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How to Stay Organized During College Application Season

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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.

Organization is incredibly important during college application season

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.

Calendars are great tools for organizing college applications

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.

It is recommended that college applicants make use of checklists

Good luck! May you get into the college of your dreams.

If you want to get some of your college prerequisites out of the way on your own time and for less money, allowing you to finish college faster, check out Study.com's College Accelerator.

By Daisy Rogozinsky
September 2019
college college admissions

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