door to our garage, the day the NHS application was due.

The door to our garage, the day the NHS application was due.

Digital Calendar

6.  HS Guidance Counselor, Stef: 

I have a desk calendar and I write everything work related on it. Then I also add to my Google calendar which syncs to my iPhone and iPad. It sends reminders! I highlight the major things… But in short, a visual big calendar. Weekly check in for important tasks. A set aside time each week for working on apps, scholarships.

Paper Calendar

7.  Parent, Robyn S.: 

…Put up a visual reminder indicating the timeline. Teens seem to think that time is limitless. I employ a calendar printout showing due dates, make my teen count back from the due date to see how much time is left, put the calendar in a place where it cannot be missed, and cross off the days as they progress, making the deadline loom ever closer. Has been known to work. And fail. I call it a “failure” when last minute high-stress antics are required in order to get the job done in time. The latter seems to be a prerequisite on the learning curve, sadly.

The Nudge

8.  Parent, Kim C.: 

I have not found that magic fairy dust yet, other than – umm – “nudging.”

9.  HS Guidance Counselor, Ellen: 

Nag, nag, nag.

Umm, yes, we’ve been known to use the nag/nudge devices here, too. Besides Post-It reminders on the garage door.

Coming next, part two with advice from the professional counselors’ comments, and part three with specific tools.

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1 Comment

Filed under Getting In, High School

One response to “How to deal with college application deadlines, part one: 9 Tips

  1. 9 easy tips to cope the pressure of college admissions. Students should keep these basics in mind so that easily can get over their admission process.

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