One of the best things you can do to ensure that you'll have a successful college application season is to get and stay organized. This blog post will introduce you to everything you have to do to organize your college applications.
An Organized Student Gets Into College
Applying for college is likely one of the most important things you'll ever do in the first 18 years of your life. After all, whether or not you get in to one of the colleges of your choice can have a bearing on the rest of your life. That's why it's so important to stay organized during the college application season. Here's how to make sure that you've crossed all your Ts and dotted all of your Is; that way, nothing will fall through the cracks.
Use a Logical Folder System
One of the challenges of keeping your college application materials organized is that there are so many of them, it's easy to lose or misplace something. That said, you're much more likely to keep track of all of your files if you use a well-built filing system.
Here are our recommendations for creating a filing system:
1) Create a College Application Season folder on your computer. Within that folder, make one folder for each school to which you're applying. In those folders, keep copies of everything you've received from those schools, including brochures, contact information, campus visits notes, and your application essay.
2) Create a folder for standardized tests, in which you'll keep a calendar of test dates, a copy of your test scores, and information about how to send the scores to your chosen schools. Create another folder for finances, where you can keep information about scholarships and financial aid.
3) If there's a component of the college application process that doesn't fit into your existing folder system, create a new folder for it. Make sure that it's logical to you.
Keep Multiple Copies
Speaking of important files - make sure that you have multiple copies of important documents, especially your admissions essays. Keep a copy on:
- Your computer
- An external hard drive
- In the cloud
In addition, email a copy to yourself and to your parents. That way, you'll never lose something important.
Mark Important Dates on a Calendar
Another critical thing to keep track of during the college application season is your due dates. You'll want to remember:
- When college applications are due
- When early admissions applications are due
- Test dates, if you're planning on retaking the SAT in the fall of senior year
- When you'll receive your acceptance letters
Mark these dates on a calendar. Whether you prefer a planner, a paper calendar on your wall, or something digital like iCal or Google Calendar (or a combination of options), consolidate all of your important dates in a physical and/or digital place.
Use a Checklist
Finally, it's crucial to remember and organize all of the tasks you'll need to complete in order to meet the requirements of applying to colleges. The best way to do so? An application season checklist.
Have one for each school to which you're applying. The checklist should include:
- Submitting your application(s)
- Sending your letters of recommendation
- Applying for financial aid and scholarships
- Visiting college campuses
That way, you'll never experience doubt as whether you've done, or forgotten to do, something important.
Good luck! May you get into the college of your dreams.
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